The Lady: Sandy Denny tribute at the Phil

12 thoughts on “The Lady: Sandy Denny tribute at the Phil”

  1. Thanks for filling me in on so much about Sandy Denny, I knew so little, her duet with Robert Plant on ‘Battle of Evermore’ and through Eva Cassidy’s (another sublime voice, sadly missed) interpretation of ‘Who knows…’, and the occasional choice made by someone on Desert island Discs or the like. It sounds like her life was so desperately sad, always that question I ask when I read of early deaths like this, ‘If only someone had been there, maybe….

  2. And so was Gateshead: also billiant.
    It sounds as though the whole tour has been superb, despite the views of a few self-important, self- aware and self-appointed critics who seem so ignorant of the work.

  3. I haven’t seen this, Gerry, but I appreciated this post very much.Someone pointed out to me awhile ago the eerie similarities between Sandy Denny’s accident and death and my own situation. Ms Denny fell down a flight of stairs and fell into a coma; I fell down a flight of stairs, appeared for almost a month to have little wrong, then collapsed and fell into a coma. Ms Denny’s coma lasted four days, mine lasted almost ten, we both suffered brain haemorrhage and blunt force trauma (hers midbrain, mine subarachnoid)and both were in comatose state for more than sufficient time to cause vegetative state. She died, I lived. Sometimes I sit easy with my current state, sometimes not. Sandy Denny left an impeccable and far-reaching legacy, something that I most certainly would not have done and am even less likely to do now. I don’t really know where these thoughts are leading me…just something about the fragility of life, the way it is no respector of talent or person and perhaps that in celebrating her legacy and life, we should all be mindful of our own focus and using every moment that we have with a passing, but not dwelling, reference in our heads to the fact that, like beautiful, spherical and perfect dandelion clocks that are re-arranged and scattered with the slightest breeze, all that we have been or are could be blown away tomorrow.

    Gosh, that sounds depressing … now you know why I just usually press the ‘like’ button!! x

    1. Your response, Elizabeth, is moving (not at all depressing, but life-affirming) and uncanny. I read it just after finishing a book recommended by another respondent to this blog a few posts back – ‘The Philosopher and the Wolf’ by Mark Rowlands. He is an academic philosopher who tells of the time, some years back, when as a young university lecturer in Alabama he became the owner of a wolf. He weaves together the remarkable story of the relationship between man and wolf with philosophical explorations. So, when the wolf dies, leaving the philosopher literally howling at the moon, he seeks an answer to the question – what did the wolf lose, what do we lose when we die? To cut a lengthy disquisition shorter, he concludes that ‘what time can never take from us is who we are in our best moments’. By ‘best moments’ he means the times when our back is to the wall, there is no hope, there is pain, when death is leaning over our shoulder. The meaning of life is to be found in such moments when we find out what is most important in our lives. I may not have communicated that too well – far better to read the book. And thanks, too, for breaking your vow not comment on blogs!

      1. Thanks for the tip The Philosopher and the Wolf. Just ordered it for my husband because he is into philosophy and had to put down his wolf-hybrid (80% wolf) a year ago and was really badly affected. I think he will appreciate the book as you describe it.

  4. I’m glad that you qualified ‘best moments’, Gerry. In my first analogy of my situation, I felt very much that my ‘best moments’ had been taken not only from me but also those I live with. For example, I have no actual memory of being married to M, birthing my children or, perhaps more devastatingly, the deaths of my daughters; all I know of those times is through accounts that I had written previously or what I call ‘received memory’ – ie; other people have shown me the evidence or told me that these things happened. Over time, I have revised my thinking on this, as far as I personally am concerned (‘though not necessarily for those around me for whom it must be a far greater challenge living with me than I with them), and have come to an acceptance that the ‘best moments’ are in the everyday, no matter what heartache it contains. You have seen me write on a number of occasions that had I my time over again and had the power to control events, I wouldn’t change what happened as the experiences I’ve had since, because of it, have been mind-blowingly enlightening, not in any ditzy spiritual way, but in ephemeral ways that I can’t begin to evaluate or communicate. Perhaps, yes, in the way you describe here.

    I shall seek out this book and add it to my ever growing pile of ‘as recommended by Gerry’ titles! As to breaking my vow to commenting on other blogs, you may have seen my recent post where I used the analogy of the joke ‘Schrödinger’s cat: wanted dead or alive’. In some people’s eyes, I will always be ‘dead’ and not worthy of a place on the internet, in the eyes of others I am very much ‘alive’ and have a contribution to make. Sadly, blogging, for me, has brought me into contact with more than my fair share of the former and I now struggle enormously with a medium that I originally embraced to tether those elusive memories and celebrate my on-going recovery. But, I have come to the conclusion that to hide away completely is to give the bigots a glory they don’t deserve, to deny the care, encouragement and support that I have received and to lay waste the ‘voice’ that I have to speak for all SAH survivors, most of whom do not have the quality of life that I have. So, I now tread a precarious path, posting only on my original blog when I feel a need and commenting even more rarily. You have always been such a wonderful support and encouragement to me, Gerry, urging me to continue when I felt like throwing in the towel and there is only your blog and one other that I know that I can safely comment on knowing that your other visitors will respect my comments and right to be there. Thank you.

    I am facing a new challenge this summer; I am playing a significant speaking role in the York Mystery Plays 2012, something I never envisaged to be a possibility. It is frightening, exhausting but exhilarating, calling upon all of my reserves of energy and pushing the boundaries in memory and interaction with others like nothing else so far (post SAH). This is far more challenging than walking through fire! So, I have a new blog, just recording the milestones, involving myself in the moment and allowing myself to have fun with it, without any other agenda. It’s here – x

  5. I did really appreciate the review,Gerry. I heard of Sandy Denny for the first time some 5 years ago and fell immediately in love with her voice. It communicate deeply with me in a way I can’t explain. Its very hard to find somethig about her here in Brasil but I could read her biography “No More Sad Refrains”.

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