Late last night, just before shutting down my computer, I learned I had lost someone who was very important in my early life.
Mary Travers, one-third of the trio “Peter, Paul and Mary,” left us yesterday. She had battled leukemia for years, and I’m glad she’s no longer suffering. But oh, how I will miss her, and them together.
PP&M’s music is THE soundtrack to my childhood, and their songs were especially comforting during times of family upheaval. When things got loud and scary, my little sister would bring her albums into my room and we’d put them on my portable “close-and-play” style record player. We’d shut the door, crank up the volume, and for the length of an album side, we would feel safe and less stressed while we listened to their beautiful harmonies and uplifting songs.
Particularly — and why I’m posting here — we loved “Puff, The Magic Dragon.” It was the song that introduced me to the concept that an animal’s love could, indeed, make life wondrous and rewarding. It taught the lesson not to take for granted those whom you love, and who love you. And I will always be grateful for this ever-present spot of gentleness in a world that often feels like the tumble cycle in a dryer full of rocks.
I read a beautiful tribute to her this morning, and it moved me to want to post something of my own.
And so I will leave you with this video of the young trio singing “Puff.” The sound quality’s not as good as later versions, but this is the one I fell in love and grew up with. They’re all in great voice, with full octave ranges before they were ravaged by time and other influences. And don’t we all want to be remembered as our best selves?