Happy Birthday Joanna Newsom

by rosalyster

  1. I saw you once in London, at the Royal Festival Hall.
  2. You had your huge harp and your huge piano, and this tiny checked dress which I have searched for ever since. Your hair was a colour that you normally only see in little children, going all in a plait down your back.
  3. My mum has this story from when she took me to see The Little Mermaid at the cinema.
  4. I was five, or maybe even smaller, but old enough to notice that my mum started crying the second we sat down and did not stop until the end.
  5. I thought at the time that maybe she was sad, and I worried about how to make her feel better, but she told me afterwards that it was just because it was very beautiful. All the mermaids zooting around under the sea, some of them with their hair in long plaits down their backs.
  6. She might have been sad as well, though.
  7. When I saw you in London, at the Royal Festival Hall, I started crying from the minute I sat down and did not stop until the end.
  8. I cried because it was very beautiful, especially “Emily”.
  9. I was also sad, though. I was sitting next to my friend whose brother had died, and I didn’t know how to make him feel better, or how to fix it, or how to make it so it never happened.
  10. I thought, when I was little, that there was always a way to make someone feel better.
  11. I hated the idea that sometimes a person just has to be sad, and that you can’t fix it, and that you shouldn’t try.
  12. This seems like the kind of thing that you would understand.joanna