Wainwright, Rufus - Martha Lyrics

Martha it's your brother calling
Time to go up north and see mother
Things are harder for her now
And neither of us is really that much older than each other anymore

Martha it's your brother calling
Have you had a chance to see father?
Wondering how's he doing and
There's not much time
For us to really be that angry at each other anymore

It's your brother calling Martha
It's your brother calling Martha
Please call me back

I know how it goes
You gotta ring your little finger
Hit the tree and see what falls
And make the sun come out
On Sunday afternoon

All the while you heat the plates
And serve a little wine
And wear a hat and make 'em laugh
And forget that there is nobody
In the room anymore

It's your brother calling Martha
It's your brother calling Martha
Please call me back

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Wainwright, Rufus Martha Comments
  1. Bill N

    Seems more than a little depressing. Why listen to a depressing song?

    TJ Wash

    Bill N the song has a hopeful message as well. Sad songs let us know we’re not alone and bring a feeling of comfort to some people.

  2. Angela Connor

    Oh my Rufus

  3. Deborah Carey

    What an amazingly talented family. I could only wish.

  4. Joan Neigler

    Good Lord! This is incredibly beautiful! Hits home on so many levels...

  5. arty starkey

    First time I've ever heard this...FFS I'm 70 years old ...where have I been all this time ?

  6. Karine Muller

    september 2019 i met the story of a great singer rufus winwrigth i´m in love with your trajectory what a beautiful family. you are a precious instrument of God praise the name of the lord for his all honor and glory and without him we are nothing we are just dust God has called you to a higher purpose and better if you can imagine one day you will praise in heaven together with the angels in a place where there is no weeping in pain, God bless.

  7. Wm Perry

    This makes more sense than what i was expecting: Doug Sahm's "mendocino"

  8. peter booth

    Precious Gem. Oh my!

  9. karen Isbister

    love the way they have the same movements and they don't even know it

  10. Karmen Jazbec

    i would like to play on wooden piano and flute thank you rufus

  11. Alex F

    I've been living in Budapest recently and made friends with an elderly American woman from Mendocino. She was amazed when I said I'd been there. I explained that one of the most beautiful songs ever written was named after her town. As a long-time fan of Kate and Anna, I simply had to visit when I found myself travelling around the west coast. So glad I did. As nice as this is, it's impossible to improve on the perfection of the original.

    CBC Music

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Salobrena Smith

    Is there a more talented musical family out there.. I don't think so.

  13. Donald White

    Heaven sent.

  14. Marie-Laure CAMPO

    Very beautyfull song with splendid Singers like Rufus and Martha Wainwright : my heart is broken and I want cry very hard this big emotion, the sad, very sad feeling and I love them and this Song : We thought about Kate of course ! There Mother - Very very nice Woman !!! I thing very often about Her and her children ! Marie-Laure (from France)

  15. Hana Peterson

    I grew up outside of Saratoga Springs NY, where the Caffe Lena was and heard Kate and Anna whenever they played. I used to stare up at them on the stage, just a few feet away, amazed at their beauty and talent and commitment. One night I heard myself tell myself that I could be anything I put my mind to.. they were that inspiring. I remember Kate looking down at me and smiling. Maybe she heard me.

  16. Helen Beaty

    Beyond beautiful.

  17. John G. Hill

    I turn into a blubbering sob case every time I hear this. Their mother and author of this song, has already passed away from illness. Knew nothing of the McGarrigle sisters until I read a piece in Stereo Review claiming they had the best album of that year. Later Rufus and Martha came along and became stars themselves.

  18. Mark Williams


  19. Alex Gordon

    Such a simple and lovely piano accompaniment.

    CBC Music

    Thanks for watching!

  20. paul elliott

    Absolutely beautiful

  21. TheHeidille

    sounds very beautiful, their voices together!

    Angelika Goldstein

    @TheHeidille Well, a new album is coming out in April. I really hope it's good!

  22. Abuelo

    I am an atheist, but I'm rather sure Kate McGarrigle listened to this.

  23. 64wing

    you all owe it to yourselves to listen to this with good headphones

  24. Grace Stallman

    For a slightly different take on this you may like John Howard's version of this song. This is still canon to me but his is great too.

  25. Kinky

    No offense, but if you had heard Kate and Anna perform this shortly after Kate wrote it, you would be thumbs-downing this lame derivative version too. This, regrettably, just doesn't compare to the original. It's like listening to Dylan's kid and thinking you're gonna get Dylan. Nope. It doesn't work that way.

  26. Kinky

    Gee...if Rufus were only 1/10th as good as his mom, Kate was...but alas...not to be.

