Hendra

Songfacts®:

  • Thirty-one years after his first solo release, the male half of the duo Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt, released his second solo album Hendra in 2014. It was a return to the folk roots Watt extirpated in 1983 when he decided to focus on Everything But The Girl with his musical partner (and future wife), Tracey Thorn.

    The whole album was inspired by the loss of Watt's half-sister, Jennie, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 and passed away just three weeks later. The song is written from the point of view of his sister and her dreams of escaping. Watt explained to Mother Jones about the awkward lyrical phrasing featured in the tune: "It has slightly clunky rhymes and ideas in it, but it is the way my sister used to speak."

    He also shared that he got the inspiration for the title from the tiny, getaway place that his sister and her husband bought in Cornwall. "She used to call it 'Hendra,' and I never knew what it meant," he said. "When she died I looked it up. It was not only the name of the street, but an old Cornish word for 'home.' It felt mythical, like 'hydra.' I loved the word."

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