1998, on an airplane flying to the Edmonton Folk Festival. Kate and Anna McGarrigle were seated near me. Couldn’t help it, went over to tell Anna how much I liked her song ‘Goin Back To Harlan. She smiled and without blinking asked “Do you know my version?”
I understood so much from that. Understood that she wondered if my compliment was about her or Emmy Lou Harris’s version. Understood that she hears many people praising her song not knowing the original. Understood she’s being polite but would rather hear I was drawn to her stuff not because a famous person put it on her famous record produced by a famous producer.
“No” I answered sheepishly and went back to my seat understanding I had research to do.