Making endless cups of tea
March 17, 2015. No comments.
Here it is, the last song blog! And as it is St.Patricks Day it seems fitting to share this one which incorporates an Irish tune called “The Exiles Jig”. We played this live in the studio and I love the driving guitar against the delicate harp patterns, and when the cello comes in with those low chunky notes…. phoar.
But before all that – an elegy to my Granny written for her funeral in 2008. She was a Somerset lass, brought up on Clay Hill Farm where (I recently found out) they made very fine cider.
My grandparents had an orchard full of them. I still think of my Granny when I cut them up in a certain way. And when I watered the plants a few weeks ago I heard her voice saying “That one needs a drink”, and it made me smile… the way the voices of people you love stay with you even when they are long gone.
It’s not meant to be a sad song, though many people tell me that it has touched them, particularly when we play it live. Childhood memories of a bygone age – like her old gardening diaries that chronicle the planting of seeds, washing days, telephone calls, and when a letter came in the post. In amongst these everyday doings are some major life events – births, illnesses, deaths, my parents divorce… When I stayed there, something about all those everyday routines made me feel safe. Like the repetition that sends you off to sleep when you count sheep, or in this case, say ‘God Bless… (fill in the blank) so many times that you drift off. (It only occurred to me quite recently that this was probably her cunning plan…along with making me brush my hair 100 times. She said it would make it shiny. I think it was just to make me tired…)
Granny was an expert on relatives. Great Auntie So and So, Uncle Wotsit Second Cousin Twice Removed….No one could touch her on that stuff. We still struggle at family events to even come close. As well as igniting my love of the VW camper van, a fact I recently discovered was that my grandparents supported the West Somerset Steam Railway who still send free tickets every year so I am planning trip this summer. I reckon a pretty train journey should help me doze off nicely…
The tune is loosely based on the traditional Somerset song ‘Searching For Lambs’ and this was the first and only take.