On the path of glory (or, rest in peace, Mary)

Mary TraversAfter almost 33 years, I can still remember, quite vividly, actually, the first time I heard Peter, Paul and Mary sing one of their most memorable and well-known songs, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

I sat captivated by the unique sound and joyous harmony of three very talented folk singers.

Today, sadly, one of these voices is now silent.

Mary Travers, of the group Peter, Paul and Mary passed away September 16, 2009 after a courageous battle with lukemia. She was only 72.

She never knew me personally, nor I her, but I feel like I came to know her and her fellow singers through their music. Our politics were as divergent as anything, but music can bridge almost any gap. It did for me, anyhow.

I admired her principled zeal and tireless work for the many social causes which she and her trio embraced and supported. Her music transcended politics and embraced her love of all humanity.  Her passing has a left a hole in my heart and in the soul of  the America she loved dearly.

And so today–almost 33 years since I first heard her melodious voice and a charming tale of innocence lost–I feel a deep sense of personal loss and a realization that my childhood friend is now gone.

God be with you, Mary. Rest in peace.

8 thoughts on “On the path of glory (or, rest in peace, Mary)

  1. Peter, Paul, and Mary is one of the few concerts that I have been to. I watch a documentary on PBS about their music and activism (which really was all one in the same) and I felt inspired, though I also cried. Leftist folk does that to me. I loved the music and the politics. Thanks Brian.

  2. Thank you Brian. I am also a fan of PP&M. I went to one of their concerts with my Dad as a teen. Everyone else was into disco, I liked hippie music. Here is a good youtube video showcasing their appeal and message. It was on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with Donavon and Jennifer Warrens. PP&M had a gift in involving the audience in their performances. Also watching this video makes me smile as I remember people really did dress like this when i was a kid. :)
    Enjoy!

  3. I hadn’t yet heard, Brian. Thank you. Folk music is so direct and has a way of making you feel you and the singer know each other, doesn’t it? Only two weeks ago I saw an ancient Jack Benny program with the very young Peter, Paul and Mary — they were funny, as well as earnest. I loved their music.

  4. @JA Benson

    That video was just what I needed, thank you.

    There have been many afternoons where I feel like I have reached my absolute limit. In moments like these, I often listen to or watch You Tube videos of my favorite Peter, Paul and Mary songs. When I heard of Mary’s passing, it felt like I had lost a dear friend. I have been in a melancholy all morning.

  5. “Folk music is so direct and has a way of making you feel you and the singer know each other, doesn’t it?”

    Ardis, that is so very true.

  6. Yeah, I was into hippie music, not disco, during the 1970s. I don’t regret spending my time listening to PP&M, James Taylor, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkle rather than the BeeGees.

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