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FULL EPISODE

Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You

This memorial concert was filmed in 2010 after Canadian singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle passed away from cancer. Her children Rufus and Martha Wainwright perform music spanning her career, along with other talented family and friends, including Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Vivian Bond. The emotional concert pays loving tribute to her life and music.

AIRED: February 06, 2020 | 1:50:39
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

Hi, I'm Rufus Wainwright, and I'm so excited that All Arts

is presenting "Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You,"

a fabulous film by Lian Lunson

about my mother, Kate McGarrigle.

McGarrigle: ♪ If I had wings like Noah's dove ♪

♪ I'd fly up the river

♪ To the one I love

My mother, Kate McGarrigle, died at a young age.

She was 63.

And immediately, you know, my sister Martha and I

knew that it was imperative that we commemorate her passing

with a concert of her songs.

All: ♪ Proserpina

Wainwright: The entire family and special guests like Emmylou Harris

and Norah Jones and Jimmy Fallon --

great people, all singing Kate's songs.

[ Piano playing ]

The lasting impact of Kate's music is essentially

a view of life

from the eyes of a woman who has lived fully...

All: ♪ Down on into California

Wainwright: ...and really expressed that -- that journey truthfully.

All: ♪ Rocks remain

Wainwright: I think Kate really would've liked the film.

All: ♪ And let the sun set on the ocean ♪

She always liked things to be intense

and liked things to be profound

and to be -- to really go there,

so the film goes there,

and it's -- yeah, so fasten your seatbelts.

[ Chuckles ]

All: ♪ Come with me

♪ I tried to do all that I can

♪ But the churches have run out of candles ♪

♪ I tried to give you all I own ♪

♪ But the bankers have run out of loaners ♪

♪ It's always just that little bit more ♪

♪ That doesn't get you what you're looking for ♪

♪ I tried to block the cabin door ♪

♪ But the churches have run out of candles ♪

♪ I tried to lend a helping hand ♪

♪ But the rooms have all run out of pamphlets ♪

♪ I tried to cook it up and then ♪

♪ The kitchen has run out of canned bits ♪

♪♪

♪ Her hair was dyed black, and she was bending down ♪

♪ Picking something from off of the ground ♪

♪ She was 17

♪ He said, "Oh, my God, it's Kate" ♪

She said "No, I'm the daughter of Kate.

♪ My name is Martha, who are you? ♪

♪♪

♪ Ma never told me

♪ Never told me 'bout you"

[ Indistinct conversations ]

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Thank you, "Rufie," for introducing me.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Chuckles ]

Well...

I did introduce you years ago.

You did.

When Martha arrived home from the hospital,

and I was about 2 1/2,

everybody was looking at her in the living room.

I could play through this. And I walked in

with a glass of grapefruit juice and poured it on her.

[ Laughter ]

I've paid for it ever since.

[ Laughter ]

And moved on to glasses of wine

that you've poured on me and thrown in my face.

And I just want to briefly, uh, say something about this song.

This song is called "I Am a Diamond,"

and Kate wrote it with her sisters, Anna and Janey,

for a musical that was never produced.

It's a song that's never been recorded,

and so...

I'm very happy to be able to do it.

And it was written by a woman --

The musical that they wrote is called "Mrs. Chadwick,"

about a con artist at the turn of the last century,

thebelle epoque, who was a very strong female figure

and was able to con the most amount of money out of someone

that had ever been conned, but I think --

She would've fit in today, I tell ya.

Well, yeah. [ Laughter ]

But I think the song also -- You really --

It's actually really about Kate, too.

♪ I should have known better

♪ They warned me from the start ♪

♪ That gentlemen who climb the ladder ♪

♪ Heed the rules and not the heart ♪

♪ They're blinded by the promise ♪

♪ That if they play the game, their star will rise ♪

♪ They never look to see what shines ♪

♪ Right before their very eyes

♪♪

♪ I am a diamond

♪ In a setting that's wrong

♪ An unspoiled gem

♪ That's brilliant and strong

♪ And I will find a way to take what is mine ♪

♪ 'Cause I am a diamond

♪ And I'm gonna

♪ Shine

♪ And I'm gonna shine

♪ I want the touch of Midas

♪♪

♪ Not Neptune's trident

♪ Or Mercury's wings

♪ Circe's powers or Saturn's rings ♪

♪ I want to end the search of the philosophers of old ♪

♪ And touch the stone

♪ That turns it all to gold ♪

♪ That turns it all to gold ♪

♪ I am a woman

♪ And I'll do anything

♪ My aims to achieve

♪ I'll eat the apple that was offered to Eve ♪

♪ Oh, I'll eat it all and I'll let Adam be damned ♪

♪ 'Cause I am like the lion

♪ I am not the lamb

♪ I am not the lamb

♪ I am a diamond

♪ And I'm gonna shine

♪ I am a diamond

♪ And I'm gonna shine

♪ I am a diamond

♪ And I'm gonna shine

[ Cheers and applause ]

I'm Jane McGarrigle, Kate's older sister,

the big sister of the three.

I'm Anna McGarrigle, also Kate's older sister.

Kate was the youngest.

I'm Rufus Wainwright, Kate's son.

I'm Martha Wainwright, Kate's daughter.

I'm Sylvan Lanken, Kate's nephew.

My name is Lily Lanken, and I'm Kate's niece.

Vincent Dow, and I'm nephew to Kate.

This is the house we grew up singing in.

This is the piano we sat around, we sat and sang around.

♪♪

We sang all the time, and I went into it wholeheartedly,

but Martha would make appearances.

Martha: Yeah, I'd make appeara-- I was like --

Kate and Anna and Gaby would ask Rufus to sing a song,

and then I'd go upstairs sometimes with my cousins

and just put on clothes, you know, of my Grandma's clothes

or try and, like, steer away the attention perhaps.

I put on my grandmother's clothes, too, occasionally. Yeah, you did, too.

