Godspeed, Mary Travers

16 Sep

The musical soundtrack in my house growing up was decidedly eclectic. My dad, a trombone player through college, loved Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. We had all the record soundtracks of all the great musicals of the era as well, and I still know all the words to “Oklahoma,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “My Fair Lady.” My mom leans a little country, so I could also sing every single song on Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

As for Dylan and The Beatles and Rolling Stones, not so much. My parents were three-times a week churchgoers and Sunday school teachers. When we went on family road trips, we packed hymnals to sing in the car. 

But we did have Peter, Paul & Mary records. I was singing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” when I was young enough to think it really was about flowers. And Mary Travers, and alto like I am, showed me sometimes, the beauty is in the supporting harmony.

She fought for harmony and peace in this country as well — an end to the war in Vietnam, a victory in the war against Civil Rights. Perhaps I picked those sensibilities up while singing along as well.

Grateful tonight, hearing of her passing, for both gifts. Godspeed, Mary.

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5 Responses to “Godspeed, Mary Travers”

  1. Lee Dunkelberg September 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    Yes, godspeed lovely lady. Thanks for all the memories and all the good you did.

  2. plato's nemesis September 17, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    Ah yes, I remember it well.

  3. Elizabeth September 17, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    This gets me every single time. I love her for what she stands for, for her unmatched voice. My parents played these records for us relentlessly and I have done the same for my kiddos, except on CDs. Thank you for putting this video up and for writing this tribute.

  4. Aunt Becky September 17, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Totally mourning her today. Godspeed, indeed.

  5. Fran Stephenson September 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    I think your parents and mine were related! Musicals plus Peter, Paul and Mary then throw in Woody Guthrie. My mom should have been a hippie but she was kinda busy with childcare.

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