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Baker's Dozen

What I’m Aiming For: Peggy Seeger’s Favourite Music
Amah-Rose Abrams , May 19th, 2021 10:18

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Peggy Seeger guides Amah-Rose Abrams through favourite records from Paul Simon, Norah Jones, Tom Paxton.. plus! Flanders & Swann!

Peggy Seeger’s life as a songwriter, singer and vital part of the history of folk music spans well over half a century, from her debut album Folksongs Of Courting And Complaint in 1955 to this year’s record The First Farewell. As part of the Seeger folk music dynasty, Seeger’s life and family are steeped in musical history. In addition to her many solo records, she also released collaborative albums with then-husband Ewan McColl, who famously wrote the classic song ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ about her. Together they created the Radio Ballads, a radical folk music reportage series of BBC Radio documentaries that gave musical voice to the working classes on the BBC for the first time.

Seeger keeps things in the family to this day, with son Callum a key collaborator and presence on The First Farewell. The new record tackles some serious topics, including male suicide and human trafficking but as Seeger says it also has some light in it. Speaking to her now you get the sense that she enjoys being seen in her own right as she expresses her excitement at choosing her Baker’s Dozen for The Quietus. “This is the first time anybody's asked me to do this,” she says over Zoom. “Some of them just want to talk about Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax and Ewan McColl rather than ask me what I think.” So, here are Peggy Seeger’s 13 current favourite records.

Peggy Seeger plays Cecil Sharp House on 27th May, in person tickets have sold out but you can watch via a livestream – ticket information can be found here. The First Farewell is out now. Click the image of Peggy Seeger below to begin reading her Baker's Dozen selection