Nobody thought that was funny.

The adults didn't think that was funny.

We thought it was a gas.

But I think, when you were asked to sing --

once you were asked to sing,

then really, you knew that you made it in this family.

♪♪

Emmylou: Sounds -- [ Noodling on piano ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Okay.

[ "I Cried For Us" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Love, it's not I who didn't try ♪

♪ Hard enough, hard enough

♪ And this is why I'm saying goodbye ♪

♪ I've had enough, I've had enough ♪

♪ Love, you don't see the pain in me ♪

♪ It's plain enough, plain enough ♪

♪ You're never here to catch the tears ♪

♪ I cried for us, I cried for us ♪

♪ I'll take my share, but I'll be fair ♪

♪ There's not much stuff, easy enough ♪

♪ And if you choose, I'll break the news ♪

♪ This part is tough, so very tough ♪

♪♪

Want me to sing harmony?

Yeah, you can s-- Yeah, sure.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I've tried and tried to put aside ♪

♪ A time to talk but without luck ♪

♪ So I'll just pin this note within your coat ♪

♪ And leave the garden gate unlocked ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ And this is why I'm saying goodbye ♪

♪ I've had enough, I've had enough ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "Darlin' Kate" playing ]

♪ So it's finally come

♪ You have left this world

♪ But we'll miss our Kate

♪ Our darlin' girl

♪ We held your hand

♪ Kissed your lovely brow

♪ And bid farewell

♪ You're sailing now

♪ Free from the pain ♪ Ooh

♪ You laid that burden down

♪ But your strong and giving heart ♪

♪ Will surely be your crown

♪ As you slip the surly bonds of earth and sail away ♪

♪ Perhaps we will meet again somehow, someday ♪

♪ Until then, there's nothing we can do but wait ♪

♪ To see once more

♪ Our darlin' Kate

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Ah, ah

♪ Ah, ah, ah

♪ Oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh

♪ All those nights we sang

♪ Talked till the sun come up

♪ You fed our souls

♪ You filled our cup

♪ With your perfect words and, oh, that voice ♪

♪ We fell in love, we had no choice ♪

♪ And I can't say for sure where you have gone ♪

♪ But in that place, I'm bettin' there's a better song ♪

♪ For we've all known down here the taste of joy and strife ♪

♪ You were the sweetest note

♪ In the chord of life

♪ Now you've slipped the surly bonds of earth and sailed away ♪

♪ Perhaps we will meet again somehow, someday ♪

♪ But if there was one name I could consecrate ♪

♪ It would be yours

♪ It would be Kate

[ Cheers and applause ]

I went through -- You know, I know the canon pretty well.

And I made the choice -- We did this show in London last year.

And I made the choice at that time that it should be

a kind of representation of the breadth of Kate's work,

and so we looked for obscure songs

which hadn't been widely known

or some of them which had never even been heard

outside demo tapes.

A song like "Saratoga Summer Song,"

which brings down the house,

only existed on a demo tape,

and nobody'd ever knew it, you know?

And Teddy just grabbed it.

I thought of him when I heard it, and I sent it to him.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Alright. Thanks very much. How are you doing?

Woman: Yeah! [ Cheers and applause ]

I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

[ Laughter ]

Okay.

[ "Saratoga Summer Song" playing ]

♪♪

♪ We, you and I, as young adults ♪

♪ We proved ourselves, we showed results ♪

♪ Like cats and dogs who'd undergone a fix ♪

♪ Fashionably cynical, and love to us was clinical ♪

♪ Long ago, we gave up getting our kicks ♪

♪ But the summer sun came down on all ♪

♪ And it was fun to feel, fun to fall ♪

♪ Into a sloppy teenage scene

♪ Gossiping and having crushes

♪ Dimming lights to hide our blushes ♪

♪ My God, I thought I was 16

♪♪

All those happy hours

Turn the green buds into flowers

This crazy summer is over

No more bees, no more clover

The rope at the swimming hole

Swings by the weight of the wind

Skidmore girls come back to town

All the freaks head underground

And we who are free

Swing like the rope from that tree

We danced and played some tennis

Made love with Fred or Dennis

We drank lots of beer and ate a whole lot of food

We put our bodies to the sun

Forgot the sea and everyone

We swam dressed, and we swam nude

And the New York City ballet dancers

Danced for all the neighborhood cancers

Who were celebrating their birthdays in the sun

And all that sun brought dope and lust

And we weren't too smart, and we had a bust

But nobody slept alone

Night caught up with day

Summer went away

This crazy summer is passed now

Sunrise to sunset is fading fast now

And all I want is to see

The rope on that tree

So bring the bagels and bring back the lox

Let's have another vernal equinox

Bring back the laughs, bring back the tears

Bring back the beer

Bring back the dope and the rope

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen,

please welcome Mr. Jimmy Fallon.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Yo, I love you!

Thank you, everybody. Please sit down.

[ Laughter ]

Thank you so much.

I just wanted to say

I'm honored to be here tonight

to play with this --

to play with this talented stage of people, of talented people.

And I got to know the family over the years.

And I grew up in an Irish Catholic family in New York,

and my dad would tell jokes and sing,

and my mom would tell jokes and dance,

my sister was very funny, and she told jokes,

and I thought we were a very talented family.

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

[ Chuckles ] Then I met these guys,

the von Trapps!

[ Laughter ]

I mean, they're singing --

♪ Hello, farewell, auf Wiedersehen ♪

Here's our cousin!

[ Vocalizing ]

[ Laughter ]

They're like a very talented "Brady Bunch,"

and I feel like Oliver the stepchild,

They go, "And now Jimmy!" and everyone's quiet.

[ Laughter ]

So, they asked me to come out tonight.

I just want to say I'm just honored,

and to Rufus and Martha, your mom loved you so much.

And every time she saw you guys singing together,

you could just see in her face how much she loved you guys

and how proud she was of you guys.

And she always used to help me with my jokes when I came out.

