"For me to hold an audience for an hour and 45 minutes of actual singing, you need a theatrical approach," she said.
The other way she knew was to simply stay in her comfort zone, to stick with her favorite modes of singing.
"But I'd put everybody to sleep," she added. "You have to know how to write those songs, how to choose them and how to sing them."
Not being comfortable has been part of who she is and is more than just a songwriting method. It extends to the kind of material she writes about. For a folksinger with a political bent, there is seldom a time when she can find nothing to write about, and right now there is plenty wrong with the world.
"Everything is breaking down," she said.
And Seeger said the problems could all be tied to overpopulation, stretched resources and the building disaster of global warming, which is a lot bigger than just the decline of spotted owls and polar bears.
"People won't try to save the polar bears or the spotted owls," she said. "But they will try to save their jobs. They will try to save their land and their children. Human beings will save themselves."
This, Seeger explained, is what she thinks is the root of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is now an international phenomenon. The system is coming apart. Jobs, homes and ways of life are being lost and so people are starting to push back.
"It's become much more than the brown-rice-and-sandals people," she said.
Seeger said she was looking forward to coming to the United States for a visit. She misses a lot of what's good about the American people.
"I miss the American accent," she said.
She's also looking forward to visiting Charleston. In 1972, future (hired in 1982) Charleston Gazette reporter Paul Nyden contacted MacColl and Seeger to write a song about the Buffalo Creek Disaster.
In 1972, an unsafe coal slurry impoundment dam burst and flooded the town of Buffalo Creek, killing 125 people.
"The song was based on a recording of the words of a woman named Lucy Chapman," Seeger explained. "I'm really looking forward to singing that song there in West Virginia."
Want to go?
FOOTMAD and "Mountain Stage" present Peggy Seeger
WHERE: Culture Center Theater
WHEN: 7 p.m. March 25
TICKETS: $20 at 800-594-TIXX; www.mountainstage.org; Ellen's Ice Cream, Charleston; or Fret-n-Fiddle, St. Albans
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.