Musical Interlude: Mortality and loss.

I have not had a musical post for a long time. Let’s start with the late, great Sandy Denny, singing Tam Lin.

Sandy was one of the casualties of the drugs and debauchery of the 1970s: she was dead at 31. Richard Thompson wrote this about her.

Richard and his conspirators do a series of concerts called “100 years of popular music”. In this there is one of those wonderful momento mori carols that the Church used to sing before it decided to forget the gospel.

But going back to when they were young, Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson were in Fairport Convention when they recorded a song that alluded to the imprisonment and death of Lady Jane Grey. The idea that our life may be short was quite real to these musicians in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The beauty of our youth has faded, but the music, like photographs, reminds us of what has been. We cannot go back. Death is our fate, and the loss inevitable. But there is beauty in the pilgrimage.


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