The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Kate McGarrigle Dies at 63
They Were Collaborators #623


Kate and Anna McGarrigle

Very sad to learn of the passing of Kate McGarrigle today. A prodigious folk music talent at home in Canada and beyond its borders, the records she made with her sister Anna remain infused with charm, wit and tenderness, while the two times I saw them perform live they didn't allow their reverence for the music outweigh their sense of playfulness on stage.

You can read news of her death here, or do what most Canadians are probably doing when they hear it, and watch the McGarrigles' beloved National Film Board animated version of Wade Hemsworth's Log Driver's Waltz.

4 comments :

Maureen said...

One winter many years ago 25? 30? they were here in NYC and went Xmas caroling on the block where I worked and sung in the doorway of our store. Magical!

slyboots2 said...

She was lovely. She was also on Spectacle with Elvis Costello recently- along with her son Rufus. It was a wonderful episode- would highly recommend tracking it down.

Lee Marvin Newland said...

The McGarrigles appeared in the great Orpheum Theatre here in Vancouver many years ago. I sent roses to them prior to their performance. They mentioned the flowers and my name from the stage. A magic moment in my life.

Lee Marvin Newland

swac said...

Great story Lee! I interviewed Kate twice, and she was funny and candid, and loved making music. She and her sister would be doing it whether they got paid or not, I'm sure. It's a good thing they did so the rest of the world could hear (on some albums that have barely aged a jot).