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Prince Charles says he loves Leonard Cohen songs

Monday, May 22, 2006

London (Reuters): Britain's Prince Charles, mocked by critics for being prone to gloomy introspection, has revealed that one of his favourite singers is Leonard Cohen. ''It's terrific stuff,'' said the heir to the throne, waxing lyrical about the reclusive Canadian poet and troubadour who became known as the ''Poet Laureate of Pessimism''.

Charles, 57, gave a glimpse into his musical tastes in a television interview with his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Prince's Trust, a charity he set up to help disadvantaged youngsters. It sharply underlined the generation gap between the ''philosopher prince'' who puzzles with much angst over the meaning of life and his young sons who enjoy hip-hop and rap. When Charles confessed that Cohen was one of his favourite singers, William asked '' Is he a jazz player?''

Describing Cohen as a wonderful chap, Charles said: ''He's remarkable. The orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything. He is a remarkable man and he has this incredibly laid-back, gravelly voice.'' Cohen was renowned at the height of his fame for wearing black clothes and singing his gloom-laden classics like ''Suzanne'' and ''Bird on a Wire'' in a deep monotone. Critics quipped that his records should have been distributed with free razor blades.

Hello Magazine royal correspondent Judy Wade said: ''Cohen is the perfect choice for a man who is so inward-looking. Charles is pessimistic like Cohen. He probably finds him a kindred spirit.'' ''I am surprised he knows anything about Leonard Cohen. I thought he only listened to classical music,'' she told Reuters.

Royal biographer Penny Junor agreed it was the perfect choice. ''It sums him up,'' she told Reuters. ''It is an amusing choice. If one had to play those games where you matched someone with someone, this is the perfect choice for an introspective and self-pitying individual. It is almost as if he has just caught up with the Sixties.''

Cohen could certainly do with a celebrity endorsement right now. The 71-year-old singer recently won a 9 million dollar law suit against Kelly Lynch, his one-time lover and manager of nearly 17 years, whom Cohen says skimmed more than 5 million dollar of his savings over eight years, leaving him only 150,000 dollar to retire on.

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