Saturday, 1 June 2013
EVENSONG. ..............I REALISED I WAS LOOKING AT SANDY DENNY'S GRAVE, mrs n.
Sandy Denny died young and her work, therefore, is locked in her time with The Strawbs and mainly with Richard Thompson and Fairport Convention.
This frail little husk of a song survives and flourishes, although it is just something and nothing; it is much covered, my own preference being for Nina Simone's shimmering version. This, though, demonstrates Denny's writing, singing and picking, like nothing else before or since.
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Simply delightful. Not heard that for yonks and it took me back to very happy times in the 1970s.
As she sang, who knows where the time goes - but it just does....
Musta been spooky, though, mr ot, for mrs n. I had a look at the grave - the things we can do with google - and there's a whole load of names, before you get to, in bracklets at the bottom, Sandy Denny.
If you are fond of the song, do try the NIna Simone version, it's in here, just search EVENSONGS or its on YT. Nina brings a great strength to it, not apparent in the various Sandy/Fairport versions.
I read a lot of tombstones. I had already seen one to Adrian, A Much Loved Little Boy, which had upset me, so yes, it was a bit otherworldly - I had somehow managed to forget that she had died so young and so long ago. I didn't think I would be able to prefer Nina Simone's version, but I think, I think I do, though it seems somehow disloyal to my past. Too many evenings at Bunjie's at an impressionable age is what I blame.
Although I didn't go into the service I am relieved to report that all the elderblokes attending were immaculately turned out in proper suits and sober ties. Respect for their old friend and a lovely day for a funeral, with all the chestnut trees in blossom and birds singing.
There's something stately, magisterial, mrs n, about Simone's version, as though she was inside the words, processing them, and the piano always sounds so much more official, grown-up, than the guitar. Simone was a concert pianist turned jazzy blue, Denny was a folkie, no harm in valuing virtuosity, no blame; I am sure that Sandy Denny would've been thrilled by Simone's attentions.
Having said that, I can't imagine anyone else doing A Sailor's Life.......
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