Martyn Joseph's song for The Gift of Years
Singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph records an acoustic version of 'This being Woman'
Listen to 'This Being Woman'
Debbie Thrower reflects
Out of the blue, Martyn Joseph said he’d record a version of This Being Woman (Being Old). I was delighted, as the song he co-wrote with Stewart Henderson is one of my favourites. It’s so poignant in the way it looks at a woman’s life from the vantage point of her old age. It encourages us to see everyone in their later years as the sum of many parts, with their younger selves still present through a rich collection of experiences built up over years. It’s also very optimistic, as the song speaks of being:
Still sensuous with mystery
The silk of
Who you’ve yet to be…
During the interval at one of his gigs, I had been telling Martyn about my work as an Anna Chaplain and Team Leader of The Gift of Years, the BRF programme which ‘resources the spiritual journey of older people’. I think many people in later life will resonate with the lyrics and, perhaps, especially those people who trust that this life is not all there is.
Thank you for all you're doing
This acoustic version of This Being Woman features only guitar and harmonica. Martyn sent it through within days, with a note saying, 'Thank you for all you’re doing.'
Debbie has known Martyn since first interviewing him on her BBC Radio 2 afternoon show in the 1990s, when he was on tour with Art Garfunkel and playing the Royal Festival Hall . They met again recently at a gig near Fareham, Hampshire, at which Martyn updated the audience on his own charity - Let Yourself Trust. It helps struggling projects around the world - from his native Wales to parts of South America.
Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris is a trustee. Martyn is, he explains, 'the recipient of an Amnesty International Award, his work taking him across the globe, from Africa to Brazil. He is a force for good and Let Yourself pulls together the threads of this humanitarian work into a Trust, to help those in need, through music.
Musically, Joseph’s work has shades of Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews. But he stands in his own right, with a reputation for fine live performances and what Bob Harris describes as 'songs of lyrical intelligence.'