Charles Cowling

 

I first heard this song, fresh from the recording studio, when I was doing the newsletter for my local hospice. Billy Bragg had been working with some of the patients, and he’d just put one of the patients’ words to music. The song was called We Laughed. I blubbed.

The patient was Maxine Edgington, an inhabitant of the most beautiful island in the world, and the song was written for her daughter, 16 year-old Jessica. Maxine had breast cancer, and she died in September 2006. You see Maxine in the video, at the start, walking at the Bill, and later with Jessica. And that’s Maxine introducing her song. The singer is Helena

Still makes me blub.

What sort of a person was Maxine? On the Jeremy Vine show, she said: I just realised that dying was not actually about me, it was about those around me; it was about their feelings, it was about their comfort, it was about their coping, their knowing that I loved them, and it was leaving nothing unsaid. 

 

Remember swimming with the dolphin off Portland Bill
You when Buster as a puppy – I can see it still
We laughed, we laughed

We went girl racing in my brand new car
Watched soppy girly movies at the cinema
We laughed, we laughed
And we laughed
Though the hardest part of living
Is giving up what has been given
And you know no-one could love you more
Whatever the future has in store
I want you to remember that we laughed

When I dance to modern music you split your sides
Your ballet dancing medal filled me with pride
We laughed, we laughed
We were happier together than with our friends
We never believed that these days would end
We laughed, we laughed
We laughed
Though the hardest part of living
Is giving up what has been given
We laughed
And you know no-one could love you more
Whatever the future has in store
I want you to remember that we laughed

You always want to borrow my shoes
You nicked my make-up – it looked so good on you
We laughed, we laughed
And when I see how beautiful you are
I’m thrilled you turned out such a star
We laughed, we laughed
And we laughed
Though the hardest part of living
Is giving up what has been given
And you know no-one could love you more
Whatever the future has in store
I want you to remember that we laughed

Some things don’t turn out as planned
I give you to our father’s hand
I want you to remember that we laughed

[Maxine Edgington, Billy Bragg, Rosetta Life 2005]

 

4 thoughts on “We Laughed

  1. Charles Cowling
    gloria mundi

    Can’t type much, can’t see screen too well – thank you Maxine and Jessica, thanks so much.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Jehdeiah

    Blubbin’ one and all – Thank you for Maxine’s wisdom – I want to brand those words onto my soul:
    ‘I just realised that dying was not actually about me, it was about those around me; it was about their feelings, it was about their comfort, it was about their coping, their knowing that I loved them, and it was leaving nothing unsaid.’

    We could say the same about living….


    Charles Cowling

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