So – before we go any further – you should know that this one is for my Dad.
He died in 2015 and I miss him immensely. He was as flawed as the rest of us, but I remember him as just, a really good man. Husband for 51 years, father of three super capable children, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, served his country in the Air Force, lover of books, of music, of humanity, of laughter, of hard work and perseverance – I am incredibly grateful for what he gave me and thankful to have been his son.
He would have loved this track.
While initially you might think it’s a searing commentary on religion and commercial & moral exploitation (which it totally is!) what this track is really about - is family.
If you recently lost your Dad or Brother, Sister, Gran or Mom – you’re going to “get” this song – or rather – it’s going to get you. When Tim sings “I’ll be seeing my Dad,” and you know you won’t be and never will do again – it forces you to face the reality of your loss. My brother sent me the song and I spent that first Christmas listening to it & crying cathartically.
And yet - while the first half is clever and funny and true, the second half is such a pure expression of love – the love between a father and daughter and an introduction to the love that is shared between a family – that you actually feel good by the end of it.
Loss is inevitable but love endures and families are the crucible in which love is created.
I like to listen to this track and imagine what it must be like for Tim Minchin’s daughter. And no doubt they have their malarkey just like any family has – but – this song was for her! I like to think that the first half is what he wanted her to know about him and that the second half is what he wanted her to know about herself.
It’s an amazing song – up there with Lennon’s Beautiful Boy – and now millions of people have heard it.
Tim’s clearly a dude too as every year during November, December and January he donates proceeds from the track to the National Autistic Society – so go put it on repeat!
2017 has been a crazy year – this idea of music to grieve to has grown and developed and morphed into so many different things – the entire music to community wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t believed that listening to music can make you feel better.
To all of you who are missing loved ones this holiday season, I hope you find some solace in the music. I hope you have a speedy and complete journey through the grieving process, that soon you’ll be missing rather than grieving, remembering fondly rather than sadly and that soon, you’ll be looking forward with hope and love in your heart.
Merry Christmas everybody – see you in 2018.
You can learn more about Tim Minchin here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.