Tuesday, 2 November 2010
a poppy for remembrance
Those memories are with us, even if we are much too young for that war to have featured in our lives. I thought of this when we went to see the wonderful Leonard Cohen in Stuttgart last month. The first time we saw him together was in 2008, also in Germany, in Lorrach. He didn't sing The Partisan then. I saw him in Colmar, Alsace, in summer 2009. He did sing The Partisan, which is partly in French, in Colmar, and when he came to the lines "J'ai tant d'amis, j'ai la France entiere" (I have so many friends, I have the whole of France) everyone in the audience stood up silently. It was electrifying. He sang that song in Stuttgart too, with a very different result. Most of the audience did not like it. You could feel it in the room. Lenny's fan base is not very young, but even so we were mostly boomers and younger, post Second World War - and that song is a very different thing in Germany.
Memories. Parts of ours are made from those of our parents and granddparents, what they told us, what they knew, and what they did not tell us too. I think of this when I go to Germany.