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25 July 2009


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Thank you for sharing this (and the beautiful picture too). I guess I'll never understand why so many people want to believe Russell Crowe is nothing more than a boorish bully. No man who writes like that is only that. I liked hearing Alan again too. :)

Do you know if hanging the cross an Australian custom to honor departed loved ones? I'd love to know more about it if you don't mind. :)

It's a lovely song and what a good friend Russell is to write it to tell Dave how sorry he is for his loss. It's good to hear Alan singing and playing again, it feels like a long time.

I know Russ is a wonderful actor, best of his generation and all, and I love GBS too but I still wish RC and AD would take time off from all the rest of it and make a new CD and tour it, Dave going along too.

Condolences to the Kelly family.


Ellen, you were one of a group who asked that same question - see above to the main body of the entry for an edited-in answer.

If I could understand why some people want to believe Alan (and at times, all Newfoundlanders by extension) is a perpetually cheerful mindless idiot (I call it Happy Alan The Anatomically Incorrect Tigger/Teddy Bear Syndrome), then perhaps I might also understand why some others have a need to perceive Russell in ways which are equally contrary to the evidence of their own eyes and ears and not-common-enough sense - with what each man has written being some of the most insightful and compelling evidence that gets summarily ignored by those willful misbelievers.

In general, I've found there's isn't much place for "real" among those who prefer to see "celebrities" instead of human beings. If your fannish goal is to populate your own personal comic book of stereoptyped characters, I suppose you might feel a need for a Raging Bull character to go along with the Happy Idiot. Have I ever mentioned how much I detest the dehumanisation that goes hand-in-hand with celebrification? Willful and purposeful misunderstanding of - outright rejection of, all too often - reality is part and parcel of that process.

Mother's Cross is a beautiful and heartfelt song, and I am more than glad to share it with those who can also appreciate it. Yes, it was lovely to hear Alan's voice again...I have badly missed that voice. Along with all of the rest of him too. It does feel like a long time, Cathi, way too long of a time. Hurry up, August and Cape Cod.

I wish Russell and Alan (and Dave) would do all that too, partly because I know some really great music would be the result, but maybe most of all because of the wonderful time they could have doing it. They have both worked so hard, all of their lives, and they have both turned that hard work into success far beyond what anyone else could have ever expected from them. Whatever it is they would most love to do now, that's what they should be able to do.

Though at present moment, I suspect that what Alan most wants to do is stride onto stage at Molson with his bandmates, Les in capable hand(s), to the screams and cheers and applause of 10,000 adoring fans. Incendiary lead solo, front and centre stage... it will be (Anatomically Correct - and delightfully so) Rock Star Guitar God time. It has been much too long. And then, after that...anything and everything else he wants, in full measure, in double measure. Works for me.

Thank you! and thanks to Murph too. I wanted to ask but was afraid it was a dumb question everyone else knew the answer to lol.

It's a very nice song and my sympathies to Dave Kelly on the loss of his mother. I'm glad he's got friends like Russell who care about him. It was kind of Russell to share the song with all of us and it's great to hear Alan singing again.

Thank you for posting the download link, and thank you also for sharing the answer about the hanging cross. It's a very evocative image. There's a lot of comfort to be gained in moving through the traditions of grieving- it's not so much the wake or the hymns or the eulogy that's healing, it's the framework those things provide for the living to comfort each other. A loving, grieving son could hang his mother's cross next to a candle burning for her, and give his friends and family the opportunity to share a prayer, a story, a fond memory. Or a song.

Here's hoping that all who are grieving have such strong friendships.

Christina, that is yet another moving image. It is quite the intriguing phrase, isn't it? Even just the choice of the verb "hang" works to resonate with all of the images of sacrificial love that follow after thoughts of hanging and crosses, fitting enough in this instance in reference to maternal love.

Mari, my own attitude toward questions is that I'd rather understand as best as possible, even if the search for that understanding means running the risks of asking questions. My advice is...When in doubt - ask. The potential reward of understanding is well worth any possible risks of asking. And quite often you find out you were far from being the only one who was wondering the very same thing.

The kindness and consideration of caring friends and family is priceless at all such sorrowful times in our lives. I hope he's wrapped up in their embrace, speaking both figuratively and literally.

I like the song. Too few songs deal honestly with the lasting impact of loss and the helpless feeling of those who want give comfort. I'm most impressed by how quickly they got the song written and recorded. The swiftness of response bolsters the sincerity its sound too. There's a long time musical bond between Russell Crowe and Dave Kelly, yes? If so, it's a totally appropriate gift of comfort to give. Not for the first time or the last I'm going to sit here and wonder over the huge gap between image and reality when it comes to the famous.

I wondered about the cross too, Googled and Binged to no avail. People who have the 'nads to ask questions are almost always the same who aren't trying to pretend to know or be anything they aren't so there's no fear or worry about looking dumb for asking. They care more about the truth than the image. I would wager a large sum that Russell Crowe seldom refrains from asking questions when he wants to understand. ;-)

I'll echo what everyone else says (here they say it even if not in 'other places')......Alan Doyle & Russell Crowe make good music together. Artistic imperative demands more. Please.

