In the many fine and valid tributes to Pete Seeger (Obituary, 29 January), insufficient attention is paid to what a superb musician and charismatic performer he was. His initial popularity and stature were based on the bedrock of this musicianship, and developed from there. In his early years as a performer he was compelling and exciting: fast, rhythmic banjo playing, strong, high voice, lots of body movement, and audience participation. In concerts with others, the audience would wait patiently through other good performers, and erupt when he took over. Same at Weavers concerts, where the numbers he led were always the highlights of their shows. Union meetings where he was booked drew far greater attendances than regular union hall meetings. I imagine most current scribes never saw him perform in 1940s and 50s America. I did. He was great. Joe Locker London 1/8 In 1962, when I was two, my family moved from London to the US for a year. We returned to London with Pete Seeger's album We Shall Overcome: The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert. I sang these songs in the school playground while other children sang English nursery rhymes. I loved the melodies, but it wasn't until I reached my teens that I began to understand the lyrics. Of all the childhood, pop and folk songs I have heard, Seeger's have made the greatest impression. There is a quality to his voice that hits the heart, tear ducts and vocal chords. I have sung Guantanamera in Cuba , marched to We Shall Overcome at demonstrations, and cried to Where Have all the Flowers Gone at the celebration of a life lost. Sian Williams London * Shame on Billy Bragg (Seeger taught that songs are more than just records, 29 January) for not knowing the English version of This Land is Your Land. In the late 1940s Princess Elizabeth could be heard singing this lullaby to baby Charles: This land is your land, this land is my land, From Devon and Cornwall to the Canvey Island , From the Kielder Forest to the Romney Marshes, This land was made for you and me. Peter Taylor Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear * Billy Bragg uses "working class" in relation to Pete Seegers' sad passing in the context of an exclusive club. Seeger came from anything but a working class family. And he went to Harvard . He was proud of both. I'm not working class and enjoy both Seeger and Bragg - Is that all right, Billy? Is that allowed? Thank God we Irish don't have a strict class system. Peter Fitz Gerald Bandon, West Cork, Ireland
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