Marianne Faithfull Says COVID-19 Has Taken Her Singing Voice
Marianne Faithfull revealed that her near-fatal battle with COVID-19 left her unable to sing — and that her ability may never return.
She’d been prescribed “palliative care only” towards the end of her 22-day hospital stay last April, and she hadn’t been expected to survive the coronavirus. In a new interview with the Guardian, the singer said that other permanent effects included short-term memory loss and fatigue.
“I may not be able to sing ever again,” Faithfull said. “Maybe that’s over. I would be incredibly upset if that was the case, but, on the other hand, I am 74. I don’t feel cursed and I don’t feel invincible. I just feel fucking human. But what I do believe in — which gives me hope — I do believe in miracles.”
She reported that she couldn’t remember much of her hospital stay, adding, “All I know is that I was in a very dark place – presumably, it was death.” She continued, “You know, the doctor, this really nice National Health doctor, she came to see me and she told me that she didn’t think my lungs would ever recover. And where I finally ended up is: ‘OK, maybe they won’t, but maybe, by a miracle, they will.’ I don’t know why I believe in miracles. I just do. Maybe I have to, the journey I’ve been on, the things that I’ve put myself through, that I’ve got through so far and I’m OK.”
Faithfull will release She Walks in Beauty in April — a year after her hospital stint. It’s a set of Romantic-era poems, recited over music written by collaborator Warren Ellis, with contributions from Brian Eno and Nick Cave. Accepting that it could be her final release, she said she’d wanted to make the record for “a long time” but didn’t know how to do it successfully.
“But then finally […] I saw that I could do it now,” she continued. “[I]t’s perfect for what we’re all going through. It’s the most perfect thing for this moment in our lives. […] I found it very comforting and very kind of beautiful. Now when I read [the poems], I see eternity — they’re like a river or a mountain; they’re beautiful and comforting.”