Monday, January 26, 2009

Duets: Father/Daughter Dialogue

Loudon Wainright III (w/ Martha Wainwright): Father/Daughter Dialogue


One of the many beauties of duets is the ability to get two perspectives. This is often done with love songs, break-up songs in particular where there are so often two sides to the same story. But rarely do they involve both of the actual people involved singing their side of the story, and that is what makes this particular duet so powerful.

Loudon Wainwright III married folk singer Kate McGarrigle. Both being singer-songwriters, music was a big part of their life together and their family became a frequent subject. They had two children together, Rufus and Martha, both of whom are respected singer-songwriters for their own generation now. Loudon often wrote songs about his family, about Rufus and Martha, and about fatherhood in general, but he wasn't actually around that much for his children since he was away touring and doing other projects so often. He eventually left their mother for another woman, and had a daughter by her who is now also a songwriter.

Martha and Rufus have now both written songs about their father for their own albums, and they're not quite as pleasant as his songs about them. But father and daughter came together on his 1995 album for this brief track to discuss both sides of their relationship in song.

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