    Pierre Beausoleil


  27. Marie-Laure CAMPO

    It's a very very troubled magnific dramatic and splendid song whose I cry when I listen it, your voices are together a magic symbiose woman, man : GOD Light ! Marvellous ! many thanks ! Marie-Laure

  28. macdog14

    miss the 3rd part harmony from Kate

  29. Marie-Laure CAMPO

    IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL SONG AND RUFUS, MARTHA AND ANNA SO TO !!!! I LOVE YOU ! too many thanks at you !Marie-Laure from France !

  30. Gary Devonport

    Just absolutely gorgeous

  31. Deborah Herman

    This song has been sung so many times by so many major talents eg: Linda Ronstadt that any new interpretation is going to be judged. I will not do that, the song stands on its own. every version that I have ever heard brings tears to my eyes.

  32. Glenda Barr

    I hear love for Kate in this! there seems to be something really special about family harmonies...

  33. Jeroen Ashton


  34. Eva Petho

    Melts my heart each and every time.

  35. JON D. ELDER

    Just listen, just listen, it's enough.

  36. Harry Vsingersongwriter

    Oh my <3

  37. ruedi schenk

    hello....is there someone who has partiture of this song for wind band?

  38. Stephen Roylance

    I never noticed (until now) the juxtaposition of the deciduous trees in New York shining like gold in the autumn, and the evergreen redwoods of California. The beauty of the northeast in fall is something poignant all its own, and leaving it behind would be uniquely nostalgic.

  39. Lisa L

    I knew right away that the Mcgarrigle sisters wrote this song. It's so lovely!I dream of playing with my aunt and sister! His voice is timeless and more passionate than any man at least for me. Martha's harmony is nothing short of perfect pitch and beauty. Families making music together is a beautiful beautiful thing. So glad to be a musician... Nothing more satisfying upon the earth. Rufus gives every molecule of himself when he sings. Thank you !

  40. Aude

    happy family

  41. Sky Gerspacher

    So by the time a person gets to be my age, 62, they begin to think they might have seen or heard it all. I have my favorites;
    places, books, opera's, music. Rufus has always been a favorite, but until today I had never heard the McGarrigle sisters sing. I spent all afternoon listening and it was such a lovely afternoon. I found all sorts of treasures. So Rufus, your mama sang like an angel and I only just discovered it.

  42. Jo.

    Now I'm gonna cry. C'est tellement beau. This is absolutely beautiful

  43. Marco Gálvez

    their mannerisms when singing are so similar, you can really tell that they're siblings, and it just adds to their harmony imo. most heartfelt version i've ever heard.

  44. Francine Gray

    Again, Rufus and Martha are breaking my heart.

  45. kikitodopoderoso


  46. Geranne Tuyp

    So beautiful...

    CBC Music

    It really is!

  47. Andrea from New Hampshire

    Beautiful !!!

  48. Carlos Silva

    Wow! Epic but tender.

  49. Maria Cecilia SIlva

    de una belleza suprema! emociona!me parte en dos! me hace volar! gracias!

  50. alberts kitchen

    Now this is music

  51. thefullcurlew

    Rufus has the purest voice, and Martha is a gem.

  52. JCO2002

    Not the best version. Better without Rufus.

  53. Richard Johnson

    What a family!

  54. thefullcurlew

    Wow so beautiful.

  55. antonio baptista

    Super. This is perfect. Unique. Great voice

  56. Serge Vivier

    Love you Kate

  57. Eric Braun

    I don't get his popularity. He misses notes like crazy.

    Francine Gray

    Coming from a professional musical family myself, I can tell you why he missed that ONE note early on = this was an emotional family experience for him and he choked a little. It happens .... and so what? When my Dad did his amazing version of "Danny Boy" the rest of the family choked! How amazing that Rufus got through most of the homages to Kate. Sometimes people forget that performers are human beings first!!

  58. Serge Vivier

    As a kid, I spend 3 weeks each summer in upstate NY near Lake George, it was paradise on earth back then.

  59. Susan Thomas

    Harmony as taught my the family! Wonderful!

  60. Tim Smith

    Sorry but Rufus can't sing.

    Liz Brian

    You mean “I think you’re tone deaf.”

    Liz Brian

    Tim Smith, still, it’s “I think you’re tone deaf,” not “I think your tone deaf.” Since you clearly know nothing about grammar or spelling, what makes you think you know anything about music?”

    Francine Gray

    He's not mainstream because some of the best are never mainstream. It takes a little effort to appreciate them, and more substantial musical knowledge to "get" them.

