Saturday, 5 December 2009

The End Of An Old Song

My other (and better) half comes from a wee village just outside Dundee. We first met and fell for each other in Edinburgh eighteen years ago. I was intrigued when she told me her parents (Jean and Jimmy) lived just down the hill from Billy MacKenzie. I met them and we got on great. Later on when we were out for walks up Craigowl past Scotston, we'd occasionally see Billy out with his dogs. I often thought of bringing up some of my record collection and asking him to sign them but I was too shy to say anything but an occasional "Hello" in the passing. A bit silly of me really.
Widowed in 1997, Jean's life was transformed by the (very) unexpected arrival of a grandson in 2001. Jean doted on my boy and got the chance to spend a lot of time with him as he grew.

Jean died peacefully at home on Tuesday morning after a year's struggle with oral cancer. 2009 has been a mountain for all of us. A mountain for a happy wee 8 year old boy who watched as his lovely granny became barely recogniseable. A mountain for my other half who had to watch on as her mum lost the ability to eat, speak or hear. A mountain for Jean whose strength of character, determination and iron will meant she was able to stay on in her own home till the end came. A mountain for myself to see three people I loved in such a terrible situation. There was only ever going to be one way that the suffering could possibly end, mercifully her daughter was present when it did. With Jean's death the last family ties with Dundee are severed. The council will get their house back and next week Jean will join her beloved Jimmy in the churchyard.

Not much more to add really. The end of an old song.

Billy's song "The Mountains That You Climb" seems an apt post at the end of a sad week. It never saw the light of day on any posthumous releases and although this version is a demo, it is a beautiful performance.
I also really like this Youtube Video filmed around Auchterhouse and Dronley. The music isn't actually by The Associates but it is a rather brilliant six minute extended twist on the atmospheric one minute long "Heaven's Blue" instrumental which lurks on the Temperament Mix Heart Of Glass 12".

All the best

Sid Law

1 comment:

  1. Belated condolences -- and much, MUCH thanks for the work you've done throughout this blog. It's a beautiful treasure, and Jean sounds like a stellar soul.