Friday, March 13, 2015

Draglines at my heart: Goodbye to a feminist folks singer

Back in the second wave of the women's movement, we all listened to the The New Harmony Sisterhood Band. They told stories of cotton mill girls, strip mining and feminist icons like Sojourner Truth.  Yesterday, a member of the 1970s group was killed in a bike accident. Her music carrries on, thanks to The Smithsonian, which rereleased the album "And Ain't I a Woman?" in 2006.   She plays fiddle on the song "Draglines."

More on her recent work from WBUR

From the Globe:

Friends say Marcia Deihl was always the first person to think up a witty song that perfectly captured the moment, and to encourage the same lyrical invention in others with her “Bizarre Song Parties,” where the price of admission was a ditty of one’s own.

Deihl was a Cambridge activist who spent her life fighting — and singing — for what she believed in, and who had embarked upon retirement with joy that she could finally dedicate all her time to her art.

And she loved to ride her bicycle, a clunky old three-speed decorated with paper flowers and streamers. With her long hair streaming behind her, she cut a distinctive figure, one familiar to many Cambridge residents.

On Thursday, friends mourned the untimely death of the 65-year-old, who was killed Wednesday after being hit by a dump truck while riding her bike on Putnam Avenue.
“She was an icon of Cambridge life. She was a very colorful figure, beloved by the people who knew her,” said Pam Chamberlain, a longtime friend who described Deihl as “a riot” with a keen sense of irony and a gift for bonding with people. “It’s a great loss for the folk community and the feminist movement.”

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