Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Cover Version - Judy Collins does "Song of Bernadette"



So many hearts I find, broke like yours and mine, torn by what we have done and can't undo.


Judy Collins does a beautiful versoin of the gorgeous "Song of Bernadette", written by Jennifer Warnes with Leonard Cohen and Bill Elliott.

This is from a July 1991 concert in California.

"Song of Bernadette" is an evocative powerful hymn with  exquisite melody and meaningful poetic lyrics.

Cohen described the song as an 'exquisite collaboration'.

The song was first recorded on Jennifer Warnes' mighty 1986 album Famous Blue Raincoat back in '86.

The song title refers to Bernadette Soubirous, a young French girl in the mid-19th century who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary on several occasions. She was canonized by the Catholic Church and proclaimed Saint Bernadette after her death.

You can listen to an great 1988 conversation regarding Song of Bernadette between Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes by clicking here: {Track 7 1:52}


Jennifer speaks of being inspired to write the song on a bus trip near Lourdes - a place of pilgrimage in southern France ....
I was given the name Bernadette at birth. But my siblings preferred the name "Jennifer" so my name was changed one week later. In 1979, on tour in the south of France with Leonard Cohen, I began writing a series of letters between the "Bernadette" I almost was, and "Jennifer" – two energies within me. One innocent, and the other who had fallen for the world.
The letters were just an experiment: “Dear Bernadette, I’m so lost right now.” “Hello dear Jennifer, don’t worry, I’m here, and it’s gonna be okay.” I showed Leonard my letters to which he replied, “There’s a song in here…just start at the beginning…”There was a child named Bernadette, I heard the story long ago…and then keep going….” 
So the song arose in a bus nearby Lourdes. I was admiring Bernadette’s countryside from the bus window, thinking about the great Saint who held her ground so well, and was not swayed from what she knew to be true. But the song is also about me longing to return to a place that was more pure, honest and true. I still long for this, and I think others do too. 



















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