Monday, January 25, 2010

Remembering Kate McGarrigle 6 February 1946—18 January 2010

Image:: Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Vancouver, BC {late 1970s} by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I was quite saddened to hear about the death of Kate McGarrigle last week. Many of you may know she's the mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright and was married to Loudon Wainwright III. I stumbled across her in 1990 when I heard Kirsty MacColl's cover of Kate and Anne McGarrigle's "Complainte pour Ste. Catherine" {1975} on Kirsty's album Kite. It's one of my favourite songs and was written by Anna {music} and Paul Tatartcheff {words} and the lyrics are here {scroll down}. Here's a {West} German video from 1977 of a live performance of "Complainte."

Here's a video of Kate's "Talk to Me of Mendocino" {1976}::

On Facebook, Officer Mazaltoff posted this video, with a simple and eloquent "RIP Kate McGarrigle".  Here's the description from the National Film Board of Canada::
"This lighthearted, animated short is based on the song "The Log Driver's Waltz" by Wade Hemsworth. Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitor. Driving logs down the river has made the young man the best dancing partner to be found."

Before she passed, The Kate McGarrigle Fund was started at the McGill University Health Centre Foundation that supports cancer care and research in Montréal.

Twitterversion:: Remembering Kate McGarrigle 6 February 1946—18 January 2010 @Prof_K


Officer Mazaltoff said...

The Log Driver's Waltz is one of my favourite bits the NFB released for viewing during regularly scheduled programming. I miss those little bumpers that helped inform a generation of Canadian's about our varied history and culture.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

Thanks for posting this on FB. I don't think I'd ever come across it otherwise.

Ever hear of The Unfinished Canadian. It ponders ponderously the Canadian identity question, as I have on ThickCulture, but I think there's something to these bits of "Can con" that help to instil a sense of identity. Of course, it's really all about The Littlest Hobo.

Officer Mazaltoff said...

Ken, I have heard of The Unfinished Canadian, but have yet to pick it up. I'm a bit mixed in my feelings towards Cohen, but will likely pick it up.

Certainly, there is an argument that Can Con helped us to develop our own identity, as it were, though one could argue it merely helped us define what "Canadian content" means. In the end, it truly is all about the Littlest Hobo. Man I love that show.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

I can send you my copy, but I'm afraid it's a bit of annoying read. I'm holding on to my copy of Coupland's Souvenir of Canada.

Saveur magazine had an article on this Canadian cooking book that talked about two versions of a Five Roses Flour cooking books from way back when. The anglophone version had a prime homemaker while the francophone version had a maid in a sexy outfit. Vive la différence. Ah, identity in Canada.