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  • Writer's pictureKate Griffin

A New Song

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

I thought after the composition of five tracks that the composing part of the project was nearly over. But then, sadly, a woman passed away last month, and with her went a wealth of memories of a time almost forgotten, reminding me of why I had started this project. Joyce was close to my family, having none of her own remaining, and was a village character running the village shop in Kempsford. The shop closed before I was born but in everyone's memories they remember it as somewhere people went not only to get their daily needs but to chat and meet others - it was the hub of the village. My mum's distinct memory of the shop is of the chair in the corner, where people would sit and talk to Joyce about whatever

Joyce behind the counter in the village store. Image courtesy of Janet Ayres.

was on their minds, and Joyce would always be generous with her time despite also running the shop. Her funeral recently, reminded me of how village life seems so different now, with the absence of a village centre like the shop and new houses being built each time I return home. The vicar also quoted a Chinese proverb in his service which really reinforced the aims of my project;

With every death, burns a library.

All the stories Joyce must have heard and her experience of the village is priceless, and I sincerely regret that I never knew her as more than someone who just came for Christmas dinner every year.

I am now in the process of writing a song not only for Joyce and village life as she knew it, but also as a reminder that when people like her leave this world, we'll never know the memories that had yet to share.


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