That was the fun thing about her -- She got the joke.

She was so funny. So she'd be like, "Nah, don't do that.

That's silly. Don't do that."

Like tonight, she would say, "Don't come with a washboard."

You know, but I have to grow up one time in my life,

and so I'm growing up now.

I'm gonna do a song the best I can

with my man Chaim and Brad and, uh --

-You ready to do it? -Yeah. We'll do it?

-Take it away. -Thanks, man.

[ "The Swimming Song" playing ]

♪♪

[ Audience clapping ]

Help me out.

♪♪

♪ Summer, I went swimming

♪ This summer, I might have drowned ♪

♪ But I held my breath, and I kicked my feet ♪

♪ And I moved my arms around

♪ I moved my arms around

♪ This summer, I swam in the ocean ♪

♪ And I swam in a swimming pool ♪

♪ Salt in my wounds, chlorine in my eyes ♪

♪ I'm a self-destructive fool

♪ I'm a self-destructive fool, yeah ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ This summer, I did the backstroke ♪

♪ And you know that that's not all ♪

♪ I did the breast stroke, the butterfly ♪

♪ And the old Australian crawl

♪ The old Australian crawl

♪ This summer, I swam in a public place ♪

♪ And a reservoir to boot

♪ At the latter, I was informal ♪

♪ At the former, I wore my suit ♪

♪ I wore my swimming suit

Washboard solo!

[ Crowd cheering ]

♪♪

♪♪

Spoons!

[ Crowd cheering ]

♪♪

Tap solo!

[ Shoes clicking ]

♪♪

[ Crowd cheering ]

This summer, I did swan dives

And jackknives for you all

And once, when you weren't looking

I did a cannonball

I did a cannonball

This summer, I been --

This summer, I might have drowned

But I held my breath, and I kicked my feet

And I moved my arms around

I moved my arms around

Thank you!

I miss you, Kate.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Laughter ]

[ Kate & Anna McGarrigle's "The Swimming Song" playing ]

♪♪

♪ This summer, I went swimming

♪ This summer, I might have drowned ♪

♪ But I held my breath, and I kicked my feet ♪

♪ And I moved my arms around

♪ Moved my arms around

♪ This summer, I swam in the ocean ♪

♪ Then swam in a swimming pool

♪ Salt in my wounds, chlorine in my eyes ♪

♪ I'm a self-destructive fool

♪ Self-destructive fool

[ Applause ]

This song is, uh...

[ Sighs ] Okay, it's about me...

Is it?! [ Laughter ]

...and many other people. It's --

I always imagined myself in the role,

but, in truth, my mother did remind me constantly

that it's more about the phenomenon

of the firstborn son.

-Whoo! -Whoo!

And tonight, it's very special to sing it

for myself and I think also for Martha,

because she has a firstborn son, as well -- Arcangelo, so...

Yes.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And as a second-born daughter,

I never wanted to believe any of the lyrics,

but it turns out it is true.

[ Laughter ]

So...I feel better now.

[ "First Born" playing ]

♪ The silver spoon's in the mouth ♪

♪ Baby clothes are baby-blue

♪ Nothing's ever handed down

♪ Everything's brand-new

♪ Newspaper notices

♪ Heralding that great event

♪ Daddy's buddies send the flowers ♪

♪ Mother's friends have baby showers ♪

♪ Welcoming that heaven-sent

♪ The firstborn son is always the one ♪

♪ The first to be called and the last to come ♪

♪ He's his mother's favorite, his grandmother's, too ♪

♪ He'll break their hearts, and he'll break yours, too ♪

♪ For he's the first to creep and the first to crawl ♪

♪ The first to walk and the first to fall ♪

♪ Every bruise is kissed, every cry is heard ♪

♪ Every doubt is cast out with a soothing word ♪

♪ 'Cause he's that firstborn son ♪

♪ He's that special one

♪ No matter what comes next, no matter what comes along ♪

♪ Be it another boy or a sweet baby girl ♪

♪ The family's the oyster, and he is the pearl ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Some of them make it, some of them don't ♪

♪ Some of them can't

♪ Others won't grow u-u-u-p

♪♪

♪ In the Bible of old, according to Exodus ♪

♪ Every firstborn son of a Jew got axed ♪

♪ But the one who survived, with the help of God's hand ♪

♪ Led his people to the promised land ♪

♪ Yes, he's that firstborn son, he's that son of a gun ♪

♪ He don't like to walk, he just likes to run ♪

♪ He loves to run just as fast as he can ♪

♪ With life held tight in the palm of his hand ♪

♪♪

♪ With life held tight in the palm of his hand ♪

♪♪

♪ With life held tight in the palm of his hand ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Um...

I don't know if I can pinpoint the time

that I knew that she was a singer.

I mean, I knew that I had a sense that what she did

was different than what anybody else did on the block,

in the neighborhood, or in --

and very different than what other mothers did.

And I knew that we were different in that respect,

because of what she did.

I must have been aware that she was a singer

when she sang to me as a kid, as a baby.

You know, she sang "Go Tell Aunt Rhody,"

which is something I sing a lot now,

and I remember her singing it,

and, you know, it sounded pretty good.

It sounded kind of professional,

[ Laughing ] So I knew that it must be --

You know, she wasn't like --

You know, she was singing it properly,

so she must've been a singer,

so I knew I was lucky

in those moments when she was singing me to sleep.

I knew that I probably had, like, a better, you know,

lullaby factory from my mother than most.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Woman: I love you, Martha!

Thank you.

I love you, too.

I think many of you will know this song, hopefully,

but it's an honor to sing it.

