Pete Seeger

During the summer of 1963, I had a job in Little Compton, Rhode Island as nanny to four children 10 and younger and housekeeper for a rich family, heirs to the Brooks Brothers men’s clothing franchise. (They owned a big house in Little Compton, as well as a New York City apartment and a farm near our home in Sandy Hook, Conn.) I received $25 per week plus room and board with Thursdays off. I also took Sunday mornings off to go to the Episcopal church a 10-minute walk from the house. The family went to Mass in the next town. One Sunday, there was an announcement that Pete Seeger would lead a singalong that night following a pot luck supper. He was to perform at the Newport Folk Festival that week and was staying mwith some other summer residents in Little Compton. I asked my employers if I could have the night off for the event and they agreed. I got the kids bathed and ready for bed and took off across lots for the church. After supper, Pete Seeger led the singing in the church basement. He sang a few songs accompanying himself on the banjo. Then he divided us into six groups – low bass to high soprano – and led the songs. I remember “Wimoweh” especially, but we sang for at least an hour. I was amazed how good we were harmonizing. Seeger would sing each group’s part and each group would try it out.
Now, at 94, Seeger has died. I’ll never forget how he just assumed everyone wanted to sing with him.

About mollymiron

Molly Miron is a retired newspaper editor and acreage manager.
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3 Responses to Pete Seeger

  1. Patt Rall says:

    What a wonderful memory to carry with you –I watched Pete Seeger on Sesame Street with my daughter and we sang along to the TV set–but you got to sing in person-Wow!

  2. Evan Hazard says:


  3. Aimee says:

    What a wonderful memory, Molly.

    We’ve been listening to Pete Seeger’s “Birds, Beasts, Bugs, and Fishes” since we fell in love with his “Foolish Frog” at a library story time in Iowa City. “Little Black Bull” is a family anthem, but lately I’ve been thinking more and more about “Old Blue.” It’s a sweet, sad song about the death of a favorite canine companion, Blue, and the last lyrics are so poignant: “When I get to Heaven/first thing I’ll do/I’ll take my horn and blow for Blue.”

    I wonder how many in Heaven came running last Monday to greet Pete.