Photo credit: Anthony Pepitone

Here’s five of the best songs from that most neglected of genres, folk!

Peggy Seeger – Gonna be an Engineer

This original feminist anthem makes the listener laugh with the catchy lyrics about a tomboy-turned-engineer not content with the path laid out for her. Written in 1972, the themes of the splitting of housework, femininity and equality in the workplace are worryingly familiar in 2015. Regardless of the politics, you could never find a more hummable hit!

The Byrds – Turn Turn Turn

The Byrds – more famous for their 1965 song ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ – brought this Pete Seeger song to international recognition. The lyrics are a reworking of the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes, but resonate with a modern audience due to their timeless theme of enjoying life’s diversity and appreciating the moment you are in.

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind

Is it a protest song? Is it an existential reflection on the meaning of peace and journeys of the individual growth? Whatever you think, it’s one of the most successful folk songs ever written and one of the first pieces of every aspiring folk guitarist.

Pete Seeger -We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger’s famous protest song is originally thought to have come from the African-American composer Tindley’s gospel song. Today, it’s better known for its involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and more controversially as a football anthem. The message of empowerment and uprising cannot fail to inspire you for the day if you have a listen while you scoff your cornflakes!

Joni Mitchell – The River

Taken from her 1971 album ‘Blue’, this was to become one of Mitchell’s most famous songs. The hauntingly simple melody and sweet lyrics mean that it has been covered by everyone from Michael Ball to Sara Bareilles and from Charlotte Church to Robert Downey, Jr.. Familiar to a modern listener because of its use in the Emma Thompson storyline of Love Actually, it’s as unforgettable as it is sad.

Musical diversity made the UK’s music scene what it is today. What’s your favourite genre?