Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lovesong: Martha Wainwright: Proserpina

"Come home to mother, come home to mama now."

In 2009 Kate McGarrigle was aware that she was dying.
She had the strength for one last show at the Royal Albert Hall in London for a benefit concert. With her children Rufus and (a heavily pregnant) Martha she sang a song.
That song was 'Proserpina'.
It was the last song she'd ever write or perform.
Kate died two months later.

"We all knew it would be her last concert," Martha has said. "My mother wrote that song with one foot in the world she was heading to, and with the full knowledge of where she was going."

Martha has now recorded the song for her new album, 'Come Home to Mama'.

"I recorded it at a time when I thought, in some way, if I could just sing like her, and if I closed my eyes and I conjured it up enough, that maybe when I opened them she would be back in the room. 
It was one of those stages of disbelief at the beginning, when someone has died. I sang it like she sang it, because who would want to change that?"

Here's the video of Martha's version (both the song and the video were done in one take).
I've followed it with the original performance at the Albert Hall.

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