from by Anne Lister

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This one is for my paternal grandmother, Nellie Webb, whose life and attitudes I only began to understand long after she died, after finding a box of memorabilia.


In the photograph she’s laughing with her sister by her side
Walking down the promenade in the sunshine
Nothing like the miserable old woman when she died
Nothing like my memories of Grandma.

And here again she is with a feather in her hat
Dressed in her finest togs with her brother
I’ve seen my father and sister smile the same smile as that
Never knew it was inherited from Grandma.

And now here’s a clipping and a telegram folded small
Folded close to hide the bad news of her brother
And a note to say her husband had been wounded in the war
One year apart for these two blows for Grandma.

Here are the cherished photos of her darling first born son
As a baby, as a toddler, as a schoolboy
And here’s a stack of papers to show how soon his life was done
And now I think I understand my Grandma.

So that was why she spoiled my Dad and treated him as she did
Like a volcano hidden anger grief and sorrow
If I only had the chance to tell her now how well she did
I’ve had to change those memories of Grandma.


from Astrolabe, released December 28, 2019
Matt Crum: keyboards. Mike O’Connor: Anglo concertina, fiddle.


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Anne Lister Wales, UK

Anne is best known for her song "Icarus", recorded and performed by a number of different singers, including Martin Simpson and Nic Jones. "Astrolabe" is her ninth solo album.

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