Edgar Degas, Singers on Stage, 1877

Singers and Voices

The mystery of melody, the thrill of a voice, from the horizon of silence, the sound: the miracle of song. Lonely, blue, fixin’ to die. Hark! The grain of a voice—intimate, immediate—bodies forth a presence: the singer is with me, restoring me to life… In this series I consider singers whose voice moves me this way.

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MARIANNE FAITHFULL, A VOICE FROM THE SUB-LUNAR WORLD

Marianne Faithfull, screenshot from the DVD ‘Dreaming My Dreams’

Marianne Faithfull found her voice when she returned from the dead. A voice that distils the English language into syllables of raw emotion, syllables that speak of life in the sub-lunar world—our world, though most of us, drugged on one religion or another, refuse to see it as such. Among all the voices that move me, hers is supreme.

Marianne Faithfull | Photo: Hedi Slimane, 2014

All my songs are about me. It’s trying to explain, or to show people that although somebody doesn’t make the choices you would understand, that doesn’t mean they are the wrong choices for them.’

(‘Marianne Faithfull: Dreaming My Dreams’; Eagle Vision DVD, Paris 1999)

Marianne Faithull, Before the Poison | Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 2004

The Mystery of Love

Polly Jean Harvey

Prussian Blue

Marianne Faithfull & David Courts

When you’re not by my side
The world’s in two, and I’m a fool

When you’re not in my sight
Then everything, just fades from view

The mystery of love belongs to you
The mystery of love belongs to you

Tell me, have you changed your mind?
Am I a fool, because of you?

Tell me, do we still have time?
To make this wrong somehow be right

The mystery of love belongs to you
The mystery of love belongs to you

Show me sweetness, show me summer skies
Show me how to make this wrong seem right

Show me laughter in your pale blue eyes
Tell me, tell me, have you changed your mind?

Walking over the bridge to l‘église américaine
Sixty-five quai d’Orsay
The river miles farthest
The sky around les Invalides
Cerulean blue and sky of lead

Can I make it? Can I care?
Can I make it for just one day?
I listen to the rain falling grey to the ground
I can hear my heart calling many hearts around

Trees the color of jade
The church of gold
Quai d’Orsay, rose d’Orlay,
I’m going upstairs to take my place
Shadows of violet and Prussian blue

Can I make it? Can I pray?
Can I make it for just one day?
I listen to the rain falling grey to the ground
I can hear my heart calling many hearts around

I’m walking along, leaving the church
Feeling better in my heart of hearts
Sunset brocade, with a touch of white
Clouds of lilac and leaden grey

Can I bear it? Can I stand?
Can I make it for just one day?
I listen to the rain falling grey to the ground
I can hear my heart calling many hearts around

I listen to the rain falling grey to the ground
I can hear my heart calling many hearts around

By Richard Jonathan | © Mara Marietta Culture Blog, 2017 | All rights reserved

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