‘Into each life some rain must fall….’ The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 27.2.1807 – 24.3.1882
On 22nd June, at a cold and overcast outdoor rehearsal, one of our repertoire was ‘Singing in the Rain’, and it set me musing on the number of popular songs with rain as a theme. From April Showers to It’s Raining in my Heart and from Raindrops keep falling on my Head, with it’s brilliant second line, to The Umbrella Man, it’s Raining Men, and so many more.
Words and music just kept tumbling over and over each other into my head and then I discovered that the lyrics of the song made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and the Inkspots, was based on a poem by Longfellow, written after the death of his wife. The third stanza starts:
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
‘Into each life some rain must fall ……..
The piece I was going to write didn’t get written and instead I want to tell you about one of our singers and a very good friends of mine and so many others. Ynis Richardson passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 20th, after a short illness. She was one of the first people I spoke to on my very first rehearsal with DCC on 12th February 2013.
Ynis and I shared a love of Gin, chatting and singing (probably in that order). When the choir went into lockdown last year, we met weekly and as you can see her favourite tipple featured.
She was funny and adventurous and always up for something new When the choir went to Amsterdam in 2017, she let us all know that she was determined to try some cannabis. We never did find out whether she did.
Ynis accepted the prospect of her death with stoicism and I was privileged to be able to visit her when she moved to hospice care.
There’s something about singing in a choir that means you form a special bond with each other. Sadly we’ve lost some over the years and remember them all with fondness.