Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers, 1936-2009

OK, confession time. Yes, I've always been a DFH policy-wise, but, until I started listening to Celtic music in the mid-90s, I HATED folk music with a purple passion. The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, pretty much all of it until I listened to Celtic music. I was raised on Motown, the Beatles and the Stones, thanks to the late great 89, WLS Chicago.

And still, other than Leaving on a Jet Plane, I never really cared for the music of Peter, Paul and Mary. However, I understand what they have meant to those who believe as we do and who are of a certain age (harumph!)

And so, I mourn the passing of Mary Travers, who passed away today at the age of 72. She was a talented singer and Lauren grew up with her music as well and loved it.

She stood up with her bandmates against the Vietnam War long before it was fashionable to do so, and her courage, as well as her singing, will long be remembered.


Tor Hershman said...

Did you ever view Mary, with P & P, singing "The Times They Are A-Changing"? It's at YouTube (Get the 60s version [black & white]) and she REALLY was puttin' all the feeling of person that REALLY believed things would get better and she is MOST spectacularly beautiful singing the number.

At moi's blog I have a parody of TTTAAC Dylan album

callmeishmael said...

Respectfully submitted to her passing, I would ask if she was equally willing to protest the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields (as George McGovern did eloquently) and forced collectivization of the Vietnamese government? Or did she and the others who correctly stood against our involvement either turn a blind eye to those murderous atrocities or, like Noam Chomsky, rationalize the Khmer Rouge's death toll by suggesting that the claim of millions of deaths in a three and a half year span was the creation of the Western media? Instead, he bloviated on, the actual death toll was only in the if that mattered to those whose family members were butchered in the name of Marxism, collectivatization and the culmination of history. Of course, Noam Chomsky still is received across intellectual circles as a"brilliant" social and literary analyst whose sophistry continues to be read by graduate students who are either too young, too ideologically enmeshed or too afraid to ask questions.

Steve Steffens said...

I'm sure that your rambling had much to do with the life of Mary Travers, CMI, thanks for sharing.

callmeishmael said...

How is it rambling to ask if her support for the least of these did not stop at the edges of ideology? Tyranny and dehumanization is tyranny and dehumanization, as Orwell reminds us. When the Left starts to acknowledge its own intellectual, moral and economic limitations, it might actually get somewhere. Until then--and I do not know if Ms. Travers did as Senator McGovern did in denouncing the Khmer Rouge--the Left will continue to rot in the hollowness of its own blindness and rigidity.

b.f. said...

In tribute to Mary, thought I'd post the following lyrics to the public domain "Woman of Experience" biographical folk song I wrote about her during the 1980s:

"Women of Experience"

She's a woman of experience
She's a woman who is strong
She's a woman of intelligence
And she likes to sing folk songs.

She was born in Old Kentucky
And raised in Bohemia
Her childhood was so lonely
But she found some joy in nature
Her parents taught her well
To always think for herself
And resist the Establishment
And that's why she sang folk. (chorus)

Around her was a crowd of rebels
Writers with words intense
Artists who hoped to change the world
And outfox the government
She rebelled against dumb authority
And refused to ape TV clones
Alienated and abandoned
She sang folk songs at home. (chorus)

She wandered in Washington Square
And sang along in the park
She read her quota of books
And sat in the coffeshops
She sang with a couple of men
And belted out her deep feelings
And fought for a better world
And they called her the "new folk queen." (chorus)

She's been through her family
And she's got some new lessons to share
And she's collected a lot of wisdom
And it's still fun to touch her hair
And she'll give you a passionate hug
And her spirit is still untamed
And she brings some love to the world
And sings folk songs in the middle of rain. (chorus)