    Pierre Beausoleil


  61. Rosalie Jacobs

    I rise with it till I rise no more.

  62. Charles Malone

    What a beautiful performance and tribute to Kate McGarrigle by her talented children. I pray they will have long and bountiful careers. And to see sister Anna playing in Kate's stead is a moving sight to behold, as well.

  63. Sara Meza R


  64. Colleen Bundy

    They miss their mom...she gave them the gift of music which now has become a gift to me. Beautiful.

  65. Mamie Paquet

    Il love Kate ans Anna Mc Garrigle

  66. phillip bartholomew

    Ok. Who were the 21 who didn't like this? Your souls are made of stone.

    Deb Phillips

    unbelievable any one could not love this !


    Maybe the people who heard Kate sing it right after she wrote it??? Those who lived with her in those days, like me? Those who have enough musical discretion or history to know um...this ain't it!


    @Kinky but these are her babies

    Lars B.

    @Kinky you're a bitter old queen.

  67. Dorothy Scarth

    Does anyone know if this version is available on cd? Exquisite....

  68. Colin Carr

    Doesn't matter what country you're from - I'm English for example - this melts the heart.


    /speechless and slack jawed

  70. maxfarquhar

    Fckn brill

  71. Liz Brian

    It just doesn't get any better than this.

  72. Arlene Peavoy

    Stunningly calm ...... my favourite version

  73. Jocelyne Rochette

    I love it!

  74. von allen

    maybe it's moving across country and maybe it's losing my mother and maybe it's growing old and maybe it's too many photographs of dead people on my coffee table.. but this song brings tears to my eyes every single time

    Maryann Schulten

    You are not alone in that. I share all of those thoughts.

  75. Alan Mac

    The pianist is the hero here

  76. Lynne Lipovsek

    That song just leaves such a timeless and lasting memory for those of us that see and hear the beauty in these lyrics, Kate sure passed on some seriously great genes to her children , they have mannerisms like her and the harmony is hauntingly familier , and also their father has had his share in how they have grown and developed into who they are today , I just can't listen to them without seeing their mother and how she sang with such grace and Anna also the Legacy lives on thru them and their offspring ! Thank you so very much for being so gracious in sharing Kates gift and your own with us all .

  77. martin millette


  78. Totternhoe Girl

    What a beautiful rendition!

  79. Barbara Cameron-Smith

    My kind of music. Emotionally wrenching for all the best reasons.

  80. Barbara Cameron-Smith

    I get goosebumps just listening to this beautitiful song and the Wainright's amazing voices! The most harmonious of harmonies!

  81. palefigment


  82. kitty lynch

    just bloody beautiful.

  83. detlingyes


  84. KANUDE

    Makes me tear up listening to this majestic song and thinking about Kate's kids (and my one-time producer Brad Albetta's wife Martha) singing with their aunt Anna on piano shortly after their mother's passing.

  85. sfdungeon


  86. ghlyall

    That was wonderful.

  87. Kassandra Ayala

    major chicken skin

  88. Jocelyne Rochette

    Kate McGarrigle, you are so much missed!
    Bravo to Rufus, Martha and Anna!

    Jim Lysne

    yes so totally

  89. CynVee

    Wow just Wow

  90. Mary Edwards

    Goose pim

  91. Paulo Nunes

    que voz.!!!!! Meu Deus.!!! eles cantam com o coração.! verdadeira canção do coração

  92. Vicki Whitfield

    Best version. End of story.

    Ian Bentley


    Liz Brian

    It certainly is my favorite version and I have many.

    Paul Lebel

    Never ends ☺

  93. David Thompson

    music from the heart

  94. JPammo

    <3 <3 dont' know how to add my other brother w/. He passed away. I love myBrothers... I miss them... I miss the one in Wisc. that I might see some day soon. I am inCalif.

  95. Christopher Schmitz

    Where poetic songwriting and harmonious performance gel into one amazing piece of art. This is one of the great ballads, underrated, lacking the fame it deserves. Ditto for Rufus Wainwright and his sister although that is changing among those in the know. Rufus' vocals on songs like "Go or Go Again " "Going to a Town," and "Angus Dei" are some of the best make pop vocals in the last 25 years.

    Wendy Donald

    Couldn't agree more. Remember first hearing the McGarrigle sisters way back in the 1970s.

    Liz Brian

    "Go or Go Ahead" is the name of the song. It's about Rufus' days as a crystal meth addict, which ended in 2002.

    Same Old Thing

    Why do people use the word underrated SO much?

  96. david96797