On That Day

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
jurica
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Postby jurica » Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:23 pm

Tchocolatl wrote:and they where dying in the name of Allah, very certain that 500 virgins (500 v/for 1 man, the deal was, ey they were not fooled he?) were waiting for them in heaven after their death as heroes. You can think this is stupid but the fact is some people are fighting reliously in this world and that was the song is saying.

And maybe you should listen to the song again, LC never said that he was believing this. (What is the use to downloaded it in advance if it is not to listen to it better than others?) :wink:

He said "Some people say" because, in fact, people were really saying this around here, "they are hating us of old, etc." what you said.
well, i did say 'it's not his official opinion or anything like that - i just got that impression from his more recent work'.

still, i don't know where you got the idea that the cause for the attacks was religon??? from what we heard from Osama and co. it was all about US puting middle east down economicaly and freedom wise.

the line 'some people say' is obviously irronic, as Tom Sakic noticed, but i think it's a sort of double irrony: as if he was rediculing people who redicule Bush for his 'some people say'.

in other words, i think LC wanted to say:
you may think that 'some people say they hate us of old' is stupid, but they do hate us of old, and they did attack us.

we've already discussed this on Lightning's thread, and my standpoint is clear, and Tom did a good job of explaining how the last stanza can hardly be read any other way, so i'll rest my case for now (untill new evidence is presented, as they say in court).
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:48 pm

Sorry, Patyou, ignore that. Allwright's translation is I guess more free, his own poetical trying. Keep yourself to the literal Linmag's translation, probably more accurate.
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linmag
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Postby linmag » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:59 pm

Thanks for that vote of confidence, Tom :). In the light of the definition of 'report' that Leonard has chosen to give in the booklet, I would certainly say that "reportage" is not the right interpretation.
Linda

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linmag
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Postby linmag » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:00 pm

Tchocolatl wrote:linmag with the Asciitable you can have whatever accent you could dream of! :D
Thanks for that, Tchocolatl. I'll go away and play with it and see what I get. :wink:
Linda

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Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:11 pm

Jurica, did you feel being taken to court? Or what? :D

This is one of their favourite games to take people to court, americans, for a "yes" or for a "no" did you know? They take you to court for everything, they take you to court for anything. So he choose these words knowing that, certainlay, unless I think the idea of guilt is also presented.


Paytou have a try there : [url=http://plages_lc.monblogue.com/]à la date du 26 septembre[/url] :D
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"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

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linmag
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Postby linmag » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:32 pm

I couldn't get the ascii thing to work, Tchocolatl, but I found another way :)

One thing came out of doing this translation. The dictionary gave the French for 'holding the fort' as "assurer la permanence (en l'absence des chefs)". The absence of those in authority is implicit in the English phrase, but I'm not sure that any of us addressed it explicitly. Is there an implication here that the leaders (of the country, of our society, of the various religions) have been absent or in some way derelict in their duty since "that day"? Also, the comment "I wouldn't know" in this context is the time-honoured reply of the subordinate left in charge (don't ask me, mate, I only work here!). It may therefore not necessarily be Leonard's own attitude.
Linda

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Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:30 pm

Dear Linmag I find your translation accurate in regard to the meaning. For the Ascii code, maybe I was not clear enough.

Keep the left button "alt" of your keayboard pressed while pressing one after another the numbers indicated tp the left of the character (on the table). This is an international code it is suppose to work for anybody.

Ey! BTW everybody : there is a new very beautiful comment about DH on this French site :

http://www.leonardcohensite.com/dearhea ... alyse3.htm

:D
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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linmag
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Postby linmag » Tue Dec 07, 2004 3:52 am

Thanks for the link, Tchocolatl. I like the play on words with bruyere, but it's late night/early morning here, and I think I shall have to read this one again to take it all in.

I don't think it was the fault of your explanation regarding the ascii codes. I think it's something wrong with my alt key. It doesn't work with the bitmap codes either. (That was how I got the accents onto the translation eventually - copied them into a Word document and put the characters in from bitmap, then pasted it back here.)


Goodnight, all :)
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Joe Way
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Postby Joe Way » Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:56 am

Hi All,

Marie just sent out her latest newsletter and contained within is this great article that points out how Leonard did "report" during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. http://www.webheights.net/speakingcohen/canjew04.htm

"Cohen was in Greece when the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973. Immediately, he flew to Israel with his guitar and performed concerts for the soldiers at the front lines, an episode that he would invoke a quarter-century later when his commitment to Judaism was called into question when he became involved in Zen Buddhism."

