Sunday, February 27, 2011

Noel Harrison -- "Suzanne" (1967)

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror

One of the more interesting singers to cover "Suzanne" was Noel Harrison, the son of actor Rex Harrison.  Noel Harrison's version was released in 1967, just before Cohen's own recording of the song was issued. 

Harrison co-starred with Stephanie Powers in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., which was THE COOLEST TV SHOW EVER!  (Unfortunately it only lasted one season.)

I had a major thing for Stephanie Powers.  That is only one of the reasons I would have sold my soul to trade lives with Noel Harrison -- he was a TV star, a recording artist, the son of a world-famous actor, and a member of the 1952 and 1956 British Winter Olympics teams.  We're talking major babe magnet.

Stephanie Powers and Noel Harrison

In 1972, Harrison became a disciple of self-help pioneer Scott Nearing and decided to live "the simple life," so he  moved from the U.S. to the Nova Scotia coast and built a house from scratch.

The house had no electricity, and depended on a wood stove for heating.  One day something went wrong with the wood stove, and Harrison's house burned down.  But he rebuilt it with money he earned from performing in touring musicals (he specialized in roles that called for good-looking guys with upper-class British accents -- think My Fair Lady and Camelot) and hosting a musical variety show on Canadian television.

Harrison recorded "The Windmills of Your Mind" for the soundtrack of The Thomas Crown Affair.  The song won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Here's a video of Harrison performing "Suzanne" in 2008:

Here's a link you can use to buy the song from iTunes:

Suzanne (Remastered Album Version) - Life Is A Dream

Here's a link to use if you prefer Amazon:

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