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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Flewitt

Are We Making Mary Proud?

Proud Mary. What a song! The song that I learned my first dance routine to at the age of 6, The song that I became mesmerised by Tina Turner to, her dancers, and the full stage show that I saw in the autumn of 1990 on Sky TV, thanks to my dad. Do you remember the days when a white satellite dish was half the size of your house, and you generally had to wait 3 years before you could see something, that had been previously released at the cinema… ah the days of patience. We recorded the show from Sky TV, and I wore that VHS tape out!

Proud Mary was also my imaginary ‘song for survival’ on the X Factor. Dermot would ask the judges for their decision, and they would all be blown away; not only by my performance, but my killer pins in a short white dress, my ability to dance in 6-inch heels, just like Tina did in her show, and that I was in fact a triple threat; they would realise I could sing, dance and rap. My rendition of Melanie C’s Never Be the Same Again, did this in week 7, when I surprised everyone with the full Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes rap, and the Thai Chi dance moves from the music video; no bottom two for me!

Queers the thing, the song that I love, that I have cherished for so many years, I fear has become a novelty. Since the Glee cast did a version of this back in an early season, I have seen it appear more and more; it’s performed by drag queens (badly sometimes) and performers, sung by people at karaoke, and these things for me are taking away the essence of how brilliant this song is, and how unique Tina’s style was when it was performed. It is a song that should be in a treasure vault, released only on special occasions, and only performed by one person: Tina.

Tina didn’t just perform the song; she told a story, and the audience would go wild. It would be about 9 minutes of pure excitement for the audience, and you could not help but be captivated by her, her band, dancers, and the pure joy of the moment. I imagine that many of the people performing this number, have no idea what I am talking about, so here is a link, to look and see exactly what I mean:

So, this is my plea, to all Drag Queens, Performers, and Karaoke enthusiasts; Mary is getting on, she is tired, needs a rest and has been burning for almost 50 years. Let’s let her rest in retirement with the Queen herself, Tina.

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