The Partisan (1970-1988)
(Anna Marly, Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, Hy Zaret)

"My personal "mythology" for bravery and courage is filled with the Spanish Civil War, the French Resistance.... and the concentration camps. They might be forgotten by the younger generation but I think the emotions are still valid, and I wanted to again introduce into the air the energy and the emotions these experiences left. I believe it's useful."

Leonard COHEN, Interview,"R & F", 1970

I don't expect the system to dissolve under the assault of this song..

Leonard COHEN, Frankfurt,  April 6th, 1972
Read also the history of this song
This is a song called "The Partisan". When I say in the song "The Germans poured across the borders...then the Germans came... " I don't really mean the Germans you know. And when I say in the song "I took my gun and vanished" I don't really mean that I took my gun and vanished. Nothing that I say in the song doesn't really mean. But there must be something true about it, and I'll try to locate that each time. I'd like to dedicate this song to the memories of the four students....(*)

*The four students from the Kent State University (Ohio,USA) killed by the Police on the 4th of May 1970. read more 

Modified verses, in fact translation of the original verse of d'Astier de la Vigerie "Effacez mon passage"

I've changed my name so often
Lost my wife and my children
Comrades you who know
You erase all traces of my passage

Just after the last stanza, the following improvisation is spoken…:

I don't know ... I think the shadows have a long life. I think you may marry and beget children and die in these same shadows. They're tearing down the most beautiful parts of Frankfurt even today and building buildings -- shadow buildings. You will live in them. They tell me that you were heavily into drugs last year but that now you're kind of quietened down, buying farms in the country. Well I hope you like it there with the animals…

Singing again…
Ah the wind the wind is blowing
Through these graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we'll come from the shadows
.

How sad it is to sing a song of resistance - a revolutionary song - people have paid for tickets - for a singer who is paid to sing the songs - for musicians who are paid to play with me. But I wanna tell you something about us, I mean the players, I mean the musicians on the stage. It's gone a long way beyond that. Gone a long way beyond the wage. Gone a long way beyond the people with salaries. OK so we're spies in the board room -- we're traitors in the cupboard. Whatever goes down with money between us is a very tiny part of what is happening with people I play with on the stage. I don't expect the system to dissolve under the assault of this song. This song means nothing now. I can only tell you between us - the players on the stage - all that has already been sorted out. And that's the only strength that I have and that's the only way I can sing this song and not feel totally disgraced. I don't know how you're going to work it out among yourselves.

Singing again…
Ah the wind the wind is blowing
Through these graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we'll come from the shadows.


We sleep with each other and we play music with each other. We haven't tried to establish the theory. We have no dogmatic program. We just sleep with each other and we just play music with each other and that seems to put it in the right place. I don't know how you're gonna work it out.

Ah the wind the wind is blowing
Through these graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we'll come from the shadows
I mean the shadows


This is a song for the resistance

This is a song of Resistance. It was written a long time ago,about someone's grandparents, about your grandparents. But this song for
me is an allegory for Resistance.

Original Musical Part (Raoul Breton Editor)- Document scanned from the book "Anna Marly, Troubadour de la Resistance", Tallandier-Historia ISBN 2-235-02279-0

In every generation there is a Resistance,and in every generation it's the only place to be. This song comes out of a resistance in an old conflict and perhaps the Resistance in this generation is not the resistance against another side but a Resistance against ideology as it is.

This next song comes out of the second world war. It stands for Resistance

This song comes from a happier time when we knew who the enemy was.

So a long time ago, your grandfathers and my grandfathers were engaged in some kind of conflict. Nothing much remains of that conflict except some snow and some paper-weights, and some old songs. This is one of the songs that seem to persist.

Je dédicace cette chanson à ceux qui sont oubliés (I dedicate this song to those who are forgotten)

A long time ago, your grandfathers and mine were engaged in some serious struggle which they have then forgotten. Out of that struggle came a song that stands as an allegory for resistance, everywhere.

I learned this from a friend when I was 15. He was 17. His father was a union organizer. We were working at a camp in Ste Margeite, Quebec. We sang together every morning, going through the People's Song Book from cover to cover. I developed the curious notion that the Nazis were overthrown by music.

The "People's Songbook" which contains the "Song of the French Partisan". 1948 edition, from personal collection. Boni & Gaer ed.

Here's a song written by the ghosts of our grandfathers.

Document scanned from the book "Anna Marly, Troubadour de la Resistance", Tallandier-Historia ISBN 2-235-02279-0

This is a holy land that has been sanctified by the blood of martyrs.
There are still ashes in the air, there is still dampness in the ground.
I feel the presence of so much undone. I feel the aspirations of so much unarticulated. It is to these ghosts, to these unquiet souls, to these brave memories that I dedicate this next song.

After singing "Everybody Knows", "The Partisan" was introduced that way:

Here's the same song, forty years earlier....

Austin has always been known as a kind of seed of resistance. It's a subtle situation. No flags are burned, no offensive rethoric. But everyone knows that somehow the spirit reigns free here. This is a song of another Resistance a long time ago. It's called "The Partisan".

Frontcover of the vinyl single by Dominique Walter

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