Yesterday was one of those days that make me thank my parents for not having stopped at their ninth child.
20 years ago, Leonard Cohen gave a concert in Cascais. I didn’t go, but my brother did. After that, he couldn’t stop himself from listening to Leonard Cohen. I listened too. I had no choice. I am not deaf, and unlike our eyes that we can shut, there is no way not to ear, when your older brother (actually my 6th older brother) is the one who owns the tape recorder. Being the 10th of 12 children has its advantages. Of course I am not expecting those who have small families to understand that. It doesn’t matter, thanks to my brothers and sisters and my mother and father, I grew up listening to lots of music that my own generation didn’t have the chance to appreciate.
Yesterday I had the chance to listen to Leonard Cohen live in Lisbon. It was a wonderful evening. The night fell smoothly as Leonard Cohen and his band gifted the audience with almost 3 hours of the best of his best music. I hope that one day, when I get old and my brain starts deteriorating, and that I loose my memory and my reason, my heart may still remember the joy I felt for being there and how light I was feeling afterwords.
I am posting a You tube with one of the musics from last night. This you tube video was recorded in May 2008, in one of the concerts of his current tour. I admire Leonard Cohen above all as a poet. For me he is above all a poet, a poet that also composes and sings. Leonard Cohen is one of the reasons why I love the English language. His lyrics inspire me, and those readers that happen to know me personally know that I frequently quote him.
However, I chose a song whose lyrics are not his. Take this Waltz is a tribute to Federico Garcia Lorca, a poet that left too many poems unwritten. He was assassinated by spanish fascists for the simple reason that they didn’t like him. He was too independent, too non-conformist and too cosmopolitan. They just couldn’t stand him so they took him, he lost his life and we lost the chance to admire his poems yet to be written. Thanks to Leonard Cohen many people who would otherwise never come across into Lorca’s poetry had the chance to get to know him. A beautiful way to honour his memory.
Federico Garcia Lorca’s body was never recovered. An olive tree was planted in the place where he was shot.
Update: Here you can find some you tubes from the Lisbon Concert (and a link to my own blog).