If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle
Distilled from hundreds of recordings made for Folkway Records in the late '50s and early ‘60s, this 24-track album emphasizes Pete Seeger’s role as an agent for social change. If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle is divided into sections dealing with “unions and labor,” “peace,” “civil rights,” and “hope.” Highlights include the original 1956 versions of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” as well as a previously unreleased take of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Besides his own compositions, Seeger applies his ringing tenor and trademark banjo and guitar strums to everything from timeless organizing ballads like “Which Side Are You On” and “Solidarity Forever” to brooding antiwar tunes like “Crow on the Cradle” and inspiring anthems like “Study War No More.” Of special note are “We’ll All Be A-Doubling” and “Arrange and Rearrange,” a pair of tracks recorded by Seeger with family and friends in 1998. Though it lacks such ‘60s-era signature songs as “Bells of Rhymney” and “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” this collection reflects the breadth and depth of Seeger’s music and his unshakable commitment to human freedom and dignity.