I’ve been listening to this a lot lately.
I’ve loved Rufus Wainright’s voice ever since I first heard his version of ‘Hallelujah’ – which, incidentally, is one of my Desert Island Discs (prev posts). Have you ever thought about what your eight records might be? I’ve refined my list over the years and I think I’ve come up with the definitive set to last me through my time on the island. They are, in this order:
‘O Jesus I have Promised’ (the original tune not the boppy modern one*) This comes from my childhood when one day an organist asked which was my favourite hymn. I couldn’t think of anything so I just said ‘O Jesus I have Promised’ and he played it for me.
‘Suzanne’ by Leonard Cohen, from secondary school where I heard it for the first time:
‘The Master Song’ also by Cohen, from the first LP I ever bought, ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen’
‘The News from Spain’ by Al Stewart, the saddest and most beautiful song he ever recorded:
‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by the Who – my favourite EVER Who track (although, as Thing points out, it’s probably also the only right-wing pop-song ever recorded. Though I dispute that it’s right wing…) I got into the Who in my early teens and was particularly proud of the fact that they, like me, are from Hounslow and once played at the White Bear pub. Which was a right dive…
Something by Bach – either a Brandenburg Concerto or Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Since I learned to play piano I have loved Bach. When I listen to Toccata and Fugue I can feel bits of my brain knitting together. Quite simply, Bach is god.
‘Hallelujah’ – the Rufus Wainright version. This period of my life – when ‘I’m Your Man’ came out, is associated with pain and recovery and the song expresses it perfectly.
And finally, ‘If it be Your Will’ – also Leonard Cohen though sung by Anthony. This is my favourite Cohen song and the most sublime thing he ever did. It is also the song I would like played at my funeral.
So now you know.
Bong! In other news, I am signed up to do a poetry gig at Bar Cultura, as part of a comedy night they are having during Artbeat. It’s on 19th June and I’ll keep you posted. I also discovered today that a friend with whom I have also discussed poetry is, like me, a great fan of C P Snow. A guided tour of Snow’s Leicester haunts is promised….
And that’s it for today.
*except that there are about ten original tunes, none of which is the one I remember