Saturday, 9 August 2014

Throwing stones at your father

For some reason, the image of an elderly aristocrat understanding that the revolution has begun when he reaches for the bell-pull beside the carved marble fire surround and nobody comes, came into my head this morning.

In the next scene, he grabs a hand-bell, opens the door to the long corridor and rings it madly, angrily and impatiently. It's not until he resorts to bellowing down the deserted hallway that he realises he is utterly alone.

Then the sound of the Wainwright dynasty of musicians incestuously talking about themselves behind each other's backs impinges on my consciousness, and I have to leave the kitchen. It's not even as if I like their dreary, self-obsessed music - music which has been polished to such a high degree that they can see their own faces in it.

When Kate and Anna McGarrigle were singing with each other, they could be forgiven anything, but Kate had to die leaving Loudon the kids (I am told) - result: highly talented brats, with an even bigger brat for a father.

What is it that makes children so charming and refreshing before they reach their teenage? The fact that they came without baggage.

Like the babies that are born addicted to heroin because of their parent's habit, some children never get the opportunity to arrive in the world unencumbered.

28 comments:

  1. Kate died Anna lived.
    Kate and Anna McGarrigle together made great music.
    Loudon Wainwright III fucked up Kate and the children.

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    1. Really? I'll change it then, but I hope you're right.

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    2. I'm confused now, and don't trust Wikipedia enough to check the details. Please correct me if I've got it wrong again.

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    3. Loudon left Kate as soon as Martha was born. Their relationship together lasted about 5 years. She brought them up on her own, Martha and Rufus. She died of cancer when they were both adults and had singing careers of their own.

      This information owes nothing to Wikipedia and comes straight from my own head

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    4. Which is more reliable, your head or Wikipedia?

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    5. In this instance probably my head. I have been following them since 1973.

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  2. Poor buggers.
    But Martha is a great piece of work. There is at least one song she dedicated to a family member that I hum along to whenever things go pear shaped.

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    1. I was going to mention that Federico Fellini only ever hummed to himself when things went pear-shaped.

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  3. Caruso's mother would always arrive 15 mins late for church, just so the others could witness the improvement in the quality of the singing.

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    1. Just in time for the bread and wine, then.

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  4. Lucy went to college here.

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    1. Son and daughter-in-law are friends with her.

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    2. I am not familiar with Lucy, only ever a Kate and Anna McGarrigle fan. However, I checked her out and see she is the child of Loudon from a relationship after he left Kate and is half sister to Martha and Rufus. If you check my blog profile you will see that the only music I mention is Kate and Anna McGarrigle!

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    3. I should have checked your profile closer - I LOVE kate and Anna McGarrigle, but only in tandem.

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    4. Me too. You are the first and only person I "know" to have heard of them, let alone like them. Strange that. Before I read your post this morning I was going to post the Swimming Song on my blog but then I thought nobody would want to listen to it so didn't.. I was listening to the Radio 4 programme purely by chance.

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    5. Ummm, I have heard of them, too

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    6. The Swimming Song is my absolute favourite. I find it hard to listen to without tears welling up.

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    7. They do a good version of 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down', as well.

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    8. I love the Swimming Song. It makes me happy and I always sing along with it. In fact I was making a cup of tea just now and I was singing it in the kitchen without it.

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  5. "Like the babies that are born addicted to heroin because of their parent's habit, some children never get the opportunity to arrive in the world unencumbered." This makes me really sad. I raised my son alone because my son's father lost the custody fight which was a blow to his lawyer ego. Last time he talked to son was 20 years ago. I made mistakes while raising him (don't we all?), and I still feel tremendous guilt. Now I'm going to go and cry.

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    1. Carol I bet you were and are a great mum. Don't cry. Kate McGarrigle was a great mum too.

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    2. I did my best. Thanks Rachel. Actually it's a good thing that I can cry these days - I didn't for years - kept it all inside. Still confuse anger with sadness a bit. The fact that he abandoned J (my son) still is hard to deal with. J was and is innocent in all this. Breaks my heart.

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    3. Very sad, but I bet it will work out in the end - maybe?

      Best not to feel guilt if you did everything you could at the time, and if you didn't, then it's time to get over the sadness.

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    4. Don't know, Tom. I have never been abandoned by a parent. And thanks, but I think it's okay to be sad about it once in awhile. I'm not morbidly obsessed by guilt (anymore)

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  6. Tom, having read Carol's reply above I have to write something which I hope will be a comfort to her. It is a mistake to believe that any of us reach adulthood unencumbered.
    A parent can only do his/her best, to the best of their ability - there will always be mistakes along the way - even if they are just the wrong word at the wrong time. None of us escape, we just have to learn to rise above it in our adulthood.

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    1. I appreciate your kind, comforting words, Weave.

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    2. There is no such thing as the perfect parents, or the perfect upbringing. Part of the process of growing up is to accept your parents for the human beings they are/were, and shed some of the baggage dropped on you when you were too weak to stand up with it.

      Just don't pass it on, is the main thing.

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