Yesterday the world lost Mary Travers, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Some of my earliest musical memories are of the folk music my mother played when I was young. There's an irony in that now as she is now long detached from the political and social issues that was the nest from which the heart and words of folk music was nutured from and took flight.
But it settled somewhere in my soul as even now, many decades later, the earliest songs still can move me to anger and tears and joy.
It perhaps set the course for much of my musical selection forever after that. I was never one to mostly listen to music of love songs or pop silliness. Instead I wove my way up through John Denver, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, John McCutcheon, Pete Seeger, world music, Cat Stevens, and now Green Day and Steve Earle. Music that has something to say about more than just who broke who's heart.
Of course folk music isn't all about the world outside us, some of it is about what's inside us. I'll leave you with this video of a song that I sung as a child and to which William fell asleep to each night for several years in his childhood. It's a dated video, and doesn't highlight Mary as much as the entire trio, but I chose to share it because it focuses as much on how it affects the people listening (and singing along) as the singers themselves.
Thank you Mary, for the beautiful, the meaningful, the magical music.