I watch the mess you made, the mess they made of you. From the very first, you were a damaged little bird. When you think about it, the reasons — daddy, then druggy dandy — were so fucking absurd. Yeah, you created a stir, threw tantrums, you were obviously disturbed as well as stellar, you really needed someone to be stern with you. Then maybe, just maybe Amy, this slow decline into squalor and horrid emotional torture wouldn’t have occurred.

I watch you on the screen, through my fingers, feeling intense sorrow mingling with growing horror.
I see you, Amy…
so hurt,
your words.

All that potential, annihilated by your own sorry self…and others, greedy vultures.
The jazzy smoky voice.
The rowdy dirty laugh.
Everything you could have been. Everything you already were – your myriads of colours.

People, what do they know, say it was your bloody vices or even evil curses that precipitated this disaster…whatever! But what really ruined you, Amy, was the fact that nobody ever thought of saying, and meaning, no, no, no to you. It wasn’t a dark love that destroyed you, it was the utter and shocking lack of tough love from your dearest and closest.
So, one day, your heart stopped beating. Way too early. Maybe you got tired of waiting for things to get better. But it’s not the end of your story, how could it ever be. You went back to black, Amy — but you left forever behind that fragile little girl, who just really, only, wanted to be heard.

*I watched “Amy”, Asif Kapadia’s documentary about singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse at 3am today after a fantastic and joyful night out. Was it the alcohol still flowing in my veins or the extremely well-made film? Probably both, but I found it incredibly poignant and was in floods of tears by the end of it – I just had to write those few words when the end credits had finished rolling. I love Amy’s voice, but even if you’re not a fan, I heartily recommend watching the documentary.

Amy W 1


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45 thoughts on “Amy

  1. I will have to admit my ignorance: I had never heard of Amy Winehouse until I read your incredibly incisive and poignant piece (above.) An almost unprecedented success, who died at 27-years-old, the overall sweep of her story reads like so very, very many “crash and burn,” far-too-young obituaries of stars-turned-legend in their own life-times. You have captured the nearly guttural spirit of mourning very well! . . . quite tragic but a very good read! Thank you for introducing me. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank *you* for visiting and taking the time to comment. Amy’s is indeed a tragic story. If you ever get the chance, you should check out some of her material, she was a very talented singer-songwriter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t seen it yet but I want to, to find out more about what was behind the train wreck portrayed in the media.
    When I first heard of her, it was primarily through the sensationalism in the press and I have to admit that judged her rather harshly. But then as I listened to her music….
    Regardless of her personal struggles and demons she was a remarkable talent taken away much too early.
    Perhaps she’s the Billy Holiday of our times?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that by the end, Amy Winehouse was more famous for her car-crash of a life than for her music – it’s a real shame because she was a great talent. It’s the ultimate ‘avoidable’ story: her parents separated, she couldn’t handle it, she developed an eating disorder in early teenagehood and when she told her mother that she had “the best diet sorted” because she threw up everything she ever ate, her mother did nothing because she thought “it would pass, that it was a phase”. She smoked weed as well as a teenager…she obviously had issues that should have been looked into, and hopefully resolved, while still a teenager, but her parents seemed to have been oblivious – staggering!
      Her father was the one who said no to rehab before she made it big, he said she “didn’t need it”, that she “was fine” when she was obviously anything but. I read that he took objection to the documentary because he said he was portrayed in the most unflattering manner in it, well…in England, people have known for years that he failed his daughter in many ways. I suppose he doesn’t want the rest of the world to find out. Anyway, it all could have been avoided, probably, maybe, but we’ll never know now. One thing is for sure, she *genuinely* did not want celebrity and fame, she just wanted to write and sing. She was a real talent and it was all wasted.
      Sorry for the incredibly long comment, but I feel quite strongly about this as I ‘discovered’ her before she made it big (my partner’s father knew her father) I really liked her, and then I read/had to watch, over years, her awful descent into madness. Terrible.
      Do catch that documentary, it is well worth a watch 🙂 And if you got to the end of this comment, thank you for putting up with me 😉
      And yes, she might well be the Billy Holiday of our times…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice piece. I cried like a baby when I watched this movie of just raw footage from her life. Your words made me feel like crying again. And I wasn’t even a fan of hers. It was just a great movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It *was* so very well done. I remember you’d written a review way before I saw it, you summed it up really well, I just went and read it again, you encapsulated my feelings about the film perfectly. And you are right, it is a great movie even if you’re not a fan, hence why I ended my own piece recommending it whether you liked Amy or not 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a touching tribute to one of my most favorite (true) musicians out there. So very beautifully written Nat, the documentary clearly inspired you.
    I’ve watched it two times, the intensity of her story doesn’t fade, no matter how many times I watch it. Her story saddened me to a certain degree of sadness, I can not explain nor define it really. As a fan of her music I always felt her words while listening to her music, seeing the documentary only adds to the already strong emotions that come from her songs.
    On a side note: Watching this documentary and seeing Amy decay in front of the world only confirmed one thing I always say: I would never want to be famous, because fame is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. It’s a thing that can never be undone, there is no escaping it alive.

    Be well Nat! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment! I’m *so* glad you enjoyed my little contribution 🙂
      I loved Amy’s music as well, loved her voice, loved her lyrics. That documentary was really heartbreaking.
      As for fame, I couldn’t agree with you more. While I understand that one would wish to achieve *some kind* of recognition for their art, I cannot fathom why anybody would want to be famous. It seems to me like a horrible thing to wish for. I think fame is the ultimate destroyer, and it’s ten times worst when it happens to a sensitive and fragile soul.
      Thanks again for your wonderful comment.
      Take care – Nathalie 🙂


  5. Bob Dylan recently said that one of the few artists he listens to nowadays is Amy. Same here. A bunch of local musicians that I associate with have just pulled together an Amy set of tunes that we love doing. —CC


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