There was an eerie and, it has to be said, eldritch disturbance in the agony Aunt and Uncle conclave of Americana UK. A stygian darkness had fallen over the office and the sounds of many feet shuffling through the gloom were clearly audible. Strange figures, becloaked and bearing peculiar musical instruments touched with an ancient patina of verdigris. They spoke of their troubles, these haunted figures. They were “poor wayfaring strangers” cursed to “travel through this world of woe.” Desperate figures, abandoned of all hope they were – and it posed a knotty problem as to how to comfort this lost band who called themselves H.P Lovecraft.
It’s not easy to confront such an open display of despair and soul wrenching angst. What would comfort these one-time denizens of Chicago? It was a puzzle – that is until the Agony Aunts of The Carter Family suggested that all that was needed was a change of perspective. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” chipped in Maybelle and Sara in harmonising unison – then declaring “you’re a stranger and a pal of mine“.
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