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Grafton Street by Dido
Album: Safe Trip HomeReleased: 2008
This Celtic-influenced track is about Dido's beloved Irish father William, who died in 2006. When William was on his deathbed, Dido was by his side singing the traditional Irish song "Raglan Road," which is believed to have been written about a relative of his. It contains the lyrics:
On Grafton Street in November
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen
The worst of passions pledged
This six-minute lament for Dido's late father was co-written with Brian Eno (U2, Coldplay, etc) and Dido's brother Rollo, who is best known as a member of the British electronic group Faithless.
This features the English singer's favorite percussionist Mick Fleetwood on drums.
The lilting recorder solo played at the end of this song was performed by Dido on the same treble recorder that she played when she was touring Europe as a pupil of London's Guildhall School of Music. It was the first ever musical instrument that Dido ever learnt to play.
Dido told The Daily Telegraph October 29, 2008: "I'm proud that Rollo and I managed to do something that is a really lovely tribute to Dad. That song still really moves me. And I'm so glad I put the recorder on it. At the time I thought, 'Oh God, I can't believe I'm doing this!' But I didn't care what anyone thought of the song, I just wanted to make it. Dad is so much responsible for the way I am, and for me being creative. His way of telling us bedtime stories was to sing all his Irish songs, and you could hear him coming a mile off in the car with his overly loud Irish music. I loved it, and I know that was instilled into me. He always supported anything creative we've done, and there was never any pressure. He was just immensely, immensely proud."
Dido told the Los Angeles Times November 18, 2008 that Brian Eno's 1975 album Another Green World offered comfort during her father's last days. She explained: "You know how you get those albums that are so emotional but comforting? Almost like a safe place to be, you know? Around the time that Dad was dying, that's what I was listening to. And I thought, God, I'd love to do some writing with Brian Eno."