With passion and conviction etched in the lines on his face, Peter Yarrow -- a guiding light of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary -- sings anthems that span generations.
"We're part of a long train." That's the way Yarrow visualizes the many events that have highlighted a career 35 years long. Peace festivals at Madison Square Garden, Survival Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl, and the anti-war march on Washington in 1969 all define Yarrow's life path.
At 61, Yarrow suggests his activism is a function of genetic construction. He points to his daughter as proof.
"When I sing with Bethany I feel immortal, because things that I believe in, she believes in," Yarrow said during a recent phone interview from his Manhattan residence.
"I feel a sense of enormous hope because it is multigenerational, and because the joy of singing and being and advocating with her is so profound."
Bethany Yarrow, 27, grew up politicized. Born into a family of song, film and activism, Ms. Yarrow believes in the power of music, and its ability to move, change and shake foundations.
At age 6, during a typical day of rally-hopping, the young girl pledged her entire savings -- $100 -- to the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
"They had to explain to me what equal rights was, and why we were going, and that when I grew up I would have the same pay as a man," recalled Ms. Yarrow.
At age 8, she sang with her father for the first time at a benefit for Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.
"Music was always tied to activism in some way," she said. "When we got on stage and sang together as father and daughter, people really responded. With all the things they don't understand, they were able to understand something quite special and unique in music."
After Bethany finished high school in New York City, she went to Paris for a year and worked as an intern for ABC News. Shortly after entering Oberlin College, she left for Cambridge, England, to study philosophy and medieval art. She then returned to finish her work at Yale University.
On Sept. 29, father and daughter will appear at a fund-raising luncheon for Planned Parenthood at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, where presentations of the William B. Hoyt Advocacy for Choice Award and the Women's Health Award will take place.
"Young people don't get it," Yarrow said. Reproductive freedom has been won, he added, yet is still not secure. "It's very, very important to reawaken."
Yarrow told of a benefit concert he gave last fall: one week after Dr. Barnett Slepian was killed. The Yarrow residence, occupying one floor of an apartment building on New York's upper East Side, sports a living room that can hold up to 150 people, according to its owner.
"We're having benefits all the time," he said. "My mother was a schoolteacher for 30 years and an activist and a member of the teachers' union. Advocacy is our middle name."
Women's rights is something the younger Yarrow admits she has taken for granted.
"I'm a feminist by default, although it's something that I've been very aware of," she said. "It's something that in many ways I don't question. It's like breathing."
In between her junior and senior years at Yale, Ms. Yarrow traveled to South Africa on fellowship to film a documentary on women in the townships outside of Cape Town. The film that resulted, "Mama Awethu!," aired on PBS and was screened at film festivals including Sundance, Berlin and Bombay.
"I'm making music now. I'm not making documentaries, but I figure I can still teach," Ms. Yarrow said in describing her latest project called Street Works, a program that targets people ages 15 to 23.
"I teach video to homeless kids," she explained. "I call them kids, but most of them have their own kids, and they're on the streets and a lot of them are hooking, dealing and pimping."
Her youth, she said, while perhaps not as feckless, was equally spirited. "I wasn't the happiest camper. I was the punk rocker and had my green hair and odd friends. I was looking for a way out of the uptown private school scene, and I ended up hanging out on the stoops in Alphabet City. I tried to find who I was in a very public way."
Public advocacy is a Yarrow pastime. Just ask.
"Feminism is more than a movement for women. It's a movement for equality, for society," said Yarrow. "The word 'feminist' to me is indicative of a sense of awareness, and one aspect of that is women's reproductive rights. I believe that empowerment of women creates a healthier, saner, less belligerent society for men."
Both Yarrows speak from their hearts. The difference is that years have given the elder something that goes beyond passion.
"I have far more credibility when I look at myself in the mirror," Yarrow said. "I no longer disbelieve myself when I say things with all my heart. It's called a little bit of wisdom."