Leonard Cohen’s recent masterpiece ‘Come Healing
‘ got me thinking of my favourite contemporary spiritual songs.
There are VERY few songs which I could class as ‘masterpiece’ contemporary spiritual anthems. I might include the following (you can view the songs by clicking on the respective image) :
1. Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah
‘ (in this video sung by the enormously talented Rufus Wainright),
2. Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a Changin
‘, ( Eddie Vedder, say no more),
3. Again Dylan’s Blowin in the Wind
(which became mainstream in the 60’s by Peter, Paul and Mary) ,
4. Nick Cave’s The Ship Song
which is quite possibly Australia’s greatest unheralded anthem.
Although Archie Roach’s There is a Garden
produced by the king of underrated music in Australia David Bridie might also be in contention.
How is it, that you can’t find Archie Roaches lyrics anywhere on the internet? That is a crime unto itself.
I had to write these classic words from from ear to at least have a record:
When all the trees have gone,
All the rivers dry,
Don’t despair when all the flowers have died,
For I have heard, there’s a Garden somewhere…
When you hear the children cry,
When you see them die,
And Mother can’t sing a lullaby
I can smell the blessed warm spring rain.
We are young, we are old,
Oh but what we had, can’t be bought or sold,
And we are paying for your crimes,
Oh but everyday and every way, we get better all the time.
And when everything is gone,
And you’ve lost all hope,
And you have come to the end of your rope,
Well I believe that the flowers will bloom again,
5. Archie Roach wasn’t alone. Fellow Australian Aboriginal singer Geoffrey Gurrumul
delivered some of the most spiritually powerful songs heard in the last decade. This blind aboriginal singer who plays the guitar upside down delivered this absolute treasure, Djarimirri
. Soon after Elton John and Sting wanted to appear on stage with him.
Come Healing by Leonard Cohen in the you tube video below I believe is is another that stands amongst those listed above. In fact this song is way ahead of its time. It is almost like a futuristic sermon to the nonreligious.
I know we all have our own different opinions about what makes a classic contemporary spiritual anthem. What are yours? I can’t wait to find out and learn.