Robert Macfarlane in In a crematorium, England - August, 2006

from Landmarks, page 109:

In early June, Roger [Deakin] called to ask if I would act as his literary executor.  I said I would. … He died soon afterwards.  The coffin he lay in had a wreath of oak leaves on its lid.  Just before it glided through the velvet curtains and into the cremating flames, Loudon Wainwright’s ‘The Swimming Song’ was played, full of hope and loss.  It brought me to shuddering tears that day, and whenever it pops up now and then out of the thousand songs on my phone, it still stops me short like a punch to the chest.     

cite as

Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks (London, 2015), p. 109. accessed: 16 June, 2024

location of experience: In a crematorium, England


Robert Macfarlane
University lecturer and writer

Listening to

hide composers
'The Swimming Song'
written by Loudon Wainwright III
performed by Loudon Wainwright III

Experience Information

Date/Time August, 2006
Medium playback
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public


Roger Deakin wrote an influential book called Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain.

Originally submitted by lcc5 on Sat, 29 Oct 2016 15:06:46 +0100
Approved on Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:51:20 +0000