Tonight I ask, where have all the flowers really gone? Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away Wednesday night, at the age of 72, from leukemia at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.
The trio became one of the most successful folk music groups, singing classics like "500 Miles", "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Blowin' in the Wind", The Times They Are A-Changing", and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" They also performed the epic song of an era and a cause "If I Had a Hammer" at the 1963 March on Washington, DC, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech was delivered. Peter, Paul and Mary also won five Grammys and had 13 Top 40 hits. Their songs crossed generations. "Puff, the Magic Dragon" often said to have veiled messages about drugs and marijuana, they admitted long ago what it really was about...A DRAGON! And children know and cherish this song to this day.
"This old guitar taught me to sing a love song
It showed me how to laugh and how to cry
It introduced me to some friends of mine
And brightened up some days
It helped me make it through some lonely nights,
Oh, what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night"
John Denver, also gone now, made a hit some years later of a song he wrote but Peter, Paul and Mary sang first and had a hit with ‘Leaving On a Jet Plane”, one of my favorites.
The words say so much to many but especially to me and especially tonight. My guitar and the music associated with it- the music of Denver, and Joan Baez, but mostly Peter, Paul, and Mary spoke to me in those years and in years since and until this very day. Their music taught me how "to laugh and how to cry". And tonight I cry. I cry for a loss of a great lady who meant so much to so many. But I also know her music will live on and that has to bring us all some peace as peace is what Mary advocated all her life and would want that to be her legacy.
“Now the time has come to leave you
One more time let me kiss you
Then close your eyes, Ill be on my way.
Dream about the days to come"