It is a simple song to learn or teach for chords and catchy tune. Not a lot of vocal range or skills required. One true verse with a few interchangeable parts. Very meaningful lyrics with a lot of symbolism to say more than just words can say. Very vivid imagery. Tells a story based on a simple concept and closes it all off. Works great with just the singing, one instrument, without drums, or any number of instruments, and in pretty much any style you’d like to perform it. Sounds even better performed in a group. I’m not sure what else you’d want in a song.
My tabbed version is closest to the version by the Kingston Trio in the video below (minus all the picking as I try to keep things simple).
Otherwise, I’d have posted a version sung by Pete Seeger himself like this one
This one by Peter, Paul and Mary, with instructions to the audience as they sing it is nice, too.
I hope you will give the song a try if you haven’t already played it.
These tabs all fit on one page to avoid the inconvenience of page turns. However, the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) may be too small for your eyes. If so, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Readability Level: 5.3