Lynda Styan, my beautiful companion, love, friend and soulmate for many years, died on July 15th. A persistent pain in the back during her last few weeks, which no doctor was able to diagnose, turned out to be symptoms of a cancer so stealthy that she continued singing and entertaining till her final days, full of energy and humour, looking fabulous, appetite undiminished.
She had the sweetest and kindest spirit I ever knew.
An actress trained at the Guildhall School, Lynda chose singing as her main focus. I treasure a fun scene she did with Gorden Kaye in ‘Allo, Allo!’. Her stage work was brilliant too. A fashion model in her earlier days, she was starting to get back into that too, as a sideline.
Lynda was glamour personified, drawing looks wherever she went. The proverbial lady who puts on her finery just to pop down the road to post a letter was true in her case. She loved the well-dressed days of yore and loathed today’s lazy grunge-dressing.
Her singing voice was unparalleled. Even Ella Fitzgerald or Rosemary Clooney couldn’t deliver a torch song such as My Funny Valentine or Someone To Watch Over Me the way Lynda could, because her tenderness of emotion showed in every syllable with every pitch-pure note.
The thought of Lynda resting peacefully is almost bizarre. I see her leaping through Elysian fields, reunited with her parents and beloved dog, Toby.
Wherever I go now she’ll be with me, my companion forever, a hand on my sleeve, a gentle grin, an outburst of merriment with head thrown back.
Supreme Interpreter of Poetry
At some of the gigs, she used to invite me to duet with her. With my voice no more than basic, and hers transcendental, somehow it worked. I remember how often we sang the old Astaire and Rogers number, They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Another was the song from ‘Gypsy’, Together, Wherever We Go. Those lyricists were poets, and Lynda was a supreme interpreter of that poetry.
How we Met
How we met and faced life’s adversities together is covered in ‘The Unmaking of a Britflick’, with Lynda and her ukulele on the cover. It doesn’t even start to do justice to the magic that was her.
While having a clear-out recently I happened on these words I jotted down back in the day and sent to her:
Nimble as dancing,
You turn the world on like a light,
Your hair of flame
Flashes like fame
At the restless tossing of your head:
Your voice soars in song,
Spins me along,
Opens the way to a whirling new world
She didn’t mind me being a rotten poet.
I’m going to miss her so immensely much.