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Feedback - 3/25/18

From Bill Johnston / San Diego, CA

Your 3/26/18 poll re: protest songs of memory left me with a smidgeon of regret that none of your polled cats mentioned the one song that leapt immediately to my mind: "The Great Mandala" from Peter, Paul, and Mary's Album 1700.

I was never really a folkie, but I bought that album in 1967 at 14 YOA because of "I Dig Rock-n-Roll Music," which was getting a lot of airplay at the time (along with Leaving on a Jet Plane, the song which first made the world aware of John Denver, and proved somewhat prescient as re: his later demise--except for the "jet" part).

The lyrics were, at the time at least, unique in that it was written from the POV of a pro-war father discussing his anti-war son. But it was Yarrow's building from dirge-like minor-chord-based progressions to the anthemic major sevenths at the song's close that really blew me away.

At that age, I was into the Duke, and, like the older boys in the neighborhood, thought of war as a test of manhood and opportunity for heroism. So soon after, though, we started seeing them return from war so changed, made so hollow, that this song made me start to realize that there were different kinds of brave in the world.