Thursday, January 29, 2009

the week of dying Johns

Nearly 20 years ago I went to teach in China. I took little with me. I didn’t write poetry then, but I wrote some of my favorite poems out into a notebook so I could have them along. I also took four or five books and three or four cassette tapes. The school I taught at had a passable English library, but the musical pickings soon became slim. I had a friend who lived in a dormitory whose previous resident had left behind an unmarked cassette tape of someone singing exactly 5 ½ wonderful songs. I treasured this tape. For years I was never able to find out who the singer was. Someone told me it was a Canadian who self-recorded, so I set out in the wrong direction. It wasn’t until eight years or so ago, through the wonder of the internet, that I was able to find out who it was by typing lyrics in to Google. It was John Martyn. He died today. Great songwriter. Piece of my heart. You should hear him.


Andrew Shields said...

I only know the Clapton version of this. I did not know it was one of JM's! What a beautiful tune.

BJeronimo said...

What a beautiful song. I never heard it before but after the previous comment I went to YouTube and listened to half dozen covers of it.

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