Eyes of a Friend

Life with companion animals

Mary Travers – her voice will live on

Peter, Paul, & Mary were the first musical group that I ever saw in concert. I was in college and they came to perform right on campus. I already loved their music, but when I watched them sing, talk, and joke in concert, I learned the difference between singers and performers. I also fell in love with them, and have continued that love for over 47 years.

I visited the Peter Paul and Mary website just a few weeks ago to see if there was any update on her condition, and didn’t find any new tours listed. It worried me some, but didn’t stick with me long.  When I visited CNN’s homepage this morning, I was shocked to see that Mary had died.

Entertainment Weekly wrote the following

“…Peter, Paul and Mary played a crucial role in helping the folk-music scene become a mass popular movement in the early 1960s. They couldn’t have done it without Mary Travers’ clear, expressive vocals. A gifted interpreter of others’ songs, she was the principal reason why the trio’s covers of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” were arguably better-loved than the originals. Harmonizing on silly kid’s tunes like the classic “Puff the Magic Dragon” one minute, playing for social justice at the historic March on Washington another — both in the year 1963 — Travers, along with bandmates Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, epitomized something about that transformative era…”

Even better are some of the album liner notes from their first album –
…there seems to be something optimistic, something encouraging about this whole musical experience. Peter, Paul and Mary’s first album is bright with enthusiasm. No gimmicks. There is just something GOOD about it all. Good in the sense of Virtue, that is. And the news that something this GOOD can be as popular as this is can fill you with a new kind of optimism. Maybe everything’s going to be all right. Maybe mediocrity has had it. Maybe hysteria is on the way out. One thing for sure in any case: Honesty is back. Tell your neighbor.”

I think Mary lived long enough to see some progress made (how many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man? ) with the election of Barack Obama and the generally harmonious intermingling of people of color at work and play. There’s still mediocrity, there’s still hysteria — lot’s of it, but optimism has made its way back also. Mary and Peter and Paul always inspired me to do better although I wasn’t as brave as they. It was easier to just listen to them passionately sing the words, and believe that the words would make things better. Her voice especially made things better for me – I replayed her parts of “Hurry, Sundown” hundreds of times  (listen to youtube video below) where she sang beautifully and passionately

“Hurry down, sundown, get thee be gone,
Get lost in the sunrise, of a new dawn.
Hurry down, sundown, take the old day,
Wrap it in new dreams, send it my way!
Send it my way!
Send it my way!

I always liked the idea of the old tired day being wrapped in new dreams and sent my way the next morning — that is what Hope is all about…

The music industry remembers Mary Travers

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Donnie the rescued Doberman – artist or ?

I’ve seen this a couple of times, and have no idea how to explain his behavior other than to say it is planned. That in itself is fascinating, as are the thoughts that you can allow to run through your mind as you wonder why he does it.

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