Mary of Peter, Paul, and Mary

I just read that Mary of Peter, Paul, and Mary has passed away at the age of 72.

My mom used to play their music on the piano, particularly “Puff, the Magic Dragon” and “Blowing in the Wind.” My brother and sister liked the “Puff” song, and my sister had the book of the animated movie. And one of my classmates liked to sing “Blowing in the Wind.” So did Gomer Pyle, as well as the Keaton kids, who made fun of the 60’s.

I guess I’ve mostly found myself acting like the Keaton kids: making fun of the music of the 60’s, even though I like its tune. And there’s a part of me that’s always viewed the 60’s with disdain, with its intolerant liberalism, its blowing up of buildings, its free sex, etc.

I’m not sure why I’m so “nostalgic” (if you can call it that, since I didn’t exactly live back then!) about the 1960’s right now. Maybe it’s because I just read Frank Schaeffer’s Crazy for God, and he describes his father Francis as a Christian thinker who could identify with the youth of the 1960’s, with their rejection of their parents’ “bourgeois” values that appeared to them to be hollow and inauthentic (though their parents would undoubtedly call that “making a living”). Or it may be because of all the shows I’ve watched about the 60’s, about the soldiers who fought in Vietnam, those who tried to dodge the draft, and the numerous other people living their lives in that turbulent period. I admire the soldiers, but I can’t really blame those who didn’t want to die in Vietnam, especially considering that we lost that war. This hits home to me whenever I watch ABC’s This Week and see the names of those who died each week in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers with families and friends. I hope these wars turn out to be for something.

The 60’s were a time when people of the younger generation were concerned about causes greater than themselves, yet they were also a time of seeking pleasure with a complete disregard for consequences. Drugs and free sex are examples of the latter.

One of the articles I read about Mary said that the group’s music was popular throughout America, even among those who weren’t radical–the types Nixon called the “Silent Majority.” There’s a part of me that enjoys controversy and debate. But I also like to see bridges that bring people together, allowing people to interact on a human level regardless of their religion or politics.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to Mary of Peter, Paul, and Mary

  1. I’ve always been pretty conservative and I loved so many of PP&M’s songs – the social ones – that made me think we could really do something to make a difference.


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Yeah, there seems to be a lot in them about personal growth as well: becoming a man, Puff being about the loss of innocence, etc.


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