Listen to this track by singer-songwriter and musical-family bred chanteuse Martha Wainwright. It’s “Proserpina”, the last song written by her singer-songwriter mother, Kate McGarrigle in the year that Martha became a mother herself.
Martha Wainwright has an established musical pedigree. She’s a part of a celebrated musical family which includes brother and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and mother Kate McGarrigle of Kate & Anna McGarrigle fame. Anna is her aunt, of course. And her father, and singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, who had split with Kate when Martha was an infant, had been touted as one of the many so-called New Dylan figures to emerge in the 1970s.
Come Home To Mama is a tribute to these generational roots, in particular with regard to her mother. Kate McGarrigle passed away in 2010, not before writing a stunning song “Proserpina”, which Martha covers on this new record. The song serves as a single, and as a reminder of the connection between strong women who happen to be mother and daughter.
At practically the same time as she lost Kate, Wainwright became a mother herself. You might be able to guess where the fuel to write the songs may have come from. So how does this song relate to the role of motherhood, not just on a personal level for Martha Wainwright, but in general?