Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yet another Leonard Cohen post:

Yea well, since it's obvious now I guess I might as well come clean and just confess.

Okay, I confess that I do love Leonard Cohen's poetry, art, music and talent. The guy amazes me with his depth and perception. I think that if ever given the opportunity to I could just sit there and listen for hours on end to his insights and views and with that being said it is now time for the post.

This post is on two matters of subject. One is his more recent album titled "Songs from the Road" and second is just a little on his themes (taken from Wiki's page at this link). What interests me most about his work is his apocalyptic predictions that the present will create the future and that in the end all things will pay the balance owed to make things right and restore what is back into what should have been.

I'm sure I screwed up that mouthful but I'm not so good with words sometimes and describing Mister Cohen's talents would require someone far better with words than I.

Enough of that. Now the album cover (so you'll know what to look for in the music store), next the post and after that two songs. I will in a day or two remove the songs because they are only placed here to sample anyway.

Buy Leonard Cohen's - Songs From The Road (CD/DVD) [Enhanced] for $12.99 from, reduced by 28% or regularly $17.98

Recurring themes in Cohen's work include love, sex, religion, depression, and music itself. He has also engaged with certain political themes, though sometimes ambiguously so. "Suzanne" mixes a wistful type of love song with a religious meditation, themes that are also mixed in "Joan of Arc". "Famous Blue Raincoat" is from the point of view of a man whose marriage has been broken by his wife's infidelity with his close friend, and is written in the form of a letter to that friend. "Everybody Knows" deals in part with social inequality ("...the poor stay poor/ And the rich get rich"), and AIDS: "… the naked man and woman/ Are just a shining artifact of the past".
"Sisters of Mercy" depicts his encounter with two women in a hotel room in Edmonton, Canada. Claims that "Chelsea Hotel #2" treats his affair with Janis Joplin without sentimentality are countered by claims that the song reveals a more complicated set of feelings than straightforward love. Cohen [46] confirmed that the subject is Janis with some embarrassment. "She wouldn't mind", he declares, "but my mother would be appalled". "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On" also deals with sexual themes.
Cohen comes from a Jewish background, reflected in his song "Story of Isaac", and also in "Who by Fire", whose words and melody echo the Unetaneh Tokef, an 11th century liturgical poem recited on Rosh HashanaYom Kippur. Broader Judeo-Christian themes sound throughout the album Various Positions. Hallelujah, which has music as a secondary theme, begins by evoking the biblical king David composing a song that "pleased the Lord", and continues with references to Bathsheba and Samson. The lyrics of "Whither Thou Goest", performed by him and released in his album Live in London, are adapted from the Bible (RuthKing James Version). If it be Your Will also has a strong air of religious resignation. In his concert in Ramat Gan, Israel, on the 24th of September 2009, Cohen spoke Jewish prayers and blessings to the audience in Hebrew. He opened the show with the first sentence of Ma Tovu. At the middle he used Baruch Hashem, and he ended the concert reciting the blessing of Birkat Cohanim.[47] and 1:16-17,
In his early career as a novelist, Beautiful Losers grappled with the mysticism of the Catholic/IroquoisCatherine Tekakwitha. Cohen has also been involved with Buddhism since the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996. However, he still considers himself also a Jew: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism."[48]
He is described as an observant Jew in an article in The New York Times:
Mr. Cohen is an observant Jew who keeps the Sabbath even while on tour and performed for Israeli troops during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. So how does he square that faith with his continued practice of Zen?
"Allen Ginsberg asked me the same question many years ago," he said. "Well, for one thing, in the tradition of Zen that I've practiced, there is no prayerful worship and there is no affirmation of a deity. So theologically there is no challenge to any Jewish belief."[49]
Having suffered from depression during much of his life (although less so recently), Cohen has written much (especially in his early work) about depression and suicide. Beautiful Losers" and "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" are about suicide; darkly comic "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong" mentions suicide; "Dress Rehearsal Rag" is about a last-minute decision not to commit suicide. An atmosphere of depression pervades "Please Don't Pass Me By" and "Tonight Will Be Fine". As in the aforementioned "Hallelujah", music itself is the subject of "Tower of Song", "A Singer Must Die", and "Jazz Police".
Social justice often shows up as a theme in his work, where he, especially in later albums, expounds leftist politics, albeit with culturally conservative elements. In "Democracy", he laments "the wars against disorder/ … the sirens night and day/ … the fires of the homeless/ … the ashes of the gay. He concludes that the United States is actually not a democracy. He has made the observation (in Tower of Song) that, "the rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor/ And there's a mighty judgment coming." In the title track of The Future he recasts this prophecy on a pacifist note: "I've seen the nations rise and fall/ …/ But love's the only engine of survival." In "Anthem", he promises that "the killers in high places [who] say their prayers out loud/ … [are] gonna hear from me."
Several Cohen songs speak negatively of abortion. In "The Future", he sings sarcastically "Destroy another fetus now/ We don't like children anyhow." In "Stories of the Street" Cohen speaks of "The age of lust is giving birth/ And both the parents ask/ The nurse to tell them fairy tales/ from both sides of the glass." "Diamonds in the Mine" is often described as a song about abortion because of the lyrics, "The only man of energy/ Yes the revolution's pride/ He trained a hundred women/ Just to kill an unborn child." However, research suggests these lyrics are referring to Charles Manson, his followers, and Sharon Tate's unborn baby from the Manson "Family" murders of 1969. [Read the rest in the correct format ------>HERE]

Now two songs...

(MENA Arena, Manchester, EnglandNovember 30, 2008)
Waiting For The Miracle 
(HP Pavilion, San Jose, California November 13, 2009)

Sorry, but no download links this time. Buy the album!

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