17 September 2009

Take This Tune - Mary Travers

When I woke at 8:00 A.M. the morning of February 21, 1963, the first thing I saw while looking through the window was the space ship landing on the roof of the building next door complete with glowing lights and a pleasant humming sound. Now it had been a rough night, but I knew this was probably at least a small diversion from reality. The next thing I noticed was that I seemed to be missing a rather large protrusion on the anterior side of my anatomy. The little alien had been removed about two hours before, and I had a baby somewhere. The mists started to clear. Apparently, having a saddle block due to a breach birth delivery should come with the following warning: "Your thinking may be unclear. Do not make important decisions for 24 hours afterwards."

When the nurse noted that I was awake, they brought in the little alien to get acquainted. As I wrote in an earlier article, the radio in the room chose that instant to start playing, "Puff The Magic Dragon". It is now more than 46 years later, but every time I look at my son, I still hear Peter, Paul and the clear bell like voice of Mary Travers. They greeted him on his first day of life which makes me particularly sad that she is now gone.

Puff may have become something of a cliche, and it isn't may favorite of the PPM Canon which has many more powerful, lovely, or humorous songs, but it is the song attached to a very, very vivid memory and an event that has never ceased to bring me joy. So one more time for Christopher and Me, just to say goodbye to a seemingly lovely lady.


This Eclectic Life said...

She was a lovely lady, wasn't she? I wasn't all that fond of Puff The Magic Dragon, but I do remember crying while listening to it a few times. Somehow the loss of all our "demigods" is making mortality seem more of a reality!

Amy said...

I loved their music.

Linda said...

This is the song that I always associate with Peter, Paul, and Mary and I just loved it as a kid though it always made me so sad when they sing,

"A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave."

Still makes me tear up to this day.

Travis said...

This also wasn't one of my favorites, but I always appreciated their sound.