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Dangerous Songs Original recording remastered, Import

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Pete Seeger had a long and productive career as a folk song leader and social activist.

In 1938, he settled in New York City and eventually met Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Aunt Molly Jackson, Lead Belly and others. Many of this group of musicians eventually formed the Almanac Singers in late 1940. The group performed for gatherings, picket lines, and any place they could lend their voices ... Read more in Amazon's Pete Seeger Store

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Medley: Robin The Bobbin/ Mary, Mary Quite Contrary/ Little Jack Horner (Album Version)0:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Album Version) 1:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Jackaro (Album Version) 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Never Wed An Old Man (Album Version) 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. John Brown's Body (Album Version) 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Going Across The Mountains (Album Version) 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Harry Simms (Album Version) 2:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. King Henry (Album Version) 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Medley: Ode To Joy/ Goliath Goliath (Album Version) 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Queen Anne Front (Album Version) 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Joe Hill's "Casey Jones" (Album Version) 1:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. One Grain Of Sand (Album Version) 1:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. The Pill (Album Version) 2:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Draft Dodger Rag (Album Version) 2:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Mao Tse Tung (Album Version)0:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Walking Down Death Row (Album Version) 3:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Two From Shakespeare: Full Fathom Five/ Perchance to Win (Album Version) 1:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Beans In My Ears (Album Version) 3:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Equinoxial (Album Version) 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Joe Hill's "Casey Jones" (Album Version) 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. What Next? (Album Version) 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description


Today, his politics may seem dated, but folk legend Pete Seeger has never sounded better than on this 21-track (three previously unreleased) set of "protest" tunes. Of course, the contentious Seeger found malfeasance everywhere, so this album is a loosely defined collection of love odes, lullabies, and folk ballads. It's an album of contrasts: the instrumental "Ode to Joy" blends into the spoken word of "Goliath, Goliath," while Phil Ochs's "The Draft Dodger Rag" is followed by a flute instrumental on "Mao Tse Tung." The banjo legend shines on upbeat numbers like "Harry Simms," the sweet "Queen Anne Front," and even on a cappella songs, like "One Grain of Sand." Sure, "Draft Dodger" may not have the same impact it did in '66, but when the minimalist Seeger belts out "Walking Down Death Row," the punch is timeless. --Jason Verlinde

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Is there anyone out there who remembers the 60s 23 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
JFK, Lyndon Johnson, The Establishment, The Vietnam War . . . Pete Seeger was a well-known artist/folksinger, his mother a composer of quality and renown. And when the era of hootenanny of the fifties and early sixties were gone, and Pete Seeger was no longer one of the Weavers, he challenged the American conscience with these "dangerous songs." And why dangerous? We must not forget that in an age of McCarthy and his witchhunts, people like Pete Seeger were in danger of being labeled communists and being persecuted whenever they gave a wake-up call to common sense, social responsibility and budding eco-awareness. One of the songs,DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI (thoughts are free) an adaptation of a song long used among German-speaking cultures (German, Austrian, Swiss, South Tirolean, German-speaking and -singing Jews) has been around since the 16th or 17thcentury (country or time of origin not entirely clear), needed only to be whistled or hummed to indicate to others that the whistler was a freedom-seeker.What a fine choice of a song to bring to the "silent majority" opposing war in general, and the Vietnam War in particular.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Been 5 Stars since 1966 4 Nov. 2001
By Mr. Michael Kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Pete's politics are hardly outdated. Anyone who thinks so never listened to "Dangerous Songs". making thr connection may be difficult for some and they are in the greatest danger.
Musically, they are as tuneful, musical, and provocative as all of Pete's performances. Buy It.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"My wish and desire, no one can deny me and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!" 29 Mar. 2013
By Annie Van Auken - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
After Red Channels named them as Communist sympathizers in 1950, Lee Hays of the Weavers took the fifth when he appeared before the HUAC and his partner in this pioneering folk quartet, Pete Seeger refused to even do that (on 1st Amendment grounds). Pete was convicted of contempt and placed under court ordered restrictions. There were additional punishments. DECCA deleted all Weavers recordings from the catalog, a broadcast ban against their songs was put in place and whatever concerts they arranged got disrupted by anti-Red protests.

The Weavers disbanded in 1952 but in Dec. '55 they reunited for a sold out Carnegie Hall show that was recorded by indie label VANGUARD, an LP that sold well. It took until a 1968 appearance on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR for Seeger to finally get beyond the broadcast ban. In that light and given the volatile times, it's surprising COLUMBIA was willing to issue his DANGEROUS SONGS!? (CL 2503/CS9303) album in '66, as some of its tracks were anti-Vietnam War.

