I (Della Farrant) was very sad to hear today of the sudden and unexpected death of long-time Highgate-based singer Lynsey de Paul. Lynsey passed quickly this Tuesday as a result of a brain haemorrhage. I learned of her passing tonight via a friend who had just read about it on Ceefax (or Teletext? Some equivalent, anyway) and who was in tears, the first record he ever bought having being Lynsey’s 1973 single ‘Won’t somebody dance with me?’.
Although I never met Lynsey, I feel it appropriate to make mention here of her early passing. Lynsey’s decades-long experiences of living in a haunted house in Highgate’s Holly Village are recounted in Haunted Highgate, along with their positive conclusion. But there is more to this ‘memento mori’ than calculatedly using her name here within days of my book coming out, I assure you. In fact, the timing could not be sadder.
Anyone who has seen Lynsey’s interviews – and maybe in recent years her very personally telling contribution to the TV series Come Dine With Me (which is perhaps more accessible to younger generations than her pop career) – will be aware of the deep spirituality, affability and gentle presence which made her so likable. So it comes as no surprise that Lynsey took a very individual and sensitive approach to the paranormal presence in her own home. Staunchly vegetarian Lynsey always struck me, from my removed perspective, as a thoughtful, kind and sincere person. Although she discussed her early supernatural experiences publicly, it was not until recent years that Lynsey ‘exorcised’ her little ghost, through unusual and idiosyncratic methods which are so indicative of her intuitive and free-thinking spirit. I respect her a lot for that, and I think we would have got on swimmingly.
The loss of Lynsey’s tangible presence in this world will be felt greatly, but I am sure that she would be happy to think that some of the positive vibrations which she always seemed to emanate so effortlessly and unpretentiously live on. It is not my place to write a eulogy beyond what I have written. Suffice to say that she was a breath of fresh air in Highgate, and the inhabitants of the doubtlessly more progressive plane where she how resides will surely benefit from her spirit on a much greater level than we ever did.
R.I.P. – or should that be, following her own philosophy as I interpret it – E.I.P (Evolve in Perpetuum) – Lynsey de Paul, 1948 – 2014. I wish there were more people like her down here.