Gravy and tears

Back in 1997 I spent Christmas in New York, a city with a real festive magic to it. There was the Empire State building lit up in red and green, the Macy’s decorations, a cappella carolers in subway stations, clumps of dirty grey snow in gutters… and me, homesick as all get out.

In our tiny apartment I put on a CD of Australian artists singing Christmas songs. When the Paul Kelly track below came on, I cried. My wife did too. It is a superb piece of storytelling and I still shiver when I hear it.

Christmas can be a time when we grieve for absent family and friends and regret moments gone by. This song says all that and more.

I wish all my readers, friends and family a Christmas that brings peace of mind and a pause from the crazy pace of life. Thanks for listening to me vent and ramble throughout 2009. I’m going to stop by the side of the Thunder Road for a while and listen to the waves.

4 thoughts on “Gravy and tears”

  1. Hey Tim and HNY! Getting to this (and only because it’s the first day I haven’t been at the beach since you put it up) but How to Make Gravy is not just my favourite PK song (and I do love PK- got my son’s name from his son), but one of my top five favourite songs full stop. I get teary every single time I hear it- it’s a masterpiece of story telling. His loneliness, his remorse, his anger (at himself), his fear that he’s going to lose Rita while he’s in prison (oh, the way he asks his brother not to “hold her too close” and then is immediately stricken with guilt at saying it, when it’s his brother who is looking after Rita and their kids over Christmas after all… “I didn’t mean to say that, it’s just the mind it plays up, turns imagination into fact”). I could go on, but you know all this. I wish I could write a book with as much in it.
    My other PK favourite is “I had forgotten you”- again, such a vast story, so much emotion, in about ten or twelve lines. I’ll stop now before I start crying again!
    Hope the GC is treating you well. Have had lots of lovely beach weather here, then 30mm of rain on NYE right in the middle of the parties. Perfect 🙂

  2. Thanks you and HNY to you too. Yes, that line about “don’t hold her too close” gets me too.I’d nominate Careless and Adelaide as among my other PK faves.

    GC was really good. Down the Ocean Rd next. Chat soon, T

  3. I will sound very un Australina when I say I do not recall ever hearing this song prior to now.

    It did indeed make me cry.

    Than you so much for sharing it! Loved it!

    Hope your Christmas and New Years was magical and safe 🙂

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