Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Waters of Oblivion


I've got a soft spot for Peter, Paul & Mary. Yeah, I know now that they were a cobbled-together and commercialized facsimile of a "real" folk band, the kind of protest singers even Mitch Miller could love. And I don't care if I never hear "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Lemon Tree" again--ugh. Still, ever since a hippie second cousin gave me his old LP of Album 1700, I've been more or less in. I later binged on PPM again during an obligatory high school folk phase (and you'd never guess whose record collection I plundered for its Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, etc.). I now like to think of vintage Mary Travers as the good-girl doppelganger of Nico, and though I'm not particularly into blondes, her vigorouos performance above is pretty savory. It also happens to be one of those timely/timeless, quasi-Biblical Dylan lyrics she's tearing into with her soulful soprano:
Too much of nothin' can make a man abuse a king
He can walk the streets and boast like most but he don't know a thing.
It's all been done before, it's all been written in the book.
But when it's too much of nothin', nobody should look.

Interesting thing about that song: PPM's version is harmonically radically different, and dare I say better, than Dylan's, which is nothing if not bold--check out the chords that kick in at about 24 seconds in:

No comments:

Post a Comment