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Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Valerie"

When I got the call to perform with Mark Ronson this past Monday and Tuesday night at The Music Hall of Williamsburg and Webster Hall, I WAS ECSTATIC!!! First of all, Mark Ronson is a genius and I love him so of course I'd want to share the stage with him. Second thing that came to mind was what song I'd be performing with him. "Valerie." Now I'm all to familiar with that song. For many, it's just another smash hit record that we all sing along to. For me, it was one of my Aunty Beryl's favorite songs.

I remember making the playlist earlier this year of all her favorite songs. "Valerie" was the only song I had on twice because she enjoyed two versions of it. I hadn't listened to the song since then. I'd avoid it. It would come on in random stores/shops and I'd tune it out or just leave. As many times as I'd heard "Valerie" I didn't know it word for word and on that Monday, I had only 2 hours to learn it. I opened iTunes on the laptop, went straight to Aunty Beryl's playlist and sat on the Amtrak train from Philly to NY. I looked up the lyrics, listened to the melodies over and over and over again and it wouldn't sink in. Just as it hadn't then, just as I had wanted to forget it, I did. I asked if they would kindly have the lyrics on the stage for me. And they did.

I was picked up from Penn station and rushed right to the venue, right to the dressing room, right before stage time with barely enough time to get it together. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, Spank Rock & Pill all in the dressing room, all very welcoming. I was handed a set of the lyrics 5mins before I got on stage and smiled thankfully. Even staring at the lyrics, they wouldn't stay with me. I openly joked with the band and artists how I didn't know the words. They gave me the "OMG" looks. I promised them I'd be okay.

I emailed a copy of the lyrics to my blackberry. I decided that I was going to hold my blackberry during my performance and act like I was twitpic'n. Not because by that point I didn't know the lyrics, but because my screensaver on my blackberry is Brompton House, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool, England. My Aunty Beryl lived there. She made the best egg nogs EVER. She would make a roast dinner for you if you said you were a bit peckish. She loved that song "Valerie". And the last time I heard it was the day of her funeral. That playlist I made comprised of all the songs that we put together as a family, of all the songs that reminded us of her. The song I remember the most from that day was "Valerie". The picture of Brompton House on my blackberry got me through that performance. Twice. And I know she's with me. Singing her heart out along with crowd.

I miss her.

We all do.

R.I.P Aunty Beryl

"Well sometimes I go out by myself
and I look across the water
and I think of all the things, what you're doing
and in my head a paint a picture..." - Valerie


14 comments:

  1. You did an awesome job. I'm sure your Auntie Beryl is still smiling at you now...:)

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  2. It was an incredible performance as always, Marsha, I'm sure you made her proud!

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  3. SO Dope! You'd make a killing with this sound. Definitely. Continued Blessings!

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  4. I wasn't familiar with song before...but you did an outstanding job. You sound so great.

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  5. I love the Amy Winehouse version and now I can add your version to the list. That was an awesome performance. You are too talented to not be a mega star. We need more from you!

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  6. Such a poignant piece Marsha! I happen to love this song. Amy Winehouse has a few versions. Marsha, u should definitely do a chopped n screwed version with this song for the ustream fam!!

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  7. Good Morning, wow! What a performance :-) Marsha, thank you thank you for sharing this. Your voice is incredible. The way you sung 'Valerie' gave me thrills. I'm speechless.

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  8. I am def not a blogger, but I love ur honesty and realism. I wish u all the best my sista.!!! Oh yea, and loved this performance, I reposted.......

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  9. Marsha...Your Story is touching I too have an Auntie Beryl who was very dear & near to me. Your performance was amazing I'm sure she was smiling down on you from heaven as you performed

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  10. Wow...thanks for sharing Marsha! I'm sure your Aunty Beryl is very proud of you. Your performance was beautiful...the best i've heard anybody sing 'Valerie' :)

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  11. Love you Marsha! #Ustreamfamforlife

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  12. I love the song Valerie so much, Amy did a nice job and so did you!!! Thank you for sharing this! :)

    That GOOD GOOD Blog

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