Midweek Music Moment: The Partisan

Leonard Cohen’s prolific volume of work spans over 40 years and fuses music, poetry and full-length novels.

Love him or hate him, Mr Cohen always knew that he didn’t have the best vocal chops in the business: but took up a singing career in the mid-60s after finding that he could convey his poetical and political ideas to much greater audiences, if he sang them.

Today’s Midweek Music Moment is Leonard Cohen’s cover of the 1943 French song ‘La Complainte du Partisan’ – also known as ‘The Partisan’.

Covered by a diverse range of artists, I’ve chosen three wildly different versions for your Midweek Music Moment!

This initial version is where I heard it first: with Mr Cohen’s gritty vocals setting the tone for the incredible talents of the National Ballet of Canada’s Principal dancer, Heather Ogden (if you just watch one, watch this one):

 

 

The second version is a gentle, folksy ballad that’s very much a sign of it’s times, from Joan Baez in 1973, Paris.

 

 

And the third version is this heavily orchestrated, almost-metal version from Aussie’s Mick Gordon and Tex Perkins.

 

 

It’s a great song: which style do you prefer?

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