The Bliss Blog

Last night, I was in the presence of a musical legend. In the Doylestown Book Shop, located in the Philly suburb of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, surrounded by over 100-some singing souls, we were led in tuneful fun by one Peter Yarrow of the 1960’s super- group that combined his name with those of his dear friends Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. Peter, Paul and Mary and their music were staples of my childhood. Who among us, could forget the eponymous Puff the Magic Dragon? As we stood, sat, swayed and hugged, the notes filled the room and likely spilled out onto the street. One friend who wanted to be there, couldn’t find a parking spot, so she told me that she had gone home and made pancakes instead. I sang for her too.

He was there, touring in support of his new book Peter, Paul and Mary:  Fifty Years In Music and Life.  A vibrant 76, he engaged with the multi-generational crowd who had come to share an early November evening in the warmth of community, peace and love as both the music and Yarrow evoked.

Before the concert, I purchased the coffee table tome and paged through it, being taken back to days in my childhood; 6th grade to be exact- Mr. Serfling’s class in which we had Friday afternoon Hootenannies. Two of our class mates brought in guitars and we would sing Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, Blowin’ In the Wind, If I Had a Hammer, and the previously mentioned song about the relationship between the large green lizard and his devoted friend who grew up and moved away. Yarrow assured us that the song was not about drugs and added a story that had Jackie Paper’s daughter- Sandy returning to visit Puff.

While I was enthralled with the depth and breadth of the career of the trio, as was beautifully displayed in words and photographs,  the name of a song jumped out at me. It was one I hadn’t heard in years and makes me cry every time I listen to it. It’s called Home Is Where the Heart Is and was written by Sally Fingerett, who, herself was one of the founding members of another iconic folk group, called The Four Bitchin’ Babes. The theme of the composition is the idea that love looks all kinds of ways.

“Home is where the heart is

No matter how the heart lives

Inside your heart where love is

That’s where you’ve got to make yourself at home.”

I am listening to the song now, hearing the lush voice of Mary Travers, who sadly, passed in 2009 and remembering this all important message, that love knows no limits and that only fear and judgment blocks the door to an otherwise open heart.