Back in the day, before music videos, before CDs, even before 8-Track Tapes (if you owned one, fess up now – I never did) there was Puff the Magic Dragon and Peter, Paul and Mary. All drug culture references aside (I was too young to know of such things) the song became one of my first stories. Having memorized every word of every verse, I pondered the name “Jackie Paper,” wondered about the land called “Honah Lee” (had to be some Hawaiian island) and couldn’t quite figure out what was so special about “string and sealing wax.”
But the remaining details of this mystical song were clear in my mind. As clear as a favorite fairy tale.
With several guitar-picking siblings in the house, I grew up with folk music. And those songs make for some of the richest story-telling in my childhood. What better way to pass down a story if not in song?
I developed great passion for not only the stories – would Charlie ever get off the MTA? (The Kingston Trio)
– but also the questions – Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (Seeger)
– and the promises.
I’m so grateful to these folk masters, the stories they sang and legacy they left us.
RIP Mary Travers.
Very wise, miss jean.<br />I've been thinking the same thing about all the country songs both my daughters listen to. They tell a whole story – and a moving one at that – in just a few verses.<br />Another folk/oldie that comes to mind…"the day that Billy Joe McAlllister jumped off the Tallahassee bridge…" Still get goosebumps from that song.