TY too for the Nfld. TV video clips. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole show.

Keep on enjoying your summer. This heat has to break soon, either that or we will.


Heh at first I wondered when I saw how you credited it then I saw this at the Murphsplace site from Himself I'm assuming


You were right, it's "Crowe/Doyle". They wrote it together. I didn't get the rest of the comment though, did somebody eff up the words?

I'd go see a Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle show. I wouldn't go around the world to see it but I don't do that for GBS either. :P

I like the song too. It had the same result this stuff always does. I went and called my mom. :)


Laura, that's a great result from the song. It sure made me think about my own mother, whose birthday is/would have been the 29th. "Never be the same" is so true.

And yes, I would go around the world for that. In a heartbeat. If they ever do it and a show is near to you, I will surely see you there.

I'm not sure what's up with the lyrics and the comment. I know a couple of ladies did a transcription, and perhaps there were errors significant enough to require clarification.

I remember when Alan sang Weight Of A Man at the Winnipeg Junos Songwriters' Circle in 2005. I was so moved by both song and performer that I utterly failed in my goal of getting the lyrics to any new songs - in particular any Crowe/Doyle songs - he might choose to do that day, and this was the first public performance of the song by anyone, including Russell.

The song simply overwhelmed me...I had a few pivotal lines that took up immediate (and permanent) residence in mind and heart, but was less clear about other parts of the song because of the overall intensity of emotion Alan's performance evoked.

But I was there that day with three other friends, all of them intent on the same goal, all of them doing better than I at achieving that goal. The four of us sat together afterwards in the hotel room and worked to put it all together, eventually coming up with what wound up being a pretty damn accurate version of those beautifully moving lyrics. Then I posted the lyrics on the only Russell Crowe message board I knew about at the time, and on a GBS site too....Only to pull both posts soon thereafter out of concern that I might be overstepping Russell's bounds by making the lyrics, an unofficial version of the lyrics, public.

Moral of the lesson: Ideally, it is always best to get the lyrics directly from the source of those lyrics. It was very good of Russell to provide them for Mother's Cross.

Of course Alan and Russell wrote Mother's Cross together. Not a bit of doubt in my mind about that, not for a moment, not from first listen. Though this one is considerably more Russell's writing than Alan's - in my opinion, of course - same as is the case with Raewyn. WOAM is - again, in my opinion - more Alan's writing than Russell's. Land Of A Second Chance...more Russell. Mickey...more Alan, though perhaps not a great deal more. Worst In The World...more Russell. Company Of Fools is really interesting - that one might be pretty darn close to 50/50, with an edge to Alan. I'd still like to hear the "wanker verse" one of these days, though preferably not while standing in the midst of a fatuously adoring audience.

Then again, I could always be dead wrong about who wrote more of which song - it is, after all, only my opinion, nothing more. But of this I am sure: All of these songs are distinctly and uniquely collaborative efforts; not a one of them would be as good as they all are if both songwriters had not shared in their creation, however and in what measure the actual amount of individual creative input might vary from song to song. Definitely a step above, in clarity and grace.

The same is true for Where I Belong, one of my most-loved of all the songs that have ever come from the hand and heart of Alan Doyle, on his own or with any collaborator - and my opinion about this song is that the writing itself is nearly all Alan's, but that Russell played a pivotal role, a crucial role, in inspiration and forthrightness.

Stephen, very good point about how the speed with which the song was written plays a role in how the song's sincerity comes through with such power. Yes, I think Dave Kelly has been playing music with Russell for a very long time, maybe as long as there has been a TOFOG. Mother's Cross is a very appropriate gift of comfort.

Hah - are you saying I don't mind looking dumb? Fair enough, especially if there's a truth to be found at the end of the day and in answer to even the most foolish of questions. No, I don't imagine Russell is ever particularly hesitant to ask about whatever he wants to understand. I know Alan isn't a bit reluctant to do so...it is one of his multitude of endearing characteristics.

"Artistic Imperative" - I like that. I do agree, wholeheartedly. And I must confess that it is blissfully liberating not to have to feel any responsibility whatsoever for what does or does not get said in those other places.

You are going to have to wait a few weeks for the rest of the In For A Penny CBC show, I'm sorry to say. Christina's having all sorts of trouble getting the file to upload, so she's just going to bring the DVD to me in Cape Cod next month. Then I get to figure out how to make it shareable. More fun with learning new computer shit. All in the worthiest of causes, though...I'm a firm believer in sharing Alan (especially Alan In Context) whenever and however possible. So be patient and stay tuned.

I could do without how hot it is right now. But this too will pass, soon if maybe not soon enough. That's what I keep telling my poor little furballs, though I suspect they do not believe me.

LOL you forgot "Testify." Which one of them wrote more of that do you think?

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