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Peter, Paul, and Mary

          There is only one river. There is only one sea. And it flows through you, and it flows through me. There is only one people. We are one and the same. We are all one spirit. We are all one name.” – Peter Yarrow

          “All of us are subject to being passive to the social ills around us. It’s a struggle not to become, by staying silent, an accomplice.” — Mary Travers.

          “You have to put your body on the line from time to time in order to make a statement or change a law. – Paul Stookey

Peter, Paul, and Mary in the 1960s. — Wikimedia photo

Tribute Concert

          I’m not a musical person, couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it. I don’t listen to music around the house on a regular basis, and never listen to music while driving behind the wheel of a car, and never, never when walking. I do, however, occasionally enjoy a concert or start my day by listening to one special piece of music – like Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries or Helen Reddy’s I am Woman.

MacDougal Street West Band

But Peter, Paul and Mary’s music sings in my soul. I got hooked on the folk trio back in the ’60s when they were singing about peace and love during Vietnam, Nixon, draft dodgers, LSD, bra-burnings, free love and Watergate. At the beginning of the ’60s, I was a stay-at-home wife changing the diapers of five children. At the end of the ’60s, I was a reporter interviewing a mother whose son was killed in Vietnam.

I think of myself as a hippie flower child, although I was ever only one in my head. I didn’t smoke, or even drink back then, and I’ve always been too addicted to being in control of myself to ever do drugs.

But the music of Peter, Paul, and Mary made me feel as if I was one of the actual protestors against war and hate and for peace and love. It still does.

It especially did last night when I attended the MacDougal Street West’s Peter, Paul and Mary tribute concert at the Gaslight Theater here in Tucson. I was time-machined back more than a half-century, and for some strange reason, I couldn’t stop smiling through the entire two-hour performance.

The tears only came as the singers belted out: If I Had a Hammer. I had waited for this one song the entire performance and thought I was going to go away disappointed. It was the closing verse that undid me.

“I got a hammer, And I’ve got a bell. And I’ve got a song to sing
All over this land.

It’s the hammer of justice. It’s the bell of freedom. It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land. All over this land…”

Bean Pat: Thank you MacDougal Street West http://macdougalstreetwest.com/ for carrying on the work of Peter, Paul and Mary of whom David Halberstam said: “Theirs is not just music that brings back memories of another time and place, but music as history itself.” – David Halberstam.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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