♪♪

♪ Weather man on the radio

♪ Threatens rain, maybe snow

♪ He just forecasts, he don't know ♪

♪ I need blue skies

♪ I've got to go

♪ I'm not a cowboy

♪ I've never been shot

♪ I'm not a convict

♪ I've never been caught

♪ Tell my sister to tell my mother ♪

♪ I'm coming home

♪ Home alone

♪ Sunday morning, I boarded a plane ♪

♪ Leaving London, England, in the pouring rain ♪

♪ Tell my sister to tell my mother ♪

♪ I'm coming home

♪ Home alone

♪♪

[ Clarinet solo ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Someday, I'll be back again [ Cheers and applause ]

♪ To that green and pleasant land ♪

♪ Between the channel and the sea ♪

♪ Across the ocean

♪ That's where I want to be

♪ But until then

♪ Tie me to the ground

♪ I've got to let these weary bones rest ♪

♪ From runnin' around

♪ Tell my sister to tell my mother ♪

♪ I'm coming home

♪ Home alone

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

People keep asking when I first met Kate and Anna.

We can't remember.

But I remember hearing about these amazing girls.

I had a friend -- still have a friend -- Linda Ronstadt,

and she -- [ Applause ]

She kept talking about these gals from Canada

who had -- And one of them in particular

named Anna McGarrigle, had written this extraordinary song

called "Heart Like a Wheel."

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "Heart Like a Wheel" playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Some say the heart is just like a wheel ♪

♪ When you bend it

♪ You can't mend it

♪ And my love for you is like a sinking ship ♪

♪ And my heart is on that ship out in mid-ocean ♪

♪ They say that death is a tragedy ♪

♪ It comes once, and it's over

♪ But my only wish is for that deep, dark abyss ♪

♪ 'Cause what's the use of livin' with no true lover? ♪

♪ And it's only love

♪ And it's only love

♪ That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out ♪

♪ That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out ♪

♪ When harm is done, no love can be won ♪

♪ I know it happens frequently

♪ But what I can't understand

♪ Oh, please God, hold my hand

♪ Is why it had to happen to me ♪

♪ And it's only love

♪ And it's only love

♪ And it's only love

♪ And it's only love

♪ Only love, only love

♪ Only love, only love

♪ Some say the heart is just like a wheel ♪

♪ When you bend it

♪ You can't mend it

♪ And my love for you is like a sinking ship ♪

♪ And my heart is on that ship out in mid-ocean ♪

♪ And my heart is on that ship out in mid-ocean ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

One of my favorite memories of her --

I may have spoken about this before. I don't know,

but one of my favorites is a few years later,

when I was probably about 12 or so.

Kate and Anna were in the basement of the house,

writing a song together,

and there was a piano down in the basement.

They had the studio hooked up, and they were kind of laughing

and drinking and writing and being merry.

And I kind of peered down in the stairs,

and my mother was walking up, and she just --

she was so happy and so fulfilled,

and as she walking up the stairs, she kind of turns to me,

and she said, "You know what, Rufus?

Thereis no business like show business."

[ Laughs ]

♪ Back before the blues were blue ♪

♪ When the good old songs were new ♪

♪ Songs that may no longer please us ♪

♪ 'Bout the darkies, about Jesus ♪

♪ Mississippi minstrels, color of molasses ♪

♪ Strummed their banjos to entertain their massas ♪

♪ Some said "garbage," others cried "art" ♪

♪ You couldn't call it soul, you had to call it heart ♪

♪ Backs broke bending, digging holes to plant the seeds ♪

♪ The owners ate the cane while the workers ate the weeds ♪

♪ Put the wood in the stove, the water in the cup ♪

♪ You worked so hard that you died standing up ♪

♪ When I was a little thing

♪ Papa tried to make me sing

♪ "Home Sweet Home" and "Aura Lee" ♪

♪ These were songs that my daddy taught me ♪

♪ "Camptown Races" and "Susanna, Don't You Cry" ♪

♪ "Gentle Annie" still brings a tear to my eye ♪

♪ Label it garbage, label it art ♪

♪ You couldn't call it soul, you had to call it heart ♪

♪ Backs broke bending, digging holes to plant the seeds ♪

♪ The owners ate the cane while the workers ate the weeds ♪

♪ Put the wood in the stove, the water in the cup ♪

♪ You worked so hard that you died standing up ♪

♪ Sing me songs of days gone by ♪

♪ Make me laugh, make me cry

♪ Break my female heart in two

♪ Sing me the songs that say "I love you" ♪

♪ Lower your eyes, raise your hands to your breast ♪

♪ Sing me one about the sun settin' in the West ♪

♪♪

♪ Aw, backs broke bending,

♪ Digging holes to plant the seeds ♪

♪ The farmers ate the cane while the workers ate the weeds ♪

♪ Put the wood in the stove, the water in the cup ♪

♪ You worked so hard that you died standing up ♪

♪ Wood's in the stove, water's in the cup ♪

♪ You worked so hard

♪ That you died standing up

[ Cheers and applause ]

I'd like to introduce you to Krystle Warren.

Krystle's actually from Kansas City,

but we met her in London last year

when we did the Kate tribute,

and I believe she lives in Paris,

so I don't know how much time

she actually hangs around New York,

but she's a real -- a fine discovery.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "I Don't Know" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Love is like a bullet in a gun ♪

♪ Aimed at your heart

♪ Tears your heart apart

♪ You scream, and you bleed

♪ And you fall down to your knees ♪

♪ Reaching for a hand

♪ But the hunter turns his back ♪

♪ He hears his trumpet sound

♪♪

♪♪

♪ And the sun is going down

♪ You ask me what it's all about ♪

♪ I say I don't know

♪ Should you stay and work it out? ♪

♪ I say, "I don't think so"

♪♪

♪ Someone else will come along and hold you close ♪

♪ Someone's lost out in the storm ♪

♪ Is looking for safe haven

♪ Light your lamp and hold it high ♪

♪ Before you let the stranger in ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ You ask me what it's all about ♪

♪ I say I don't know

♪ Should you stay and work it out? ♪

♪ Give it up, let it go

♪♪

♪ Love is like a bullet in a gun ♪

♪ Aimed at your heart

♪♪

♪ Tears your heart apart

♪ You scream, and you bleed

♪ And reaching for a hand, you fall down on your knees ♪

♪ Man is truly the cruelest of beasts ♪

♪♪

♪ You ask me what it's all about ♪

♪ And I say I don't know

♪ Should you stay and work it out? ♪

♪ I say, "I don't think so"

♪♪

♪ Life is short, and grief can tear a heart apart ♪

♪ Life is short, life is sweet

♪ This much I know

♪ Should you stay and work it out? ♪

♪ I say, "I don't think so"

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Chuckles ]

1, 2, 1, unh, unh, go.

