I don't often comment on the passing of well-known personalities, but this time it feels like a personal loss. I grew up on the music of Peter, Paul and Mary. Their songs are so entangled with my youth, it's almost like a soundtrack to my memories. We sang their songs around the campfire - Lemon Tree, 500 miles, If I Had a Hammer, Puff the Magic Dragon.
We often speculated on the true meaning of Puff - did it refer to marijuana smoke, perhaps? - but I was lucky enough to meet Noel "Paul" Stookey when I was in college, and got the chance to ask him. He said that it was simply a song about the bittersweet experience of growing up, and wondered why we all had become so cynical. We are proud to include Stookey as a Maine resident. He and his wife live in Blue Hill, Maine and operate a recording studio out of their converted chicken coop.
My favorite Peter, Paul and Mary song is one of my go-to songs when I need a mood adjustment: Weave Me the Sunshine. It is on my Ipod, and my kids and I sing along with great abandon whenever we hear it.
Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine out of the fallin' rain!
Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow and fill my cup again!
I loved Peter, Paul and Mary for their thoughtful lyrics and expressed convictions, which they performed with such beautiful harmony. Stookey told me that the most important ingredient in their success was their deep love and respect for each other. It showed.
Rest in peace, Mary. And thank you.