Antony

I love stumbling upon new things that give unexpected pleasures. Normally, it’s musicians I haven’t heard before, even if they have been around for years. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Every year on a weekend towards the end of January we celebrate Wellington Anniversary — it’s a holiday weekend when we get the Monday off work. We normally go camping with our friends to our favourite spot on a farm by a river. This year the weather was terrible, so we stayed at their house in the city instead. We mooched around town on the Saturday, and ended up back at their house in the last afternoon with a new jigsaw puzzle to kill the time. (I know, we were really desperate!)

While we were doing the puzzle and grazing on delicious food, my friend put on a DVD of I’m Your Man, a concert featuring songs by Leonard Cohen. I was a bit dubious because, 30 years ago, I had a flatmate who loved Leonard Cohen and tried to get me interested. I was more interested in jazz rock, reggae and punk/new wave at the time, and I thought he was dreadful (Leonard Cohen, that is. I was very interested in the girl I flatted with :devil:). Anyway, the concert was very good, but the song that stopped me dead was If It Be Your Will, sung by Antony (Hegarty). It is a beautiful version of the song. The video is on YouTube, but I can’t embed it (sorry, it’s been disabled). It’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MDlMdu2gjw. The lyrics are worth a close look, too.

“If It Be Your Will”
Leonard Cohen

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

So, after that little epiphany, I’ve been searching for more Antony and the Johnsons songs. I’ve picked up their début, self-titled album from 2000. Probably my favourite song from it is Cripple and the Starfish.

And another one I love is from the 2005 I Am A Bird Now album. The song You Are My Sister features Boy George on the chorus.

“You Are My Sister”
You are my sister, we were born
So innocent, so full of need
There were times we were friends but times I was so cruel
Each night I’d ask for you to watch me as I sleep
I was so afraid of the night
You seemed to move through the places that I feared
You lived inside my world so softly
Protected only by the kindness of your nature
You are my sister
And I love you
May all of your dreams come true
We felt so differently then
So similar over the years
The way we laugh the way we experience pain
So many memories
But theres nothing left to gain from remembering
Faces and worlds that no one else will ever know
You are my sister
And I love you
May all of your dreams come true
I want this for you
They’re gonna come true (gonna come true)

Love the singing, love the lyrics, love the video.

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