[ "Come a Long Way" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Come a long way since we last shook hands ♪

♪ Still got a long way to go

♪ Couldn't see the flowers when we last shook hands ♪

♪ Couldn't see the flowers on account of the snow ♪

♪♪

♪ What did you do with your burden and your cross? ♪

♪ Did you carry it yourself or did you crack? ♪

♪ We all know that a burden and a cross ♪

♪ Can only be carried on one man's back ♪

♪♪

♪ All my life, I wanted to roam ♪

♪ To go to the ends of the earth ♪

♪ But the earth really ends where you started to roam ♪

♪ And you and I know what a circle is worth ♪

♪♪

♪ Give me your hand for the parting touch ♪

♪ Fare thee well and thanks a lot ♪

♪ I know that we promised we would keep in touch ♪

♪ But you and I know that we both forgot ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Let's drink a cup to what went down ♪

♪ There's not much left to reveal ♪

♪ Think I changed my mind after what went down ♪

♪ As to who in the end got the better deal ♪

♪ Oh, we come a long way since we last shook hands ♪

♪ Still got a long way to go

♪ Couldn't see the flowers when we last shook hands ♪

♪ Couldn't see the flowers on account of the snow ♪

♪ Couldn't see the flowers on account of the snow ♪

♪ Couldn't see the flowers on account of the snow ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

"I have learned that there's really no such thing as death

the way you think about it.

It is true that when God wants to call any of us,

He just does so,

and our souls are then separated from our bodies,

and once the soul leaves the body,

why, then the old body is of no further use,

and it is disposed of into the ground.

We pay a lot of respect by giving it a nice funeral,

and everybody dresses in black,

but only because it had, for a time,

been the dwelling place of one of God's souls.

So if you're a good little girl,

you should have no fear whatever of God calling you,

because He is going to call every one of us

in His own good time.

All of life, Janey, everything living,

is just one big succession of being born, living for a while,

and then going back to Mother Earth.

You see all the wildflowers and the plants in the gardens?

They all die in the autumn,

and other ones come up in the spring and summer,

growing from the seed that the dead ones left behind.

So just don't let things like old people dying worry you.

You just go ahead and be as good as you know how,

be good to Mommy,

and be kind to your little sisters and your friends,

and you won't have to worry about going to sleep at night.

And be sure to say your prayers to your guardian angel,

and then nothing, just nothing,

can happen to you while you sleep.

And you see that Anna and Kitty Kate say their prayers, too.

Now, if you have anything you're worrying about,

just write and tell me.

I'll understand it and explain it to you.

Yours affectionately, Daddy."

[ "I Just Want It to Last" playing ]

Kate: I'd like to thank everybody for coming to my party.

♪ Make that Earth slow down a bit ♪

♪ As it spins 'round the sun

♪ It's going awful fast

♪ And I'm having too much fun

♪ Find a cozy parking spot

♪ In some laid-back galaxy

At her 60th birthday party, she wrote --

I don't know if anyone's ever played it for you.

She prepared a little song and recorded it,

and it's basically, you know, "Make the Earth slow down.

Don't spin so fast."

'Cause I think Kate knew then, in February 2006, that --

that things were worse than she was letting on

or that anybody knew.

I think she figured it out.

♪ Make the Earth slow down a bit ♪

♪ We're goin' way too fast

♪ And I just want it to last

♪♪

Thank you.

Kate: Hi.

Man: Kate McGarrigle is a prolific songwriter

whose songs you've probably heard --

maybe you don't know it --

and someone I've wanted to have on for a long time.

Aww. [ Chuckles ]

Should we -- Do you want to do another song,

and then we'll talk some?

Okay, I'll go to the piano, yeah?

Okay, sure.

[ "Walking Song" playing ]

♪♪

Kate: ♪ Wouldn't it be nice to walk together? ♪

♪ Baring our souls while wearing out the leather ♪

♪ We could talk shop, harmonize a song ♪

♪ Wouldn't it be nice to walk along? ♪

♪ I'll show you houses of architectural renown ♪

♪ Some are still standing, some have fallen down ♪

In October of 2009,

Kate told me she had written a song,

and she was sending it to me.

And it was -- As it turns out,

it was the last song she ever wrote.

It was called "Proserpina."

And she'd been reading about Greek mythology and --

And I know --

So, there's only -- Other than a live version at Albert Hall,

the only recorded version of Kate

was something she did on GarageBand,

on her laptop that was stuck on top of her 1904 Bluthner piano.

And it's very distorted,

but I think we're gonna hear --

We are gonna hear it, right?

[ "Proserpina" playing ]

♪♪

This is new. I wrote it two weeks ago.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mother, come home to Mama now ♪

[ "Proserpina" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mother, come home to Mama now ♪

♪♪

♪ I shall punish the Earth, I shall turn down the heat ♪

♪ I shall take away every morsel to eat ♪

♪ I shall turn every field into stone ♪

♪ Where I'll walk, crying alone, crying for ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama now ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Go home to your mother, go home to Hera ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Go home to your mother, go home to Hera now ♪

♪ She has punished the Earth, she has turned down the heat ♪

♪ She has taken away every morsel to eat ♪

♪ She has turned every field into stone ♪

♪ Where she walks, crying alone, crying for ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama now ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ She has turned every field into stone ♪

♪ Where she walks, crying alone, crying for ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama, come home to Mama ♪

♪ Proserpina, Proserpina

♪ Come home to Mama

♪ Come home to Mama now

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you so much.

