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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kate McGarrigle

Kate McGarrigle died today. She wrote some great songs. Mark Ellen likes to say "Heart Like A Wheel" is the best love song ever. He may be right. My personal favourite is called "Matapedia" after a fast-flowing river in Quebec popular with those fishing for salmon. When she was a teenager Kate had an affair with a man. The song describes her and the young man trying to race the river back to its source, just like the salmon.

Many years later when her daughter Martha Wainwright was about the same age she went to the place where her mother had had the affair and met the same man. He was dumbstruck, convinced he was looking at her mother. I love what happens next.
He put his big middle-aged hands upon her shoulders
And he looked her in the eyes
Just like a boy of nineteen would do
I can't recommend the visual resolution of this clip but it's good enough to listen to.