There's some nutty woman who drives around the South Hams area of Devon in a little green Skoda singing her heart out. I think that I can harmonise quite well but any foot passengers on the Brixham-Kingwear ferry who hear me through the car windows may disagree. What is quite wonderful is that I get paid good money to have these impromptu concerts as I travel between the houses of poorly people. My job exposes me to all sorts of human suffering. Music is my comforter and joy, a pick me up that bolsters mental energy before, between and after these visits.
My favourite album at the moment is 'Songs From The Road', a lesser known collection of live performances by Leonard Cohen from 2008 and 2009. One of the reasons that I'm loving it is that it features the more obscure songs from the '60s and early '70s that count among my personal favourites. I'm normally much more of a fan of later works. Lover, Lover, Lover is the first track, a rather wonderful starter in my book. Later on we have the very moody, brooding Avalanche where the backing music seems to tumble.
The song that I've been playing on repeat though is The Partisan, first recorded back in the 1960s. It's not Cohen's own composition. Rather it dates from World War II and is a partly translated song about the French resistance. I get to practice my second language skills during my singalong but recognise that the need to tell people that the Germans have forced me to surrender doesn't loom large in my Breton holiday repertoire!
Now I know that Leonard Cohen is like Marmite. Some of you out there must have sinking hearts everytime I do a post about him. But I'd urge you to click and play just the first minute of this track. The instrumental introduction is amazing, a remarkably accomplished piece of musicianship.
Fellow fans who love those gravelly tones can continue listening to the vocals. Someone commented previously that they would be happy to hear Leonard reciting a phone book. I agree heartily. So it's no wonder that hearing him sing in French, that most seductive of languages, makes the hairs on my back stand on end!