I Never Promised you a Rose Garden-but you should have bloomed for longer

Today is my sister Jayne’s birthday. She would have been 56, but she’d still have been have been gorgeous.

She shares it with someone else I always adored, John Lennon.

They share something else too; both of them were cruelly taken from us in their prime. Now all we have are memories. For John, they’re wonderful musical ones that have influenced my songwriting and filled my life. I share those with millions around the world.

Always the beauty Jayne

I share my memories of Jayne with rather fewer people, but they’re still full of music- the music of two kids growing up in Birmingham in the 70s; of rock and roll, country, Irish music, glam rock, then heavy metal and ska.

Pretty well any song I hear from the 70s somehow links me to Jayne. We pooled our meagre pocket money to buy 7 inch singles, and even when we did our own thing, we managed to complement each other really well. For every Be BopDeluxe album I had for birthdays or Christmas, you’d get Elvis. You kept us true to our roots while I had my prog flirtation.

It was all about our roots Jayne. I wish you were around to hear my songs now. I know you’d love them. I went back to mine to write country and rockabilly songs. I write about real life, and you often feature, even if it’s a tangential line.

We were always close of course. We were together nearly every day until our late teens, when we drifted apart-but only because we lived apart.

I know you would have helped me. You would have understood my drive so much more than anyone else. It’s why I miss you so much

We still have the memories. The legendary Dexy’s gig in Birmingham, the pub gigs. Trevor Burton at the Adam & Eve. I could go on.

There’s always a song Jayne. Today, and I’ve been thinking about this one, it is a song we used to sing together in the 70s. It’s a song I remember singing in the back of our Austin 1100, trying desperately to get some reception on an old transistor. Bluetooth? I wish.

I beg your pardon Jayne, but you could have stayed with me longer.

Still, smile for a while and let’s be jolly, our sisterly love should never be melancholy.

Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson

Happy Birthday Jayne, love always xx

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