Fortunately, last week's BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week was A Broken Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen's Secret Chord. Also fortunate is that the BBC has some of the world's best radio producers. Sometimes, when such sparseness serves the material well, a Radio 4 Book of the Week is a condensation of the book into five fifteen-minute episodes, read by a single performer. Other times — again, when it serves the material — they will condense the text even further, in order to take advantage of the nature of their medium and enhance the text with relevant audio content. The producers of A Broken Hallelujah did just that, and did it brilliantly. After listening to it last night while doing errands around the house, I listened a second time this morning — this time staying close to the computer and pausing frequently to search youtube. Where I found songs I had never heard, along with performances I had not heard in far too long, and interpretations of favorite songs that were new to me. And saw some brilliant videos — some fan-made, some professional — inspired by his songs.
Over all, a morning of wistful smiling, along with the occasional sniffle and teardrop. I would love to share all of it with you. But I will restrict myself to just this one. Even if you're not a Leonard Cohen fan, do yourself a favor and give it a try. (I have suppressed the youtube framing because the title contains a spoiler for something I expect most of you will prefer to learn in the watching. Enjoy!)