Rob Marr pays tribute to his father and his story with “Death and Comfort”

I want the last of your heat while you’re warm
I sometimes wish I had given you more
Light any-angled or darkness unfold
I want the last of your heat while you’re warm

Every one of us has our own way of sharing our story. Sometimes, art is a great tool to celebrate the ones we knew and still love.

Rob Marr released his new single, “Death and Comfort” on Friday, November 13th. The London-based writer musician and UK public health consultant created this piano ballad in tribute to his deceased father. This track has been recorded with a single microphone in one take. Part of it was also inspired by a description of Aldous Huxley’s death, written by his wife Laura, from Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note.

The melody and the melancholy lyrics of “Death and Comfort” take us back to our own experience of mourning. At first, pain hits. There might be regret too. You learn how to live without this person by your side. Recalling memories appear. Then, you’re glad to have known her.

“Death and Comfort” is indeed the leading single of a whole project named “Book Of Man”. First of all, “Book Of Man” is a podcast wrote by Rob Marr himself and narrated by BAFTA-winner Josh O’Connor (who stars in the Netflix drama, The Crown). “Book Of Man” is also the name of Rob Marr’s new album, which should be out in early 2021. The album will be made up of all the songs we hear in this podcast.

Rob Marr’s inspiration usually comes from everyday life. His provocative tone attracts listeners. He already released two albums: “Domestic Dramas” (2007) and “Anatomy” (2012).

The podcast “Book Of Man” is made of three parts and twelve chapters. This immersive storytelling is about relationships between the fathers and sons of four generations of the same family. Rob Marr’s family. Each original song highlights a key part of the story. If we close our eyes, we can imagine the scenes, as if it was a movie.

In the beginning, we’re introduced to Rob Marr’s grandfather. Josh O’Connor’s voice and Rob Marr’s works immerse us in his childhood. The family experiences a first drama: the younger brother dies after eating poisoned berries. Then, the father dies on Christmas day, while Rob Marr’s grandfather is only 11. His teenage years are chaotic: he was expelled from several schools but became a physicist at 23. He marries a nurse. Their love gives birth to a child, but fatherhood doesn’t suit him. He enlisted as an army doctor when war broke out. He made it explicit he never wanted a second child: that’s why Rob Marr’s father never felt loved or appreciated by his father since his birth.

The journey goes on with part 2. Josh O’Connor explains how Rob Marr’s father started his own family. First, he was a womanizer. At the age of 19, he stole his best friend’s girlfriend and got her pregnant. He then settled down and married a nurse, just like his father before him. He experienced tough fights such as melancholy and depression but loved his children with all his soul: he had two daughters and one son, Rob Marr. Soon, other issues, family related or not, further degraded his mental health. He eventually found his inner peace by reconnecting with his family, writing down all his worries in his “Book of Man” and burning it down.

The last part shows how Rob Marr’s father changed: he opened up more with others and started saying “yes” more often to his loved ones. He even reconnected with the son he had at 19. Then, Rob Marr experiences the loss of his father, struck down by blood cancer. Nevertheless, both of them had time to reconcile. His father even said he’ll miss him. This podcast itself is proof of Rob Marr’s love. “Book Of Man” comes to an end with Rob Marr’s love life. He’s engaged and may become a father too. A new chapter is about to start…

Mélanie Domergue

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