Prince Charles Likes Leonard Cohen

CUMNOCK, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 20: Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay makes a surprise visit to the Christmas tea dance at Dumfries House on December 20, 2018 in Cumnock, Scotland. Prince Charles joined around two hundred guests for the festive tea dance, which was held to counter loneliness and social isolation in Ayrshire. (Photo by Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In case you’re tired of year-end music recommendations from lowly commoners, Charles, Prince of Wales, recently sat down with composer Michael Berkeley for a BBC Radio 3 conversation about his favorite tunes. Among discussion of classical compositions by the likes of Wagner and Beethoven, His Royal Highness, who played cello as an undergraduate at Cambridge, shared some thoughts on a more modern pick, the late Leonard Cohen‘s 1986 song “Take This Waltz.”

“I’ve always loved Leonard Cohen’s voice and his whole approach to the way he sang,” Charles said. “He was obviously incredibly sophisticated in the way he sang, but also wrote. I find it very moving, the words are so extraordinary, sort of Salvador Dalí-like, they lead you into this remarkable Dalí-like world.”

Reports on the interview don’t mention whether the royal dug into the song’s source material, Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem “Pequeño Vals Vienés,” which Cohen translated himself for an album commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lorca’s assassination by Spanish monarchists. (Cohen named his daughter after Lorca, whom he credited as a major inspiration after discovering a book of his work in Montreal at the age of 15.) Certainly something to think about.

You can listen to Charles’ full conversation here via BBC Sounds. It’s a nice compliment to Barack Obama’s newly shared list of 2018 faves. We’ll give you one guess which list includes Kurt Vile and Jay-Z. Listen to “Take This Waltz” below.

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