Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kate McGarrigle i.m.

Another mighty totara has fallen: Kate McGarrigle died yesterday. Younger readers will know her as mother of Martha and Rufus, but to the rest of us she was, with her sister Anna, half of the McGarrigle Sisters.

The McGarrigles are/were two great songwriters and wonderful harmony singers, whether together or backing Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson and countless others. They forged a distinctively Canadian sound – yes, I know, that sounds boring but their fusion of the French and British influences is really something – and their all too few recordings are gems.

Here they are– that’s Kate at the piano and lead vocals – performing Anna’s “Heart like a Wheel”, one of the most heartfelt, heartbroken songs ever:
Some say a heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can’t mend it
And my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is on that ship
Out in mid-ocean.

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