First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger
Faber & Faber – 5 October 2017 (Hardback)
On October 5th, Faber & Faber will publish Peggy Seeger‘s autobiograohy – First Time Ever.
Talking to her newsletter readers Peggy said of the book “It’s been a long haul, taking me back through fields of daisies, mountain hikes, swamps, quick sands, weather of all sorts over 82 years. I started out by writing for Irene, my second life partner –then found out I was writing it for family, friends, workmates, myself and for you.”
In 2014, at the age of 79, Peggy Seeger released ‘Everything Changes’, her 22nd album, which many consider her finest yet and remarkably, the first album on which she had worked with co-writers and a band. The title track was penned for her mother and is ‘one of the most haunting folk tracks of 2014, capturing the hardened sadness that comes with old memories.’ We interviewed Peggy around the album release in which, talking about the song she said “My mother died when I was 18, and I wrote a poem for her…and I wrote a song for her. So this is the song. You become very much more aware of the passage of time as you get older. When the goalpost appears within your vision, which it has for me, you can either get very depressed and start writing, or you can start drinking,” she says. Everything Changes was recorded before her brother Pete’s passing, Peggy claims the song “might as well be for him too…all of the vanished people in your life.” Read the full interview here.
Sticking to her words of wisdom, she’s certainly been busy, it weighs in at 464 pages, complete with photos, footnotes…
Faber & Faber: Peggy Seeger is one of folk music’s most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics – they remain her lifeblood. After college, she travelled to Russia and China – against US advice – before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl. Together, they helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the influential Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan’s muse, she inspired one of the twentieth century’s most popular love songs, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’.
With a clear eye and generous spirit, Peggy writes of a rollercoaster life – of birth and abortion, sex and infidelity, devotion and betrayal – in a luminous, beautifully realised account.
A double CD to go with the memoir is also available to pre-order via Bandcamp: https://peggyseeger.bandcamp.com/album/first-time-ever-songs-from-a-memoir-double-cd
Tour Dates below:
Main photo by Vicki Sharp