For Some Strange Reason: Jane Olivor

Jane Olivor: Best Side of GoodbyeI’m not sure why, but for some strange reason, memories of Jane Olivor came back to me a few minutes ago as I tried in vain to fall asleep.

I think one has to be of a certain age and have come of age within a special group of people to be familiar with Jane Olivor. Yet here I was, not yet out of high school, familiar with a rather torch song singer who’s been described as a cross between Barbra Streisand and Edith Piaf. Not typical for a straight teenager in 1982, but I guess I was neither typical nor straight by then.

Do visit her new website. You’ll notice that she seemingly fell off the face of the earth for a while. Unfortunately, the clips in her website’s discography are too short to give a good impression of her voice. So to convince you to buy her CDs, here are some MP3s (“Lalena,” “Manchild Lullaby” and “Beautiful Sadness“) which demonstrate how her songs have to be heard in their entirety to be fully appreciated. (The lyrics of “Beautiful Sadness,” although not by her, wax poetic.)

Oh my… I’m suddenly reminded of an e-mail from Hiker two years ago which touched me so.

I went hiking with the dogs yesterday and discovered an interesting little corner of the province between Fredericton and Saint John. On the drive home, I was half-listening to Richard Ouzounian on CBC and he mentioned something about a singer who dropped off the radar screen after her first recordings (he listed several possible reasons) but who has released her first recording in 18 years. Halfway through the first song, I started to pay attention. “Hey, I know that voice!” It was Jane Olivor!

He played 2 of the songs from the CD. Something tells me you may already know this, but I wasn’t sure. Anyway, it’s called Love Decides if you want to get it.

That voice brought back a flood of memories for me. I was reminescing about our summer together, reading your letters in Carleton Park, listening to Jane on my walkman while biking to work – my first office job. The dogs were asleep in the back seat, Samson with his head on Kaiser’s back. It was quite the moment…

But then Samson stood up and barfed all over the emergency brake between the two front seats. So *THAT* certainly brought my little trip down memory lane to an abrupt end.

Ah, Hiker! It’s of you I think when I listen to “Beautiful Sadness”…

{6} Thoughts on “For Some Strange Reason: Jane Olivor

  1. Oh, Maurice; you’re hard on me! Tried to listen to the song, made it to about half; had to stop. I wonder if the best way to deal with goodbyes is never to say “hello”…??? By the way, I’m going out tonight… ha! No, not to attend “mass”; just dinner at St.Jame’s Place with a friend…

  2. Which song got to you, Poupoune? “Beautiful Sadness”? If that’s the one, I admit it’s a tough one *until* it can go from making you sad to simply melancholy.

    I’m not attending “mass” either this evening because I’m having Indiana Jones over for dinner. He plans to show me a few of his interesting archaelogical finds from recent digs in Halifax. And…

  3. It has been a while since I had a Halifax archaeological update, Maurice. Perhaps you could forward me (via e-mail) the latest findings?

  4. Maurice,

    Thank you. It’s what I must say first. I was just looking something up about Jane Olivor on Google and got to your site and posting about Jane Olivor. You can’t know how wonderful it was to be able to download “Lalena” and “Beautiful Sadness” since I hadn’t heard both songs since 1982, when I too was 16.

    I used to listen to those songs on my mother’s antiquated eight-track recorder. Since I was rather young at the time, I don’t recall any of my friends really caring too much for it.

    Since that time, I have looked throughout the years for “Chasing Rainbows” but had no luck. Of course I knew I should be able to get a copy of it somewhere, but just never pursued it.

    I’m 36 now and was sitting here crying like an idiot when I listend to them. Although I think I have an extremely wide range of music that I like, from Peter Gabriel to Barbra Streisand to Radiohead to Jane Olivor, I’m confident that there’s never been a song like her rendition of “Lalena” that has touched me so poignantly.

    I just wanted to thank you for enabling me to listen to it. It sent chills down my spine.


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