Listal is missing what I actually have-- what I got in OG is actually not a compilation album but a "reprint" edition I guess of their first, 1962 album-- "Peter Paul and Mary". (I think they actually had Peter over here a few weeks ago, but I missed out on that.) That (middle-aged) guy at the store was actually nice this time, politely asking if I like the oldies, instead of getting all sour and implying that I make baby Jesus and Pete Seeger cry by excluding people. Which I try not to. And I figure that since yesterday I listened to club music in the club in AP, and then got home and listened to "Blind Faith" which is like club music, that I must be getting my musical diversity thing in, maybe. (Since technically, something *can* be both-- c.f. the Folk Den.)
But anyway. This is pretty cool stuff. It's even more folk-tastic than the Beach Boys ("Inside outside, USA; Inside outside USA...."), and much better and cooler than the patriotic parade, although that was okay. ("Peace, love, USA.") It's also interesting that this is a (1) an old (1962) album that didn't get sliced and diced into a greatest hits thing, and (2) it's a folk album that reached the top of the charts-- the history of the Byrds, for example, (and I used to be able to channel those guys, obsessively), shows how little actual popularity the lore of the folk can have with the people, sometimes. It depends.
But anyway, Peter Paul and Mary are surely the face of the folk that we like to see representing us. They're very quiet. They can even sing about Sampson without getting too excited or anything. They believe in peace and love. They're a mixed group, and also, in a folk kind of way, I guess, subtly show (on the album cover, see) that gentlemen and ladies are a little different. And they believe in peace and love-- see, peace, and see, love. It's a little hard to explain it.
And maybe the best way in which they're folk is in the most general way, in how they are as people-- they take common English names: Peter, Paul, and Mary, and make them good, maybe not unlike that other band, not technically a folk band, although they're as common as garden fairies now, who did the same for the common English names, John, Paul and George. (Although, incidentally, since "Please Please Me" didn't come out until 1963, this time we had the British beat out by a year in terms of antiquity.)
Anyway, it's basically an average album, but one that I enjoy-- like "Blonde on Blonde" by Bob Dylan or "Fearless" by Taylor Swift, sometimes it's certainly good enough to be decently good. (And those two albums only come to mind for an incidental reason, that I had to re-enter on listal here because I'd forgotten I actually have the CDs-- nevermind.)
So it's "a common tale but true"-- "Lemon Tree". Which again reminds me of the Byrds, who could sing about miners being blown from the depths of the earth into the skies, ("The Bells of Rhymney"), without sounding even vaguely distressed, so too Peter Paul and Mary sing about love that cannot be fulfilled, fruit that cannot be eaten, in "Lemon Tree", without becoming bitter at all.
So if I do like oldies, and I guess I do, although not exclusively, it must be things like that, that draw me.
So, there's certainly a lot more to Peter, Paul, and Mary than "If I Had A Hammer", ("Lemon Tree" was also a single), just like there's more to the Byrds than the "Turn! Turn! Turn!" song, but it's still pretty cool because like guys like Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, they seeped into the culture of the folk and made that 60s part of things happen.
So yeah, they did do a pretty good job.
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