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‘Tangled Locks and Matted Fur’
Homelessness is tragically reaching epidemic proportions in many towns and cities across the UK and throughout the world. It was a chance encounter with a loose dog on the streets of Oxford just before last Christmas that made me think much more about the appallingly large number of people who sleep at best in draughty shop doorways, often with a dog as their sole companion.
I managed to catch the stray dog, who had a tatty coat on and a straggly piece of tinsel around his neck, and who turned out to belong to a homeless woman sleeping under an old duvet on the steps of Martyrs’ Memorial in central Oxford. I reunited them and went on my way, but it was that little episode that inspired me to pen a song about homelessness from the perspective of a homeless person’s dog. I recorded the song, ‘Tangled Locks and Matted Fur’, in London, and it was there and in Oxford that photographer Carol Mac and I scoured the streets during the recent bitter winter to get shots of street dogs – with their owners’ permission – to make into a video to go with the song. In the process I got chatting with some of these people – in particular, with homeless advocate and street musician Neo, who is homeless himself, and who pointed out to me that, much as most of us choose to distance ourselves from those who have no choice but to make the streets their home, we’re all but two missed mortgage or rent payments away from being there ourselves.
I hope you’ll take the time to watch the video and make a donation through Just Giving, but please also consider downloading the song from iTunes or Amazon, or buying the DVD from me through my website (www.mandywoods.me) or in person, as I will be donating all profits from the song and video to homeless charities.
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About the fundraiser
UK-based singer-songwriter Mandy Woods’ songs reflect her years of playing on the UK acoustic scene combined with a decade of living, writing and performing in Austin, Texas. As Wags Lyrical, Mandy also pens songs about dogs of all shapes and sizes for their doting humans.
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