Friday, September 18, 2009

RIP Mary Travers: 1936-2009

Seems like everyone is dying this year.

They used to introduce themselves at the beginning of their sold-out concerts thusly:

"Hi. I'm Peter. But I'm not an apostle."

"And I'm Paul. But I'm not an apostle."

"And I'm Mary. But I'm not a vir.."

And then the driving guitars would interrupt her.

"If I had a hammer." "Where have all the flowers gone?" "Puff the Magic Dragon." And, always, "Blowin' In The Wind."

"If I Had A Hammer" was written by Pete Seeger, but is synonymous with Peter, Paul & Mary.

The American Civil Rights Movement had a lot of friends, but it never had a better one. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King delivered a speech that will always be remembered. "I have a dream", he said. On those sames steps that day, PP&M sang Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind." Those who have seen that old B&W video of Dr. King and the preliminaries will remember Mary defiantly punching the air with her fist as she sang. Commitment. We shall overcome.

If Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger were America's conscience, PPM were the enforcers. You couldn't shut them up. But they are silent now forever.

Mary Travers had battled leukemia for quite some time. She died in Danbury, Connecticut Wednesday, from the side-effects of chemo-therapy.

Goodbye, Mary.

2 comments:

A. said...

It's all very sad, but when you start noticing so many deaths of people you know, I think you'll find it's a function of being a certain age.... I fully intend to reach a century, so don't start watching me yet a while.

Stephanie B said...

They were songs that meant something. You don't hear songs that mean something nearly so often any more.

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