The LP's premise is that songs of protest have existed for many centuries, and in some unusual forms.

The nursery rhyme "Robin the Bobbin" dates to Henry the Eighth's takeover of the Church of England. "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" is believed to be an expression of the Scots' disapproval of their Queen, her lavish court and French chef. Although very abstract, "Little Jack Horner" represents a man who in Henry's time testified against the elderly abbot of Glastonbury. As a reward, John Horner was given a portion of seized Church lands (his Xmas pie).

Published in the early 19th Century but dating to earlier times, "Thoughts Are Free," the German protest against censorship and political oppression was used by anti-Nazi Resistance members in WWII. (Pete says Hitler banned the song.) "Jackaro" and "Old Man" are from a time when marriages were arranged and lovers had no rights of choice. Seeger performs the latter with an Irish accent, although he's not certain of its origin. Using the Methodist hymn "Say Brother, Will You Meet Us on Canaan's Happy Shore," some of the Civil War's first African American troops (regiments from Maine) wrote the lyrics to "John Brown's Body."

"Going Across" is played on a fretless mountain banjo. This ballad from the Great Smokies was given to carpenter/tobacco farmer Frank Proffitt by his grandfather. It's the song of a mountain man who joins the Union Army. (Proffitt's grandpa also taught him Tom Dooley; Frank passed it on to folkies like the Kingston Trio.) Martyred coal miners organizer "Harry Simms" was honored by this song in 1932. Lyrics to "King Henry" are adapted from a Vietnam War soldier's letter home. He was killed just weeks later. "Ode to Joy" is a solo banjo melody borrowed from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. "Goliath, Goliath" is a nursery rhyme written in Feb. of '66. "Queen Anne Front" is about what became of great-grandpa's house after he was laid to rest.

Joe Hill's adaptation of "Casey Jones" is a circa WWI commentary on working conditions at San Diego's docks. "One Grain of Sand" is an a capella performance of a song about overpopulation. It has numerous lyrics, not heard here. On a related subject, "The Pill" was composed by Glasgow's Matt McGill, a man with a houseful of kids (22!) who doesn't want any more. Fellow Weaver Fred Hellerman plays guitar and harmonizes on Phil Ochs' witty anti-war ballad, "Draft Dodger Rag." Seeger plays "Mao Tse Tung" on an ocarina. His original "Death Row" was written New Year's Day, '66. The prison reference is allegorical. Pete wrote the tune for "Full Fontal" and composed the neo-Shakespearean "Perchance" poem. The gist of kids song "Beans" is that we don't listen to each other.

[0:36] Medley: Robin the Bobbin/ Mary, Mary Quite Contrary/ Little Jack Horner
[1:41] Die Gedanken sind frei (Thoughts Are Free) 1:52
[3:52] Jackaro
[2:24] Never Wed an Old Man
[1:50] John Brown's Body
[3:07] Going Across the Mountains
[2:04] Harry Simms
[3:26] King Henry
[1:51] Medley: Ode to Joy/ Goliath, Goliath

[3:28] Queen Anne Front
[1:57] Joe Hill's "Casey Jones"
[1:49] One Grain of Sand
[2:19] The Pill
[2:08] The Draft Dodger Rag
[0:35] Mao Tse Tung
[3:41] Walking Down Death Row
[1:39] Two from Shakespeare: Full Fathom Five/ Perchance to Win
[3:20] Beans in My Ears

Inspiring, Fascinating, Historically Important 7 Jan. 2014
By Dr. Jud Newborn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Pete Seeger - our great folk and protest singer - was blacklisted during the McCarthy era - and the effects continued throughout the turmoil of the '60s. This CD was his answer to those who try to shut the mouths of people 'speaking truth to power." He unearths the political content hidden in many songs, including old "nursery" rhymes - and offers a cross-section of terrific protest songs. My favorite: "Die Gedanken sind frei" ("Your Thoughts Are Free"), sung by German anti-Nazis among others. I use it as the theme song to my dramatic multimedia lecture program, THE WHITE ROSE STUDENT ANTI-NAZI RESISTANCE - AND HEROES IN THE FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TODAY - based on my book, "SOPHIE SCHOLL AND THE WHITE ROSE" here on amazon. Pete signed a copy of the song's sheet music for me. A great moment!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
the best thing about this album may be the liner notes 11 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Pete Seeger, refuting the charge that political songs are somehow dangerous, notes that all songs are political; all songs have a message, and the degree to which we object to them depends on our own political position. He has a great line, something like, "To a four year old, a lullaby is propaganda."
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