Here’s a Good Friday-themed psong from Emmylou Harris. In this psong, which will be released next Tuesday on her new record “Hard Bargain,” Emmylou sings farewell to her beloved friend, Kate McGarrigle. McGarrigle died last year from cancer, leaving behind a rich musical legacy and a bunch of heartbroken family members, friends, and fans.
If you’re not familiar with the musical genius of Kate and Anna McGarrigle, it’s not too late to do some catching up. I recommend “Love Over and Over” and “Move Over Moon,” in addition to the some of their classics that have been covered by other artists, including “Talk to Me of Mendocino,” “Heart Like a Wheel,” and “Heartbeats Accelerating.”
I wish you a Good Friday that is, you know, actually GOOD. At noon, I get to read Psalm 22 for the umpteenth time this week (okay, it’s only the third time, it just SEEMS like umpteen, however many that is). That’s the one with the scintillating line, “But I am a worm, and not human.” Later, fortunately, there’s this line that I love, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.”
Here’s my recommendation for how to have a Good Friday that is really good: Think of someone who is, for you, the “sweetest note in the chord of life,” and then tell them that, using those words or ones that work for you. Even if that person is dead, say it. If anyone asks you why you’re talking to a dead person, just tell them that Emmylou does it all the time.
Lyrics to “Darlin’ Kate”:
So it’s finally come. You have left this world.
But we’ll miss our Kate, our darling girl!
We held your hand, kissed your lovely brow,
And bid farewell, you’re sailing now.
Free from the pain you lay that burden down
But your strong and giving heart,
Will surely be your crown.
As you slip the surly bonds of earth and sail away,
Perhaps we will meet again somehow, someday.
Until then, there’s nothing we can do, but wait,
To see what’s more, our darling Kate.
All those nights we sang
And talked ‘til the sun come up,
You fed our souls, you filled our cup!
With your perfect words and oh that voice,
We fell in love, we had no choice.
And I can’t say for sure where you have gone,
But in that place I’m bettin’ there’s a better song.
For we’ve all known down here the taste of joy and strife
You were the sweetest note in the chord of life.
Now you’ve slipped the surly bonds of earth and sailed away,
perhaps we will meet again somehow, someday.
But if there was one name I could consecrate
It would be yours.
It would be Kate.