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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary Travers

Mary Travers, of the amazing group Peter, Paul, and Mary, has died.

Last year, I was to travel to Chicago with my mom to hear them sing. Mary was too sick and so the concert was cancelled. I was so disappointed and scared. Frightened that her strong voice was so suddenly silenced. I knew it had to be bad if Mary couldn't continue.

Her music meant so much to me. The rallying cry of peace activists, Peter, Paul, and Mary's music is timeless. I will listen, once again, today.

It's Young One's birthday, so I'm not going to post this until later. But, I will listen today. Mary's voice soothed my fussy baby, it calmed teething, and served as sweet lullabye. If I had a Hammer was one of the first songs my little guy sang. I'll never forget how he'd pound his fist as he sang it. We still listen in the car, on lazy Sunday afternoons, and when I'm feeling particularly political.

Their music, her music, has been a constant thread through my life.

My dad hummed, whistled, and sung Blowin' in the Wind throughout my childhood.

My mom sat with me after a terribly painful breakup of first love. We watched a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert on PBS. Their music helped me run out of tears. It healed me.

I stood up for myself for the first time, firmly defending my love of the group when it really wasn't cool to look beyond the hair bands of the 80s.

I feel, in a way, as if a close friend has died. I'm sure I'm not alone. Her strength, activism, and grace will be missed. Her music will live on.

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