I don't really want to turn this blog into an obit list: the world is forcing that upon me. I've had no time to catch my breath after my tributes to Rick Parfitt and George Michael, but I still wanted to write something for Carrie Fisher, because she was my first real heroine. I was six when I saw Star Wars for the first time and Carrie taught me from a very young age that girls can be just as tough and heroic as boys (arguably more so, because they have to fight against centuries of patriarchal oppression while they're doing it... and when your dad's Darth Vader, they don't get much more patriarchal or oppressive). But Princess Leia was never Dale Arden. She never screamed for the chistle-jawed hero to come save her. She stood up to Vader, acted tougher than Luke from the outset, and took none of Han's bullshit. Of course, Carrie was much more than Leia: but she'll always be Leia to me.
Here's ten songs in tribute...
10. Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia Life Day Song
George has tried his best to bury the ill-advised Star Wars holiday special, and having sat through it once on a dodgy pirate copy many years ago, I can understand why. It's still arguably a better piece of entertainment than Chapters I, II or III... and Carrie does her very best to keep a straight face while singing the awful lyrics that have been scored over John Williams' classic theme.
9. Jimmy Buffett - I Love The Now
Who knew Carrie was a parrothead? Turns out she co-wrote the lyrics for this lesser-known Jimmy Buffet tune...
8. Harper Simon - The Shine
...and also contributed lyrics to Harper Simon's The Shine. (I understand her ex, Harper's Dad, might have had a hand in this one too. But more of him later.)
7. Debbie Reynolds - Tammy
Sadly, we must also take a moment to remember Carrie's mum, who died just a day after her daughter. Although mostly known as an actress, she started out as a nightclub singer and had a number of hit records from the musicals she appeared in during the 50s.
6. Eddie Fisher - On The Street Where You Live
And a nod to her dad, who died a few years back, but was a huge teen idol in the 50s and sold more pre-rock 'n' roll pop singles in the first half of that decade than just about anyone else.
5. blink-182 - A New Hope
'Nuff said.Princess Leia, where are you tonight?
And who's laying there by your side?
Every night I fall asleep with you
And I wake up aloneAnd even though I'm not as cool as Han
I still want to be your man
You're exactly the kind of
Alderranian that I need
4. Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderaan
Super Furry Star Wars fans pay tribute to Princess Leia's home planet.
3. Paul Simon - She Moves On
The first of three from Carrie's former / only husband. They were apparently together (on and off) for many years but only stayed married for 11 months. I guess this one was written when it was finally over.
I know the reason I2. Paul Simon - Renee & Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War
Feel so blessed
My heart still splashes
Inside my chest, but she
She is like a top
She cannot stop
She moves on
I used to work with a DJ who always said "stupid name for a dog" when he played his song.
Recorded while Paul & Carrie were together: she appears in the video, though it's pretty hard to tell because it's appropriately surreal.
1. Paul Simon - Hearts & Bones
The big one that Paul wrote about his relationship with Carrie. A classic.
One and one-half wandering Jews
Returned to their natural coasts
To resume old acquaintances
Step out occasionally
And speculate who had been damaged the most
Easy time will determine if these consolations
Will be their reward
The arc of a love affair
Waiting to be restored
You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Their hearts and their bones
And they won't come undone
Let's hope this is the last one of these I have to write in 2016...