Life

Radio review: Bruce Springsteen provides music for troubled times

Nuala McCann

From my home to yours: Radio 2

Drama on One: John Boorman's Nature Diary RTE Radio One

There's always the boss…. Bruce Springsteen on Radio 2 broadcasting from his home in New Jersey to ours and chatting like an old friend.

Someone once wrote that Ronnie Drew, of Dubliners fame, had a voice like a coal scuttle being dragged across a scullery floor.

Bruce has a voice rough as a knot in burnished wood - worn but tender as battered leather.

Here is music for troubled times.

He plays Little Richard – the purest rock n roll voice of all time that takes the nation, world and your body and soul by storm … and hey … this is a musical education.

He takes a drive every day in lockdown times … “It gets me out of Patti's hair,” he says.

He's concerned for the 30 million workers joining the jobless ranks in two months.

“There's not a day goes by when I don't thank my lucky stars.”

Bruce should come on prescription – take nightly by a good fire with a glass of golden fire water.

And if that is not enough brusque tenderness to soothe your battered soul, then try John Boorman's Nature Diary – an elegy to the beauty of the natural world on RTE Radio One.

The English film director made Wicklow his home for 50 years.

He is now in his late 80s and this is a poignant meditation on age.

Where once he wandered freely, he now needs his walker/pusher to get him where he wants to go.

With the inevitable slowing down that comes with age, there is time to hear bird song, watch the trees, appreciate the beauty of a carved rock.

When his daughter Telsche died, Boorman planted a Himalayan larch in her memory.

He always imagined that he would peel off its parchment bark and write messages to her friends on it … but time is a thief and thoughts sometimes never take wings.

Coronavirus has gifted us silent skies, clear water in Venice, reduced emissions, he says.

It stopped the clocks and locked us up.

But see the sudden electric blue flash of a kingfisher, savour the peppery warmth of nettle soup with wild garlic, glory at trees.

All is here for the listener's delight.

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