We're gonna take a break now, and we'll be back.

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

This last song, I have to say,

that when Kate was in the throes of her death,

right at the end,

we sang a lot of songs for her.

But when we did sing this song,

she had been in a coma at the time,

and she instantly came back to us

and was present for an instant

when the strains of this music presented themselves.

♪ Il y a longtemps que je t'aime ♪

♪ Jamais je ne t'oublierai

♪ J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle que je m'y suis baigné ♪

♪ Sur la plus haute branche, le rossignol chantait ♪

♪ Il y a longtemps que je t'aime ♪

♪ Jamais je ne t'oublierai

♪ Sur la plus haute branche, le rossignol chantait ♪

♪ Chante, rossignol, chante, toi qui as le coeur gai ♪

♪ Il y a longtemps que je t'aime ♪

♪ Jamais je ne t'oublierai

[ "Southern Boys" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Southern boys are warm and lovely ♪

♪ They speak gently of their homes ♪

♪ And show you pictures of the folks ♪

♪ Breath in your ear

♪ Is as soft as the cotton

♪ Whether wooing or whispering the latest racist jokes ♪

♪ I get knocked

♪ Right off my feet

♪ When I hear that Southern drawl ♪

[ All vocalizing ]

♪♪

♪ And I don't mind the pain

♪ 'Cause the feeling's worth the fall ♪

♪♪

♪ Buttered grits is fare for breakfast ♪

♪ And if you like and your aim is good, maybe a squirrel ♪

♪ 'Round about 9:00, we'll pop that moonshine ♪

♪ And it's out onto the porch for a moonlight swing ♪

♪ With me, your Northern girl

♪ I get knocked

♪ Right off my feet

♪ When I hear that Southern drawl ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ And I don't mind the pain

♪ 'Cause the feeling's worth the fall ♪

♪♪

♪ Where you born?

♪ Oh, where do you come from?

♪ Is your tropic in Cancer, and is your sun sign divine? ♪

♪ Ah, let it out

♪ Oh, please don't hide it

♪ All that good ol' stuff down below that Mason-Dixon Line ♪

♪ I get knocked

♪ Right off my feet

♪ When I hear that Southern drawl ♪

♪ And I don't mind the pain

♪ 'Cause the feeling's worth the fall ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ And don't extend your hand

♪ 'Cause I couldn't move at all ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Now I'd like to bring up a writer, a famous writer,

who, as it turns out, is also a Canadian,

and who quoted Kate in a book

a few years back called "Anil's Ghost."

And, anyway, Michael Ondaatje, we were fans of his,

and it turns out he was fans of Kate and myself.

So, it's -- And we've known him now for several years,

and he got to know Kate quite well.

And I think they all sort of saw each other

at some very elegant affair.

I think it was at the opera

here in New York a few years ago.

In any case, here's Michael to read for you.

[ Applause ]

"Not many public figures, though they might be vastly successful,

become part of the family album,

and in Canada, Kate and Anna became part of the family album.

We grew up alongside them, we went to their concerts,

we bought their records,

and then we heard the next wonderful generation.

So I felt like the McGarrigle 'ah'

happened every week, every year.

We heard the two sisters talk on the radio about harmony,

and it made you feel

you were living on a much better, civilized planet.

Their songs in English and French

became part of our dialogue, our thought processes.

Talking to the film director Denys Arcand about 'Mendocino,'

he described it as 'that great song

which travels flat across America,

then lifts itself over the Rockies

and comes down to the coast.'"

"'Oh, the trees grow high in New York State.

They shine like gold in autumn.

Never had the blues from whence I came.

But in New York State, I caught 'em.'

She said the lines in a whisper, head down to her own chest --

'Autumn, caught 'em.'

How that rhyme snuggled into its partner."

Thank you.

[ Applause ]

[ "Talk to Me of Mendocino" playing ]

[ Applause ]

♪♪

♪ I bid farewell to the state of old New York ♪

♪ My home away from home

♪ In the state of New York, I came of age ♪

♪ When first I started roaming

♪ And the trees grow high in New York State ♪

♪ And they shine like gold in autumn ♪

♪ Never had the blues from whence I came ♪

♪ But in New York State, I caught 'em ♪

♪ Talk to me of Mendocino

♪ Closing my eyes, I hear the sea ♪

♪ Must I wait, must I follow?

♪ Won't you say, "Come with me"? ♪

♪♪

♪ And it's on to South Bend, Indiana ♪

♪ Flat out on the Western plains ♪

♪ Rise up over the Rockies, down on into California ♪

♪ Out to where but the rocks remain ♪

♪ Let the sun set on the ocean

♪ I will watch it from the shore ♪

♪ Let the sun rise over the redwoods ♪

♪ I'll rise with it, till I rise no more ♪

♪ Talk to me of Mendocino

♪ Closing my eyes, I hear the sea ♪

♪ Must I wait, must I follow?

♪ Won't you say, "Come with me"? ♪

♪ Won't you say, "Come"

♪ "With me"?

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "Matapedia" playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪ He put his big, middle-aged hands upon her shoulders ♪

♪ And he looked her in the eyes ♪

♪ Just like a boy of 19 would

♪♪

♪ And she was not afraid

♪ No, she was not afraid

♪♪

Once upon a time, two kids in love in a car

were flyin' over mountains,

trying to catch a boat that would take 'em up river to home.

♪ And they raced

♪ The Matapedia

♪♪

♪ 60 minutes, 60 miles, 30 minutes, 30 miles ♪

♪ 20 minutes, 20 miles, 10, 9, 8 ♪

♪ And I was not afraid

♪ No, I was not afraid

[ All vocalizing ]

♪♪

♪♪

Well, we made the boat

with minutes to spare,

and we crossed on over to the other side.

Back home, safe and sound.

