Folk & Folk-Rock Collection

Peter Yarrow - Hard Times album cover

Peter Yarrow is best known as one-third of the '60s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. However, too few people are aware that he also had some success as a solo artist and that he has four solo albums to his credit. This one is his best, in my humble opinion, and is in fact my all-time favorite of everything in my collection. An album with a Depression era theme, it has one of the most unique interpretations of the song Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime? that I have ever heard.

The song begins with a melancholy air and a slow tempo that conveys the feeling of desperation that was the Great Depression. As he begins thinking about happier times ("Once in khaki suits / Gee, we looked swell / Full of that Yankee-doodle-de-dum") the tempo picks up with a distinctive drum roll, and the song becomes more light-hearted. Then as the reality of his situation sets in, the song once again assumes the same slow and sad feeling it began with. Listen to it if you get a chance and you'll see what I mean.

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