My Auntie Gabrielle is an amazing woman.
She is a mother to two very switched on children, both now grown up and ploughing their own furrow.
She is a nurse, and a bloody good one at that with experience coming out of her ears.
She’s a graduate, with a Masters no less.
However, she is prone to the odd faux-pas and eccentricity. For example she’s got to the age she is convinced that the word “next” is spelt “NEXED” despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Recently she confused X Factor loser Ray Quinn for survival expert Ray Mears and spectacularly during a family holiday in Yugoslavia she had a disagreement with her partner, picked up her handbag and stormed away from the pool…forgetting that she had attached her handbag to the table and took the table and it’s contents halfway through the hotel bar.
For as long as I’ve been interested in music and plying my trade in radio she’s talked about a song called “Marie Celeste” that she remembers from the 1980’s. The whole family have checked websites like everyhit.com and their battered copies of the British Hit Singles to find this haunting melody (and in the 20-odd years she’s sung it back to us it gets more and more haunting and less and less melodic).
I’ve scoured the record libraries of 2 hospital radio stations and 3 large commercial radio groups. I’ve asked bona fide experts if they’ve heard of the song and always drawn a blank.
In all that time we’ve never found any song that sounds remotely like it and it’s become a bit of a joke. A stick to hit her with when she is trying on convince us that she’s right or that she’s more intelligent than she’s cracked on.
Then, last Thursday, I did ANOTHER search for the lyrics. “Marie Celeste, I’m in distress. I’m in a force 9 gale”
It actually came good. Another resident of Cyberspace was searching in vain for “Marie Celeste”. No repliers had ever heard of it….except one.
“I think it was by a Jon vansomething or Eric vonsomething”
Eventually, after clicking on link after link, I found an article about a prominent record collector who sadly died in 2005. It wasn’t known by all of his associates but he used to be a pop star. He called himself Greg Vandike and released a song in 1980 which didn’t chart but did get played on Radio 1 a few times.
Guess what it was called……