I recently came across The Civil Wars, a due made up of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White, while browsing iTunes. I was immediately attracted to their music and downloaded their first album, Barton Hollow, which was released in February.

It’s a great album, and I’m enjoying listening to it, but one of my instant favorite songs on the album is a bonus track, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love.” Here’s a live version of The Civil Wars singing it:

[youtube+http://youtu.be/ED97KMfm8O8]

I love this version of the song. It’s romantic, beautiful, and haunting — I’ve been singing it and playing it in my head all week! I also love one of the comments on this video: “these two need to get a room.” I love the playful sexiness going on in this performance. Having watched a few other YouTube clips of them singing live, I can say that it’s not always this incendiary, but it’s always great! (Note: since Williams is married, I assume this sexiness is part of the act rather than a reflection of them having an off-stage relationship.) I’ll have to keep an eye on their concert schedule — I’d love to see them live sometime.

The Leonard Cohen version is quite different:

[youtube+http://youtu.be/7pA5UhNaYw0]

PJ loves Cohen’s music and really likes his version of this song, but I think The Civil Wars’ version is wonderful. To his each own, I guess!

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