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{Updated Oct. 2017}
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Leonard Cohen

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  • Leonard Cohen

    Sad passing of a true poet. I was listening to last album "You Want it Darker" when it came up on the news.

    He must have known he was dying. The album is full of portents of death. The final words of the title track "Hineni, Hineni, I'm ready, my Lord", say it all. Hineni, the word uttered by Abraham when called by God to take his son Isaac for sacrifice, means "Here am I", interpreted that Abraham understood he was about to undergo a severe test and he expresses his immediate acceptance. But Leonard Cohen uses it to declare his own readiness for death. Six words that are either very funny or very sad, but state with absolute certainty a man at peace with himself.

    The album is really just one long epitaph. He really was quite something.

  • #2
    Leonard, RIP

    One of my long time favourites, providing entertainment and comfort in equal measure.

    God bless Leonard Cohen.


    • #3
      Leonard Cohen and his roots.

      Cohen was typical Canadian born singer and songwriter. When he toured first time in Poland in 1985 he was privileged to and he could not believe in his enormous popularity in Poland and regarding him as a great singing poet, whose poetic idiom was understandable so well and easy. As if he wrote just being between us. Roots.

      "While on a world tournee - Legendary bard of the song of protest and love, Great Poet and Composer - Leonard Cohen with his band in Poznan" 1985

      Thank you so much, friends... Please, sit down, thank you so much. Thank you, Marek, thank you very much. Thank you for coming tonight. Thank you, the listeners of Trůjka. It's a great privilege and a great honour for us to be here. We were here 22 years ago. There were brave men in prison. There were people under house arrest. There was the Heavy Hand over the society and over the culture. And here today, 22 years later, they're calling this the "New Paris". Warsaw is the new Paris. Well, maybe Warsaw doesn't want to be the new Paris? In any case, we don't live in Warsaw, we don't live in Paris although those geographies may define our actual location; we live in other places that are more intimate and more real and more authentic than whatever the official culture defines us as. I was reading in Milosz's book today... just one beautiful paragraph... He says:

      "Man has been given to understand
      that he lives only by the grace of those in power.
      Let him therefore busy himself sipping coffee, catching butterflies.
      And whoever cares for the republic will have his right hand cut off.
      There is so much death and that is why affection for pigtails,
      bright-coloured skirts in the wind, for paper boats no more durable than we are."

      And then the poem just drifts off. And it's in that drifting off that these songs that we have tonight are written. Just... The songs not of great love, not of... songs that address the great bewildering challenges of today whether they're global warming of the clash of civilizations or the resolution of all the horrendous conflicts that beset us. These are songs that Anjani (Thomas - pkwba) and I wrote about the little places, about the little loves, about the little corners. Some distinguished musicians have come with us from Canada. And I'd like to introduce them to you. These are master musicians - soloists and composers in their own right. On keyboard, Lou Pomanti. On guitar, Rob Piltch. On bass, Scott Alexander. These songs are honoured by the company of these musicians. Now, one day... I know Anjani very well - some of you may know - we've been singing and working and living together for many years, but one day very recently I woke up and I heard her singing in a completely different voice. It was as though her voice--and I know her voice very, very well--but it was as though her voice had moved from the throat to the heart. And it was a completely different sound, a completely different timbre, a completely different dimension. And I was so happy when she began to put my words to music, so I hope that you will find favour in these songs that we're going to offer you tonight. They are new songs with a new voice, and I'd like to present to you Anjani.
      Leonard Cohen, concert in Polish Radio 3, 2007

      RIP Leonard

      P.S. Warsaw before the IInd World War was really called "Paris of the East", also by Frenchmen. Lost beauty, unrestorable .....


      • #4
        Quality all round

        My father liked his music so I've known him since I was a little kid. Loved his voice, poetry and music. I only realized much later that it's not only beautiful itself but also beautifully recorded.

        Huge loss. God bless him [']


        • #5
          Leonard's talk about departing. The last album.

          Thanks Steven you mentioned this last album.

          On "Treaty" the hair bristled on my head.
          On "Leaving the Table" I got speechless
          On "It Seemed the Better Way" I sat down and petrified.

          "Steer Your Way" - Leonard's truest epitaph.

          Maybe it happened good the "It Seemed the Better Way" was released with newer text. This choir of cantors is incredible.

          I remember quite fierce (but very friendly and revealing) discussion of very, very educated heads on the previous, original text of this verse years ago on the radio:
          It seemed the better way
          When first I heard him speak
          But now it's much too late
          To turn the other cheek

          It sounded like the truth
          It seemed the better way
          Though no one but a fool
          Would bless the meek today

          I wonder what it was
          I wonder what it meant
          This rising up with love
          This lying down with death

          Better hold my tongue
          Better know my place
          Cup of blood with everyone
          Try to say the Grace
          Kohanim were always regarded having very specific relation with Lord ..... Universal. Deep, deep roots ....


          • #6
            Leonard Cohen - Mission.


            Iíve worked at my work
            Iíve slept at my sleep
            Iíve died at my death
            and now I can leave.

            Leave what is needed
            and leave what is full
            need in the spirit
            and need in the whole.

            Beloved, Iím yours
            as I have always been,
            from marrow to pore
            from longing to skin.

            Now that my mission
            has come to its end
            I pray Iím forgiven
            the life that Iíve led

            the body I chased
            it chased me as well.
            My longingís a place
            my dying a sail.

            From 'Book of Longing'

            Non omnis moriar .....


            • #7
              The last album I heard is 'Old Ideas' and love virtually all the songs, 'Darkness' being my favourite.
              I've always had a soft spot for 'Suzanne' as it was sung to me on the floor of a flat
              by a rather attractive young lady back in the late '70s.
              She's still with me after 35 years of marriage...