A very important person in my life just passed away the other day. At 94 years old, and after a lifetime of changing the world through his singing, Pete Seeger’s angels decided it was time for him to move on. I suspect he’ll soon be busy strumming his banjo, the one that said “this machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” in heaven.
Dear readers, I just wanted to share with you one of my favourite songs performed by Pete. Some people know it as the “ticky tacky song”, but it’s really called “Little Boxes.” It was written by Malvina Reynolds, who also wrote the song about the rocking, rolling “Morningtown Ride.” Pete’s banjo-strumming version of “Little Boxes” became a hit record in 1963, when I was all of eight years old. Between that and the impact that his songs “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” had on me as a little girl, it’s no wonder I don’t fit into the mainstream. But, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy right where I am–as a writer and an environmental and peace advocate.
But, enough about me. Here are two versions of the great little song that satirizes suburbia and a conformist middle-class, “Little Boxes.” The first features Pete performing it solo in B&W, the second is a current and very clever version performed by Walk Off the Earth.
Pete Seeger’s TV Show version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-sQSp5jbSQ
Walk Off the Earth’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM8JhvfoqdA
So long, Pete Seeger. It’s been good to know you.