Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mary Travers 1936-2009

Mary Travers, the beautiful lead singer of folk trio Peter Paul & Mary, died yesterday. Her NY Times obit is here.

There are one or two songs that stick in one's mind from early childhood and evoke warm and gooey feelings. My father wasn't a fan of pop, but he had a soft spot for Peter, Paul and Mary. I remember sitting next to him in the car on Saturday mornings, driving home from Berkhamsted market and he'd sing "Blowin' in the Wind." I'm not sure he knew it was a war protest song, but he sang it anyway with a strange, sweet urgency.

Best for me was "Leavin' on a Jet Plane," a song I first heard aged about 5 and which I've listened to this morning on a loop, sitting in the kitchen before the sun rises. It's the kind of song that people would sing at parties, late into the night, and we'd hear them from our beds upstairs, when we were supposed to be sleeping. Every time my parents went away it played my head.

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me

Hold me like you'll never let me go

cause I'm leavin on a jet plane

Don't know when Ill be back again

Oh babe, I hate to go

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