1 band, 1 year, 52 songs, 12 charities

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Perennials Volume 52: "Dolly's Lament" f. Liadain Clancy

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Story Behind The Song: "Dolly's Lament"

Dear friends, our 52nd (and final!) perennial is a long song about a dolphin. Jonny explains:

Back in January, when I was still living in Brooklyn, a dolphin somehow managed to get itself trapped in the Gowanus Canal - an twisty little inlet off the Hudson that has transformed, over the last 200 years, from a creek that soldiers swam through during the Revolutionary war into to one of the most polluted industrial waterways in the US. Soon after appearing in the canal, this poor dolphin passed away. This all happened about a block from where I used to live with Danny and Walt, and where and our neighbor, Linda, has been an advocate for cleaning up the canal for years.

Anyway, I was struck by this and started to imagine how this dolphin ended up in the Gowanus, and I began to write this song. I pictured a loving dolphin couple getting into a fight, leading to one of the dolphins being overcome with sadness. So sad she was, that she lost her way, took a wrong turn, and ended up the canal. Her distraught partner (in the song) searches hopelessly, never knowing if she ran away or if something terrible has happened.

Now, the crazy thing here - besides the fact that this is a love song about two dolphins - is that after I wrote the chorus and sketched out the story, marine biologists discovered that the lost dolphin who I had imagined was female (thus 'Dolly') was actually a male dolphin and that the cause of death wasn't necessarily exposure to the polluted waters of the Gowanus Canal, but a terminal illness (not that the stinky Gowanus water could have helped).

So is this song accurate? Who knows... But thanks to the characteristically beautiful and evocative singing that our good friend Liadain Clancy added to the track, is sure sounds pretty.

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