Thursday, January 29, 2009

Duets: Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love

Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer: Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love

[purchase] (scroll about halfway down to When I Go CD)

I seem to be on a ghost tangent with this theme - hey, if the spectral slipper fits, right?

I first heard Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love, up close and personal, at the Albuquerque Folk Alliance in February 1999 - I deemed it then "the perfect song": a guy/girl duet, alternating verses, traded lines, stunning harmonies, aching violin solo, precise counterpoint singing...

It increased in poignancy (as if that were possible) when Dave Carter passed away in July 2002 of a heart attack - as a long-time and avid fan, I continue to "count the days in cups of wine and the candles I have burned"...

Here, in Dave's own words, is the live introduction he used to give, almost as sad as the song itself:

Long time ago, there was this boy and this girl. And stop me if you've heard this, but they fell in love. And stop me if you've heard this, but he promised her that he would stay with her forever. Well he meant it, at the time. But after all too short a time, the call of the open road proved too great for him, and he took off running, right on down it.

Still, she believed that some day he would return to her. And so every night, she would burn a candle in anticipation of his return. This went on for weeks, and months, and years, this burning of candles. It went on for almost twenty years. And just as she was coming right up on that twenty year mark, well, she was running mighty short on candles. In fact, she was down to her very last candle.

But you know that just as that last candle was flickering and sputtering and about to go out, and just as the first winter snowflakes were beginning to fall beneath the midnight sky, she thought she heard his voice at her garden gate. Or maybe it was his ghost, after all those years of being gone. Or maybe it was only the wind. But either way, they had this little conversation, which we call "Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love."

"So many candles" indeed - sigh...

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