Saturday, September 19, 2009

RIP Mary Travers

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary Travers died earlier this week from complications from chemotherapy. I'm not exactly sure why, but her death has completely taken me out of commission. Of all the "celebrity" deaths this year, I find myself the most sad over her passing. And I can't exactly place why that is. I didn't grow up in the 60s, I was definitely not a part of the emerging folk scene, wasn't alive during the civil rights movement, yet I am totally shaken by her death.

Peter Paul & Mary had the best harmonies of any folk group, period. They sang songs (mostly) about justice and civil rights. Even though I wasn't alive during their hay-day, I still grew up on their music. Their music is comfort music to me. I remember my mom singing their songs to me when I was little. I visibly remember singing along to their take on Tom Paxton's "Marvelous Toy" when I was 5. As I grew older and started exploring music on my own, I dove head first into the old folk my mom was so into. And I always came back to PP&M, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan.

Mary had such a powerful and beautiful voice that was completely complimented my Peter Yarrow and Noel "Paul" Stookey. Their take on Dylan's songs "Blowing in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice it's Alright," Seeger's "If I had a Hammer," and Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" are mesmerizing. My attempt to surprise my mom with tickets to see all three of them live fell through, and I totally and completely regret not making it happen.

Travers stood up for those whose voice couldn't be heard. She was graceful and honest in her fight against the leukemia that eventually took her life. I keep watching Peter, Paul & Mary's performance in Washington in 1971 at the big protest against the Vietnam War, and I wonder why that's not being done now for Iraq and Afghanistan. The Untied States lost a true fighter for peace and justice. I can only hope that someone from my generation picks up the slack.

RIP Mary. You will be missed.
Early Morning Rain - Peter, Paul & Mary (boxstr)

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Anonymous said...

Nice tribute. Thanks from a friend of Mary's, someone who raised their kids on this music as you were, who endured the struggles that PP&M foought against, and who is grieving this week.


Anonymous said...

very nice tribute. i was raised on their music too and am so so sad about her passing. thanks for the wonderful words.

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