William Fitzsimmons recently learned a secret.
His father grew up without his birth family, abandoned in hospital following a serious bout of whooping cough.
Adopted by a kindly doctor, he recently tracked down his relatives. The songwriter was present for this quest, and it left him profoundly moved.
Sadly, his grandmother - his father's birth mother - has died just a few months before, but the chapter provided enormous closure for a mystery that was all too real.
William Fitzsimmons explains: "In the last two years I have lost both of my grandmothers. One died only last year, the other nearly thirty years ago. Yet both losses are fresh. One was a steadfast presence in my life from the moment I was born, the other a ghostly figure of a long forgotten story. Yet both have in a way always been there, one in her presence the other, her absence."
"Loss, painful though it is, offers a unique and potent opportunity for the kind of emotional clarity that only comes a few times during our lives. It forgets that which doesn’t matter and fans the flame for what does. It burns us with the names of those who gave their good years so that we might have our own."
'Charleroi: Pittsburgh Volume 2' is the second half of the Pittsburgh story, named after the birthplace of his long lost grandmother.
Clash is able to premiere new cut 'People Change Their Minds' and it's infused with the clarity of loss, pushed forward by the pain of separation.
Profound and personal, you can check it out below.