RELEASE
1964
LABEL
CBS Records
GENRES
Folk, Traditional Folk, Folksongs, Political Folk, Folk Revival

Album Review

Strangers and Cousins is Pete Seeger's sixth album released by Columbia Records, and it is his sixth consecutive live album for the label. Like its predecessor, and unlike the four LPs that came before them, it has been assembled from multiple sources, not a single concert. "Songs From His World Tour," reads a legend on the front cover, and on the back Seeger reveals that Columbia wanted to call the disc Pete Seeger: An International Tour. Seeger took his family on a round-the-world trip from August 1963 to June 1964, visiting 24 countries and performing frequently, although it was not a concert tour, per se, and there are recordings here taken from the trip -- "Sourwood Mountain" finds Seeger in India, demonstrating the sound of the banjo to sitar player Imrat Khan, while the cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" is from Japan, where each line is followed by a translator's rendering of the words in Japanese. For the most part, however, these are recordings made by Seeger after he returned, the songs coming from various places (and not necessarily collected on this trip), including Scotland (Matt McGinn's humorous "Manura Manyah"), the Soviet Union ("May There Always Be Sunshine"), Eastern Africa ("Malaika"), Germany ("Peat Bog Soldiers," a song from a World War II concentration camp), India ("Ragaputi"), Ireland ("Kevin Barry"), and Poland ("Shtille Di Nacht," another World War II era song). Seeger's own compositions are consistent with the international theme, starting with the leadoff track, "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread," about the "rainbow design" the singer would weave to bring the world together, continuing with "All Mixed Up," about the racial intermingling of all peoples, and concluding on a massive singalong of his hit "If I Had a Hammer," which he reclaims from the "rock ‘n' roller" (he means Trini Lopez) who took it around the world. On this musical trip, thus, Seeger makes many of his usual stops, promoting international understanding and deploring war in its many varieties, and getting his audiences to sing with him.
William Ruhlmann, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Oh, Had I a Golden Thread
  2. Manura Manyah
  3. May There Always Be Sunshine
  4. Malaika
  5. Peat Bog Soldiers
  6. Ragaputi
  7. Sourwood Mountain
  8. All Mixed Up
  9. Kevin Barry
  10. Shtille Di Nacht
  11. Masters of War
  12. Talking Atom Blues (Old Man Atom)
  13. Uh, Uh, Uh
  14. If I Had a Hammer