♪♪

♪ But I could not slow down

♪ No, I could not slow down

Chorus.

♪ And we raced

♪ The Matapedia

♪♪

♪ 60 minutes, 60 miles, 30 minutes, 30 miles ♪

♪ 20 minutes, 20 miles, 10, 9, 8 ♪

♪ And I could not slow down

♪♪

♪ No, I could not slow down

Chorus.

♪ And we raced

♪ The Matapedia

♪♪

♪ 60 minutes, 60 miles, 30 minutes, 30 miles ♪

♪ 20 minutes, 20 miles, 10, 9, 8 ♪

♪ And I could not slow down

♪♪

♪ No, I could not slow down

♪♪

♪ 'Cause I was not afraid

♪♪

♪ No, I was not afraid

♪♪

♪ And I could not slow down

♪♪

♪ 'Cause I was not afraid

Kate's decline was very quick once it came, and it really --

I was gonna say peaked. It's the opposite of peaked.

Right when she came back from the Christmas concert in 2009,

I mean, we all knew that we were looking at --

We didn't know if she was gonna last the month, you know?

And what she wanted to do was to have a normal time.

So I moved into her house,

and we made these meat pies, tourtières,

and she would, like, roll out a pie crust.

Then she'd have to go and rest for an hour.

And then she'd get up again for 10 or 15 minutes,

then chop something, and go and lie down again for some time.

So when people would call and say,

"Well, what are you and Kate doing?"

I'd say, "Well, we're makingtourtières."

They just always assumed that she was fine,

which I think is the assumption she wanted people to have,

that things were proceeding normally and cheerfully.

Anna: She wanted to do Christmas dinner.

Normally and cheerfully.

The people that came to see her were the people we --

the girl, Michèle Forest, had come from L.A. She --

The three of us had sung together.

And then Peter Weldon and Jack Nissenson,

that Kate and I sang with in the Mountain City Four,

they came up, and we sat around, and we sang.

And at one point, Jack was singing,

and Kate said, "You're making me cry."

And [Chuckles] I mean, we were all crying,

and now I can't listen to that song with--

[ "Go Leave" playing ]

Anyway...

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Go, leave

♪ She's better than me

♪ Or at least she is stronger

♪ She will make it last longer

♪♪

♪ That's nice for you

♪♪

♪ Go, leave

♪ Don't come back

♪♪

♪ No more am I for the taking

♪ But I can't say that my heart's not aching ♪

♪ It's breaking in two

♪♪

♪ I remember days when we laughed a lot ♪

♪♪

♪ Those that weren't so good I soon forgot ♪

♪♪

♪ We could sit and talk till words were coming out our ears ♪

♪ Not just for days or weeks or months ♪

♪ But it's been years

♪ And here they come, here come my tears ♪

♪ So go, leave

♪ You've said goodbye

♪ But could it be that you are stalling ♪

♪ Hearts have a way of calling

♪ When they've been true

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ Applause ]

[ Piano playing ]

We're back in Saint-Sauveur.

And I am 5 years old.

♪ Shall I never more behold thee? ♪

♪ Never hear thy laughing voice again? ♪

♪ When the springtime comes, Gentle Annie ♪

♪ And the wildflowers are scattered o'er the ♪

Rufus: Oh, I've been dreading this moment.

-Whoo! -Whoo!

But, uh...

But, yeah.

[ Plays chord on piano ]

♪♪

♪ Wouldn't it be nice to walk together? ♪

♪ Baring our souls while wearing out the leather ♪

♪♪

♪ We can talk shop, harmonize a song ♪

♪ Wouldn't it be nice to walk along? ♪

♪♪

♪ I'll show you houses of architectural renown ♪

♪ Some are still standing, some have fallen down ♪

♪♪

♪ Farmhouses buried under Canada's snow ♪

♪ Spanish villas on the boulevards of Mexico ♪

♪♪

♪ I'll learn to tell the ash from the oak ♪

♪ And if you don't know the difference, I won't ♪

♪♪

♪ Make no joke

♪♪

♪ We'll climb to the top, view the world from above ♪

♪ Carve our initials in the trunk like teenagers in love ♪

♪♪

♪ And when we get hungry, we'll stop to eat ♪

♪ Gotta think of our stomachs and rest our feet ♪

♪ And when we get thirsty, we'll have a drink or two ♪

♪ In a mountaintop bar with a mountaintop view ♪

♪ And when we get tired, we'll stop to rest ♪

♪ And if you still want to talk, well, you can bare your breast ♪

♪ If it's winter and cold, we'll take a rooming-house room ♪

♪ If it's summer and warm, we'll sleep under the moon ♪

♪♪

♪ We'll talk about the sports we played ♪

♪ 'Bout the time you got busted or the times I got laid ♪

♪ We'll talk blood and how we were bred ♪

♪ We'll talk about the folks both living ♪

♪ And dead

♪♪

♪ This song, like this walk

♪ I find hard to end

♪ Be my lover

♪ Or be my friend

♪ In sneakers or boots or regulation shoes ♪

♪ Walkin'

♪ Beside ya

♪ I'll never get

♪ The walkin'

♪ Blues

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

-I'm in D. -Oh, in D.

Man #2: I remember in Town Hall in May 2011,

and I thought that the grieving was over,

and I went to New York just to -- to be with everyone.

And I thought the tears had long dried up, until...

[Voice breaking] until Anna sang "Kitty Come Home."

This is a song that I've never performed,

other than doing it with Kate on our second record,

and Rufus asked me to do it, and I got to say I --

[Scoffs] Anyway... [ Laughter ]

It's about when Kate and Loudon split up and --

and she was here in the city with her two young children,

and my mother and I came down to --

to spirit her away to Montreal whether she wanted to or not.

[ Laughs ] She needed to come home at this point in her life.

And I think she always wanted to come back and live in New York,

but then -- I don't know. She was quite happy there,

and the kids started school and...

