Democracy -spoken

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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bridger15
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Democracy -spoken

Postby bridger15 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:16 pm

For everyone who needs a fix of hearing Speaking Cohen, Kalpa, a Boulder, CO blogger, included a link to a video (BuachaillBeo) where LC recites "Democracy".

http://financialnewsexpress.blogspot.co ... -2009.html

With the background on the recording, Democracy sounds even more chilling when spoken than sung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdePVqDP ... r_embedded

If this has been posted on the Forum already, I apologize.

---Arlene
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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sturgess66
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby sturgess66 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:22 pm

Wow - interesting Arlene. I guess ...

I agree - this sure is chilling - but not in a good way - for me at least. I don't at all like the background music* that has been attached to Leonard's recitation. :cry: :( It sounds like this coming democracy is something foreboding - full of doom and gloom - and something to be dreaded and feared! Or that "democracy" is going to be some menacing alien invasion from outer space! :lol: :lol: I think democracy is good thing - isn't it? I think it used to be?

Now that is wrist-slashing music. :lol: :lol: The music is so woebegone when Leonard says "sail on, sail on" - I would suggest that the ship might find more endorsement of life in the Bermuda Triangle. :lol: :lol: :lol: This video should prove to be a wonderful aid to perpetuate all that ignorant media spin about Leonard being all about doom and gloom. IMHO :lol: I note that it has been "out there" since April 2008.

Funny thing - Leonard Cohen makes me feel good. :lol: :lol: :lol:

On the positive side though, I just had to go and watch Leonard's official video with all those marvelous images -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OETwbVBPI1U

And then the wonderful live, pulsating and vibrant performance of this song from "Live In London" -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHI9BTpGkp8

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! :D :D :D
"Democracy"

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
(*Apologies, I guess, to the composer of what sounds like a contemporary classical composition - the music that was used for this video. IMO - it would probably, IMO, work quite well, in a different setting - but for me - it is sort of like doom and gloom. Maybe used along with images of the horror of 9/11? But for me - it does not work for the "coming of "DEMOCRACY!"

And apologies also to "BuachaillBeo" - I guess - if he put this together. It is just not my "cup of tea." That reminds of a song - something about tea - and oranges - LOVE that song! Haha!)
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mnkyface
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby mnkyface » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:29 am

There's actually an "official" video for the spoken version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbqM9R8g7rU
I like this better than the video made with random LC images...just because, well, I like to see him speaking as much as I like to listen to him. But the whole thing has kind of weird, trying-so-hard-to-be-serious-that-it's-funny thing going on. It's exactly the kind of thing I wouldn't show to friends who weren't familiar with LC and wanted to know about him, or those with a preconceived idea of what he's all about.

Apparently this was made for a compilation film "The United States of Poetry."
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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sturgess66
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:00 am

Esther - do you know the date of that video? I don't like that one either. Haha! :lol: :lol: Except - as you say - it is Leonard.

But what a difference to the recitations he is doing presently - where he isn't trying to be serious - he just "is." And give me Neil Larsen on the Hammond B3 for the accompaniment. :D :D

Actually - I was going to add to my other post - I think a quiet background of Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare to the Common Man" would be good music - if it has to be music other than Leonard's own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u1X1f3Nxy8

Hey - original is for brass - but here is an organ arrangement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UymTS6vGrLc

And I like this live 1993 performance by Leonard -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JwmIBSMzSM
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tomsakic
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby tomsakic » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:48 pm

sturgess66 wrote: On the positive side though, I just had to go and watch Leonard's official video with all those marvelous images -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OETwbVBPI1U
This was NOT the official video - it was done in 1992/93 but it was never aired or used, until somebody from Sony put it on Cohen's official YouTube channel in 2008. Marie asked Leonard's office about it a year ago, and it was confirmed the clip was part of one of the VHS press kits but not used. The original thread about "newly found old official clip" is here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11097

For United States of Poetry track & clip see here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8915 There you can also find the news from July 2009 that it's now available on DVD and that this YouTube version is very damaged due to the old VHS source of the clip.


- Tom
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bridger15
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby bridger15 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:42 am

Thanks, Tom.

We can always depend on you and your extensive knowledge to set things straight.

---Arlene
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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sturgess66
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Re: Democracy -spoken

Postby sturgess66 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:12 am

tomsakic wrote:
sturgess66 wrote: On the positive side though, I just had to go and watch Leonard's official video with all those marvelous images -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OETwbVBPI1U
This was NOT the official video - it was done in 1992/93 but it was never aired or used, until somebody from Sony put it on Cohen's official YouTube channel in 2008. Marie asked Leonard's office about it a year ago, and it was confirmed the clip was part of one of the VHS press kits but not used. The original thread about "newly found old official clip" is here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11097

For United States of Poetry track & clip see here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8915 There you can also find the news from July 2009 that it's now available on DVD and that this YouTube version is very damaged due to the old VHS source of the clip.


- Tom
Thanks Tom. Well whatever it was - official or not - it was a great relief to watch after that morose and depressing music on that other one. It cheered me up - some colorful pictures. Haha! But not as cheering for me as watching the live performance version from Live in London. :D :D Of course, that was not a recitation, but no matter. :D :D

But - question. Based on what you say above (that Sony was able to access and post on Leonard's official YouTube channel) - does Sony manage Leonard's official YouTube channel? And the same question would apply to his MySpace site - and FaceBook. Do you know who manages those sites?

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