I listened to Jane Siberry at the Aeolian Hall in London last night. She’s a Canadian singer-songwriter who goes her own way. She has refused to adjust her songs so they’ll be more commercially acceptable. She’s raised money for her own record label instead of bowing down to the profit-first demands of corporations. It’s quite the breath of fresh air just reading this. More so when she walked onto the stage.
Jane sings of love and Spirit:
I love you, yes I do
I love everything about you
I love how you laugh in your sleep
How you smell of roses when you weep
I love your style
your wide-open prairie smile
Hide not your light under a bushel
Marjorie works the diner
At the five and dime
Making sure that no one feels alone
She’s famous for her kindness
And her Solomon’s advice
But if you saw her on the bus
You’d not look twice
Oh darlin, only touch the things that turn you on
Let whatever makes you dark and dull and drained be gone
Even if people criticize you and say you’re wrong
The heart is worn on her sleeve. Sometimes, the midst of a gorgeous tune and lyrics, Jane started talking to us, in a stream-of-consciousness fashion. She laughed a lot. At one point she said, “I guess you’re used to a break.” She usually pushes on through to the end. A woman who’s totally herself … no apologies, no arrogance, no pretense. It was lovely to see.
Jane was embarrassed to talk about us buying a CD at intermission. Still, she offered us an “ambassador CD”. “Give it to someone who might be interested in my music.” Buy one, give one. So cool.
There was no announcement of the last number. Jane just said something like “That’s it.” After we absorbed this message, almost all of us rose for a standing O. It was well deserved. Once the applause had settled, she simply said “I’d like to do an encore. None of this going offstage and then coming back on.” So she sat down at her piano and gave us more of her soul. Easily remembered, this Jane Siberry.