Puff – Peter, Paul, and Mary (written by Yarrow and Lipton)
I’ve always really liked the sound produced by Peter, Paul, and Mary, however their lyrics and personal lives now sour my opinion of their overall music. This song in particular is a great example of this. They arranged and recorded this track masterfully for 1963, paying off in its popularity. I just have no idea what this song is about other than a creepy children’s sing-along.
The freak folk movement that still prevails today is an amazing departure from acts like Peter, Paul, and Mary of the sixties. Unlike traditional folk music, Devendra Barnhart, Modest Mouse, Vetiver and other musicians use a similar format to the structure of this track in order to deviate into a world of bizarre words strung together that at least tell a story or challenge the listener’s vocabulary.
I definitely respect Peter, Paul, and Mary for introducing us to resonating harmonies and simple chord progressions used properly for a popular subculture’s music. While I’m glad we have this hit in our catalogue, I’m not going to be craving much of it unfortunately. I do love that we have their cover of John Denver’s “Leaving On an Airplane” as I think they perform it better, but they had matured some in the five years between releasing the two singles.
– Mr. Richard
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