Benjamin made a card for Grandma with a drawing of Headingley cricket ground, one of Granddad John's favourite places.
We’ve discussed here before the songs we’d like played at our funerals, including quite recently on April 23rd during the 30-day song challenge. It’s a sad time in our family, with the recent death of MummyP’s dad – Granddad John to Benjamin and Emma. Of our children’s four grandparents, John was the youngest and fittest, and he succumbed to a rare cancer that came too quickly to detect or fight; though he battled for his independence to the end. In life he was unfailingly kind, generous and sociable; and quietly brave – we now realise – as the illness quickly took his strength and life away.
We’ve had lots of support and many good wishes from family and friends, but I thought I’d post the two pieces of music from the committal service. They seemed just right, and they’re quite different from our funeral song choices. Both pieces are from the community music-making traditions of the British working class, and they were exactly right to bring the mourners together in shared sentiment. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band playing “Crimond” was a peaceful and reflective piece as we came into the service, and The Dunvant Male Voice Choir (Cor Meibion Dyfnant) singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – a song he loved from a long-standing interest in the USA and the Civil War - was a most rousing send-off.
Not sure how I missed the reviews of this! Neil Hannon (of the Divine Comedy) has recently embarked on one of the strangest projects of recent times – a cricket concept album, in tandem with fellow Irish musician Thomas Walsh. Under the name The Duckworth Lewis Method (which will probably mean nothing to non-cricket fans) they’ve released an eponymously titled album which, amongst much more, features a song called Jiggery Pokery. Here’s a recent piece from The Times all about the track:
Here is a taste of Jiggery Pokery, a Noël Coward-style song about the famous ball delivered by the great Australian bowler Shane Warne that bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993: “I took the crease to great applause and focused on me dinner/ I knew that I had little cause to fear their young leg spinner.” Then Gatting is out, after the ball “span obscenely”. And he’s very angry: “It was jiggery pokery trickery jokery how did he open me up?/ Robbery muggery Aussie skulduggery out for a buggering duck.” The song ends in a hysterical crescendo: “I hate Shane Warne!”
My brother texted me this afternoon from the Latitude Festival (taking place this weekend) to tell me that he’d just seen them performing and was more than impressed. I’m off to download the album – if you want a taster you can hear the whole thing on Spotify.