The gravelled voice, the minor chords
1969. A small, draughty farmhouse in the Aberdeenshire hinterland. It’s the Doric that’s spoken hereabouts by the local loons and quines. ‘Fit like?’ the perennial greeting. ‘Nae bad,’ the perennial response, come rain, shine or shitstorm. But in the farmhouse, a more urbane tongue speaks to the five inhabitants. Amid the unwashed dishes and empty bottles, roach-filled ashtrays, pieces of dismantled motorbike, climbing boots, study books and other undergraduate paraphernalia, Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs from a Room—on alternating repeat—strike a new note of sophistication. The gravelled voice, the minor chords, the darkly soulful sentiments hang like smoke, linger in corners, insinuate themselves into our collective consciousness until the words of Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy, So Long, Marianne, Bird on a Wire—so knowing, so wise, so … elevating—are on all of our lips, all of the time; the soundtrack to our adolescent rite of passage.
~ Jamie Jauncey
Also published on Medium.