• subscribe
  • Search
  • LISTEN: Peggy Seeger,
    Sign Up For Weekly Dispatch
    Get the best of BGS delivered to your inbox.
    We Respect Your Privacy
Roots Culture Redefined

Header Main

Place Ads

LISTEN: Peggy Seeger, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Mar 31, 2023

LISTEN: Peggy Seeger,

Artist: Peggy Seeger
Hometown: Oxford, England
Song: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
Release Date: March 28, 2023
Label: Red Grape Music

Editor’s Note: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was written for Peggy Seeger by her then-estranged lover Ewan MacColl in early 1957. He sang it down a crackling transatlantic phone line to Peggy who had returned to the United States, unwilling to continue an affair with a married man. That was the only time he ever sang the song, now considered one of the greatest love songs of all time. The final verse is often recorded by others as “I knew our joy would fill the earth”; Seeger poignantly sings the original lyric: “I thought our joy would fill the earth and last till the end of time.”

In Their Words: “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. 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.” — Peggy Seeger

(Read our BGS Artist of the Month interview with Peggy Seeger.)

Photo Credit: Vicki Sharp

Suggested Reads

Sitewide Footer Banner

LISTEN: Peggy Seeger,
LISTEN: Peggy Seeger,