- 28 Mar 23
The song was originally written by Seeger's ex-partner Ewan MacColl, who sang it to her down a crackling transatlantic phone line in 1957.
American folk singer Peggy Seeger has recently released a new version of her song 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. The face sung about is Peggy Seeger's own, as the song was originally written for and about Seeger by her partner Ewan MacColl. Even though Seeger is now 87 years old, the folk musician still writes, records and tours with full passion.
The song went on to achieve worldwide recognition after Roberta Flack shared her chart-topping and Grammy-winning cover version of the song. In its history, the song has been covered over 1,000 times, including new interpreted versions by Elvis and Johnny Cash, James Blake, and even Miley Cyrus.
Speaking about the numerous existing cover versions of the track, Seeger says: "I love hearing all the different ways that singers make the song their own. It’s testament to the universal story and the brilliant storytelling - it’s deceptively simple yet so powerful."
Listen to Peggy Seeger's new version of 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' below:
The new version comes with a simple but moving piano and reflects on the memory of overwhelming love, which now is tempered with a deep and mature knowledge of its fragility and fleetingness. As a result, the final verse of the song "I knew our joy would fill the earth", now goes by "I thought our joy would fill the earth and last till the end of time."
Speaking about her new version, Peggy Seeger notes: "I've had two life partners, one male and one female, and I have three children and 9 grandchildren. I've come to realise that the lyrics can be interpreted in so many ways. Ewan wrote the tune to mimic the heartbeat of someone wildly in love and I used to feel like a soaring bird when I sang this song. Now I'm grounded within it and that makes me happy."
The first time Seeger listened to 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' was when her then-estranged partner Ewan MacColl sang it to her down a crackling transatlantic phone line in 1957. At this time, Seeger had returned to the USA, unwilling to continue an affair with a married man. According to Seeger, that was the only time MacColl ever sang the song, which is now considered one of the greatest love songs of all time.
- Film & TV
- 30 Mar 23