Saturday, January 1, 2011

In Memoriam: Kate McGarrigle

Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Tell My Sister


Happy new year to all of our readers. Before we leave 2010 behind completely, let me say that this week of tributes would not be complete for me without Kate McGarrigle. After the beauty of her music, Kate McGarrigle makes me think of family. That may seem odd, given the fact that her marriage to Loudon Wainwright III famously ended badly. But McGarrigle was at the center of a series of annual Christmas concerts which included her children, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, her ex-husband, and various members of the Roche clan, who were included because of Loudon Wainwright’s later relationship with Suzzy Roche. So even if the structure was far from conventional, this all tells me that family was important to Kate McGarrigle. And the bond between her and her sister Anna was clearly very strong. So, I’m not sure which sister wrote Tell My Sister, but it seemed appropriate. The line in the song, “I’m coming home”, perhaps takes on a new meaning in this context, but that seems appropriate as well.

This is not, perhaps, the usual kind of writing for a tribute post. Other people have written some tributes to Kate McGarrigle that are far more beautiful than anything I could do. To conclude, I would like to refer you to one those, here.

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