I'm sorry. I'm gonna have a hard time doing this.

Anyway, it's called "Kitty Come Home."

[ Applause ]

♪♪

♪ No scheme and no direction

♪ With only one way to turn

♪ Pack up all your children

♪ Come home to our love and concern ♪

♪ Kitty, come home

♪♪

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ No being, however mighty

♪ Where chaos reigns alone

♪ Will see his feeble love grow ♪

♪ When cast upon a stone

♪ Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪♪

[ Anna vocalizing ]

♪♪

♪ The birds in the trees call your name ♪

♪ Nothing's changed, all's the same ♪

♪♪

[ Vocalizing ]

♪♪

All: ♪ Home

♪ Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

[ Vocalizing ]

♪ Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ All of God's good angels

♪♪

♪ Need a place to fly

♪ Come be our little seraph

♪♪

♪ In this paradise

♪ Kitty, come home

♪♪

All: ♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ Mm

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ Oh, Kitty, come home

♪ Home

♪ Kitty, come home

♪♪

♪♪

[ Applause ]

I'd been lighting candles for her all along this whole thing,

and it always, you know, worked

and was able available to me.

But in a very strange twist of fate,

right after my mother died,

I went to three or four churches in New York and in Montreal

to do the same thing,

and the churches had run out of candles.

It was very weird. There was no candles in the church,

and I would ask, and I would say, "What's going on?"

And they said, "Sir, we just don't have any today."

I mean, these were big churches.

Very strange.

And, of course,

I took it to be a message of, you know, "I'm fine."

[ Laughs ]

"Relax. You don't have to --

I'm going. You don't have to send me off.

You know, focus on some other things."

But then I was in Paris,

and I still wanted to continue this ritual,

and I went, and I...

finally lit her first candle --

Part of me was also thinking maybe it's Kate going like,

"If you're gonna light a candle for me,

it's got to be at Notre Dame in Paris."

[ Laughs ]

"That's the candle I want."

So, I was there, and I lit it,

and as I was walking around the church --

You know, and I'm not -- I believe in spirits,

and I actually do have a big thing for the Virgin Mary,

but I'm not a particularly religious person,

but I do believe in spirits.

And I was walking around the back of the church,

and I said to myself, I said,

"You know, maybe I'll ask something.

I'll ask a question and see what the --

Maybe I'll get an answer."

So I did as I lit the candle and was walking around.

And as I was walking away,

this thought came into my head and this message,

and all it was was "gratitude."

"You have to be grateful.

That's what's gonna get you through this.

You have to really be grateful of how...

blessed you are and how lucky you've been.

That's what's gonna get you through."

[ "Fare Thee Well" playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ If I had wings like Noah's dove ♪

♪ I'd fly up the river to the one I love ♪

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪ Woman I love is long and tall ♪

♪ Who's a body like a cannonball ♪

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪ One of these days, and it won't be long ♪

♪ You'll call my name, and I'll be gone ♪

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I remember one night, in the drizzlin' rain ♪

♪ 'Round my heart, felt an achin' pain ♪

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪ If I had wings like Noah's dove ♪

♪ I'd fly up the river to the one I love ♪

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪ Fare thee well, my honey

♪ Fare thee well

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

She had been in this coma for a couple of days,

and I finally called Martha and I said, "This is the time."

Someone thought it could've been an overdose of morphine.

And she came, and --

and Martha came to see her and spent the night with her.

And then, the next day, we sang,

and then finally Martha had to leave,

knowing full well that she'd never see her mother again,

which is pretty intense.

Anyways, and then the doctor -- the nurse came and said,

"She could be in this condition for a week."

And I was sitting by Kate,

and her breathing started to, you know, accelerate.

And it start-- And I said, "Hold on a second, here, people.

Something's going on."

And we'd been singing to her for the day, and I was like,

"You guys, she wants to end this concert, I think."

[ Laughs ] And everybody took off their coats

and went back into the back room,

and then she had this magnificent departure,

which -- you know, we played some music at a certain point,

and it was getting more and more --

she was getting more and more uncomfortable and more restless,

and she was really right up on the edge.

And then finally Anna -- God bless Anna -- got kind of angry

'cause she was like, "We're keeping her here,

playing all these recordings, and what the ----?"

And then she said, "I know what will send her off."

And so she went to her computer, and she took out the computer,

[Voice breaking] and she brought it back,

and she played a recording

of Martha and I singing

as little, little kids, probably around like 4 and 6,

singing a Christmas song -- which we have, of course --

and she played that, and then Mo-- Kate died...

listening to us sing that Christmas song.

So Anna knew how to sort of unleash her at the right time.

[ Children singing Christmas carol in French ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ "I Just Want It to Last" playing ]

Kate: I'd like to thank everybody for coming to my party.

♪♪

♪ Make that Earth slow down a bit ♪

♪ As it spins 'round the sun

♪ It's going awful fast

♪ And I'm having too much fun

♪ Find a cozy parking spot

♪ In some laid-back galaxy

♪ Keep the engine running

♪ For at least a century

♪ Make that Earth slow down a bit ♪

♪ As it spins 'round the sun

♪ It's going awful fast

♪ And I'm having too much fun

♪ Find a cozy parking spot

♪ In some laid-back galaxy

♪ Keep the engine running

♪ For at least a century

♪ Attention, universe patrol

♪ Start handing out the fines

♪ We're passing every meteor

♪ No planet left behind

♪ So make the Earth slow down a bit ♪

♪ We're going way too fast

♪ And I just want it to last

♪♪

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause continues ]

[ Indistinct conversations, laughter ]

I just want to absolutely thank my --

two of the most fabulous children...

[ Laughter ]

...anybody could ever have in the world. So --

-Whoo! Here, here! -Any more of them.

And all of you. Thank you all for coming.

[ Cheers and applause ]

But we cry a lot.

[ Laughter ]

Oh, cheers.

-Cheers! -Whoo!

-Whoo! -Whoo!

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