Today’s Must Listen: Pete Seeger Singing ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’

Pete Seeger performing at the Clearwater Festival in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Pete Seeger performing at the Clearwater Festival in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The legendary singer, songwriter and activist Pete Seeger died on Monday at the age of 94. Scroll.in has a wonderful post on the multiple ways Seeger’s songs — particularly his civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” — influenced Indian and Bangladeshi popular and protest music.

But most interesting of all was this recording from Seeger’s 1963 visit to India in which he sings the classic bhajan “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.” While performing at the Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta, Seeger announced, “I’d like to sing you a song that I learned from two students from India who were studying in America a few years ago. I probably won’t sing it exactly right, but it’s been one of my favorite songs ever since.”

“If I sing it wrong, you just go ahead and help me out like it’s supposed to be,” he advised the audience before beginning. (I actually thought his pronunciation was pretty good, what do you think?)

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