I still think that Leonard is a bit conflicted about this whole situation that we've found ourselves in. But, I do think that he feels that one has to make a choice and it is clear to me that Leonard's choice remains with the West and the state of Israel. I think that the Christian notion of the blessedness of those who lack power (which in my mind is the key issue) complicates his thinking. In Biblical times, Israel was a small powerless entity and envied the strength of its neighbors. As time wears on, Israel bcomes stronger and stronger and perhaps, at least in the Christian context, one wonders whether "the first shall be last and the last shall be first."

These are admittedly some very random thoughts that have recently occurred to me.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:12 pm

Patyou, I'm sorry, I just saw I that put the "y" in your name before the "t" in a previous message.

Linmag, I thought that you used this good old cut and paste.

(I almost proposed you to bring you all the letters you should need for cut and paste. But I find the table should be more useful to you at large. En vain. :wink:)

Regarding Décker's comment, I like the fact that he is doing it in writting a letter to Heather. The title of the album asked for it. I like how he is doing it by pacing outdoors, walking in heather's tracks on the nature and the evident liking he takes to do so. Breath of fresh air. And I like his détour by New Skin for the Old Ceremony and the alchimist imagery of the album.

Joe, I could tell you that I was not believing it when I saw the planes crashed on (in!) the twin tours and the tours going down, by this, in contrast, awfully fabulously beautiful day of Sept., via Internet on that day (somebody called me to watch this on his PC "come see it, hurry come see this" socked he was. I was sure it was a very bad hoax. I returned to my business very quietly, like if nothing was happening, very calm (in that sense, yes, I went crasy for a while denying the reality - I could not report because I was not close engouh to do something, but on the following days many people from over the world reported). I denied until I could not continue it no longer. Then the horror struck.

I like the way Tom used "or". Where you on "their" side or on "our" side. Could be a significant meaning. And linmag, in fact, people organized themselves because the authorities were not prepared for such an event.
(This is realist, authorities could not live in the place of every person all the time, therefor, total security is to being dead : nothing bad can happen to you for sure. Nothing can happen to you at all, anymore.)

Joe I could not say for LC, but for me, and I think, most Westerners, the choice is clear. To be anti war is not to be pro ennemy.

Joe, I would not call Saddam Hussein powerless in his way of life. Give him the means of the US and soon western world would cry in despair "give me back the Berlin wall, give me Stalin and G.W. Bush." But this is imagination. In reality is that it is the US that has power, the power also to keep peace without abusing, so this is to them that people asking it. This is all the difference, in the world. Ah! you must know all about this, and that was not the point, right?

This Cristian thing, is more likely regarding the abuse by the powerful on the powerless. Long message would follow if I go further again. I stop here.

Jurica, I think that you minimize too much the religion and cultural questions. Human beings are not pure logic all the time.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:36 pm

The TV station I was referring to is "the notorious News Fox", not the ABC (sorry ABC).
t.
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Dylan
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Postby Dylan » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:43 pm

I saw it as an anti-war song for some reason.

I'll have to listen to it again now. I love the harp by the way.
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Postby Jack_Cade » Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:31 am

My impression of the song is that it's a mile away from taking sides over issues such as pro-American/anti-American, pro-Islan/anti-Islam. Hasn't Cohen said several times - particularly during interviews around the time of 'The Future' - that such dualism is an inappropriate response to the situation.

To my mind, 'On That Day' follows this line of thinking. On the issue of 'them' hating 'us', for whatever reason, Cohen states 'I wouldn't know'. Which is more honest than most people are on the subject.

As for the reporting to duty, I think the interpretation above is too literal - it's not just about diving into the rubble, signing up with the army and so on and so forth. It's about reporting for duty on 'the front line of your own life'. It's about deciding whether to react to danger and disaster by 'going crazy' (as so many around the time did,) or taking responsibility for your own life. I don't think Cohen is taking sides, but for my part, I think the consequent war on terror constitues 'going crazy'.
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Postby Tchocolatl » Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:27 am

Jack Cade I am emotionnaly more near from your understanding of these lines than the others here, but I think the meaning has many layers of understandings which could all be true.

I think that he put himself in this song as a witness of the event, as he does often.

This song is short, but very rich. I see the different ways he sings the same words as different points of views on the question.

In the Bagavad Gita - a spiritual chevalry book (wich I do not read enterely), it is said that if you are only a soldier, then hold the fort the best you could and do not try to understand the war. Not to take at first degree either.

There is also Maya the Great Illusion in what we are living and take for the truth.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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Dylan
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Postby Dylan » Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:00 pm

From reading the responses here, I think it is that the song is very personal to all of us.

By that I mean when we hear the song, or read the lyrics/poem, then it means to us, what we weould like ity to mean. Or something along that line.

That probably doesn't make sense. :?

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