Going to see Peter and Paul

I have at last bought a ticket to a  concert. I can’t remember the last time I went to a concert. One reason is that, to me, concert tickets have become increasingly expensive, and more and more unaffordable to me.

A year ago, Sarah Brightman came to Hong Kong. I struggled for several weeks figuring whether I should go to see her (yes, she is worth seeing) and to hear her live on stage. The cheapest ticket cost $850. In the end, I gave up. Afterwards, I regretted my decision, and cursed myself for several weeks for my miserliness.

This time, I AM going to see Peter and Paul. The reason? Mary died last year. If I gave up this time, and kept waiting, …

The trio was an important part of my adolescence and early teens. Well, not just mine, but of thousands of young people who were in secondary school and university in the sixties. The many beautiful folk songs they wrote and performed created a culture which was elegant, pleasant, inquiring, caring, and reflective:

Lemon Tree; Puff the Magic Dragon; If I had a hammer; Blowing in the Wind; Where have all tbe flowers gone; Gone the rainbow; A-soaling; Five hundred miles; Monday Morning; Don’t think twice it’s all right; Tell in on the Mountain; Early morning rain; The cruel war; Leaving on a jet plane; Day is done ……

Their songs all have a beautiful melody, and lyrics that are simple yet meaningful. As a secondary school student, I was singing their songs day in and day out. This brought me a lot of joyful moments in my teens. And incidentally, this must have helped to improve my pronunciation enormously.

Yes, the tickets are still expensive, in my standards. But what am I waiting for?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time passing.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time ago.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Young girls have picked them every one.

Oh when will they ever learn?  Oh when will they ever learn?


2 thoughts on “Going to see Peter and Paul

  1. Icy Lee

    When I was a secondary student, I also liked to sing the songs by Peter, Paul and Mary. I have two edler brothers and we liked to sing together. Naturally I played the role of Mary. It was great fun. Sometimes after school, my classmates would come to my place and we would sing some folk songs together. I didn’t play the guitar very well but I still tried. In those days, most of us had a copy of the thick song book called “Sing along”.

    But those were the days.

    Paul, you can definitely afford $850 or more for a concert held by your favourite singers!

  2. Well, Icy, I’m not sure if you really belong to the same generation (let me call it the Peter Paul and Mary generation), because they broke up in 1970 (which came as a shock to me), and after that their influence subsided . They would have been too ‘old’ for you already when you were in secondary school. In any case, I’d like to think of Peter Paul and Mary as belonging to MY generation which, as I described, represents elegance, beauty, a spirit of inquiry and reflection, and care about others and society.

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