Saturday, October 12, 2013

McGarrigle Clan and Birthday Greetings

 Why am I just now, on the eve of my 60th birthday, hearing the gorgeous haunting music of the McGarrigle Clan? Where have I been?? Ok, I've been busy enough listening to OTHER great music.  This music is riveting in a way that makes you (or at least me) stop whatever you’re doing and drink in the poetry of the lyrics and the perfect fit of the plaintive strong melody.  There is something very special about hearing 2 sisters singing together when you hear Anna & Kate McGarrigle’s work.  They seem to feel each other so acutely as they sing, I guess.  All those years of hanging around each other have paid off for these sisters!  I have no complaints about my siblings, except would it have hurt to have just ONE other sibling who could carry a tune?  [Never mind, I can’t sew, or even cut the cloth, and they still let me go with them to the fabric shops, if I can keep my opinions to myself, which is pretty hard, as you all know.]

Folk music is a poor description of the rich, sophisticated tapestry woven in lyric and melody in their entire oeuvre of these Canadian wonders.  Kate McGarrigle met with an early death, (61 or 62, too close for comfort) and I happened onto a documentary that was a recording of a memorial her two children, artists in their own right, put together with an incredible line-up, many from their immediate family.  [very sad, but wonderful music) Rufus Wainwright, son of Kate, is known to most people as the singer of the extremely popular “Hallelujah”, but he’s got an incredible range, literally and figuratively, that he uses to its maximum for our benefit on several songs of his mother’s.  Likewise Martha has a strong, haunting voice that can be in turn tender and anguished.  The family’s music is definitely worth an investigation on iTunes some evening.  However, I made a huge mistake by reading An NYTimes article about their personal lives.... OY VAY, what a Mess!

Segue to one such melody of Kate McGarrigle’s, Walking Song, that is a perfect mirror of my emotions as I reflect on all the riches, all the fortunate happenings, all the incredible moments I have been fortunate enough to have because of all the people in my life who have not just tolerated me, but also let me share some of their lives with them.   Thank you all. Here are the lyrics,  Go to iTunes and have a listen.  It’s worth 99 cents for the purchase, I believe. I would give you a buck if I could, but just trust me and go for it.
Here’s to many more decades of walks with friends and family, and anyone who wants to walk along with us, as long as they don’t harsh our chill.
On another reflective note, I listened to a Ted Talk that I thought was quite good,  Brené Brown:  The Power of Vulnerability, so I will pass along the link:
She starts off a little goofy, but she gets to some very fundamental truths that I enjoyed thinking about, and she has a great sense of humor.  Give it a listen and let me know what you think.


  1. Crisp and clear voices. Beautiful

  2. And I was going to see Happy Birthday acapella in Italian, German, and Latin. Guess I will just save that for The Voice competition I am in. Wait till your next birthday... it will all be sung by your siblings. :)

  3. I am a big fan of Rufus, and always just knew that both of his parents were famous in their own right and left it at that.
    "One Man Guy" by him is pretty great. Sad, but great. Martha joins him it. Give it a listen.