The "Dear Heather" Divide

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:40 am

Thank you for your response, David. I appreciate hearing why you feel these ways. It underscores the differences in people and their tastes and, of course, this is not news to you :wink: .


~ Lizzy
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:48 am

I was sitting doing something at my computer a few minutes ago, and started thinking again about Leonard and "Dear Heather." My thoughts didn't take their quite-normal course with this, but just lingered on how the advent of the computer and electronic music has changed things. For many years, music was amplified with amplifiers for groups or singles 'playing out;' and there were the electronic organs in some aunt's and grandmother's living rooms; we won't count the old, "player piano" because it's been around too long to enter into this. Then, came the exciting times of Pink Floyd and whatever other groups produced music electronically.

A musician Leonard's age would probably be more likely to, out-of-hand, reject the idea of electronic music; whereas, some younger people took to it very easily, with some great results, and many/most of the rest came in tow, accepting it as more of a norm than not.

Yet, to someone Leonard's age, it's really not been the norm in that same way that it is now for younger people. So, here he is... sitting at the keyboards, playing around, and having great fun creating stuff. "Dear Heather" was one of the results of this playfulness.

If one of the detractors of this song were to be sitting in a chair in Leonard's studio when he was having this fun session and he turned around and said, "Hey, listen to this! ha-ha... [or however he might laugh at such a time... I certainly have no idea :wink: ]" I really think that whoever that might be would catch the spirit of the day and have a great time with it, too... and wouldn't consider denigrating it ~ not just because it was Leonard, but because they would join in the spirit of fun.

I'm impressed that Leonard is so open to experimentation and joyfulness in his work. He's not grown old and rigid, but has retained his spontaneity and sense of humour and it comes through in pieces like "Dear Heather." This is what creativity is all about... getting in that vehicle you've chosen, pushing the boundaries, seeing what else you can bring to bear, and finding out where it takes you. If younger folk were to record something like this, I think less would be said of it, as it would be part of that youthful tendency to experiment. Yet, it seems there's some kind of expectation of seriousness placed on Leonard and when he makes this kind of dramatic departure, it's perceived as somehow unseemly, rather than what it is... a fun song that two people [Leonard ~ the very particular one, and Anjani ~ the highly trained one] had super fun in creating. I'm glad he included it on the album and that we get to hear what some days in that studio can be like. It's far better than someone attempting to describe it. I have a feeling there was a lot of shared laughter.

Play on... and play on, you two 8) .


Love,
Lizzy :D
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st theresa
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Dear Heather --YES

Postby st theresa » Sun May 06, 2007 3:01 am

Lizzytysh and all

The first time I listened to this song, I laughed aloud. Someone mentions on this thread that it evokes childhood association and for me the association was of tilting my head up to catch the snow on my tongue. I am always amused when men tune into feminine ideas and Leonard captured both feminine and home for me in 'legs so white from the winter. The spelling was sheer genius for me--However, I can understand how someone of a different generation or culture, might just miss some of the innuendoes so subtle and powerful in his work. I am always so proud of this incurably Canadian icon.
' On that same album, he sings someone else's music Tennessee waltz --another delightful surprise. His playfulness in full swing, and poignancy, as he sings a song that likely was popular when he was very young, I felt as though Leonard shared something very intimate with us.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun May 06, 2007 3:20 am

Hi St. Theresa ~
. . . and for me the association was of tilting my head up to catch the snow on my tongue.
:D I did that, too... and that seems a good analogy to me.
Leonard captured both feminine and home for me in 'legs so white from the winter.
Being from Michigan, I, too, remember those legs all white from the winter... now, they're white year-round because I no longer sunbathe :wink: . I hadn't considered it in terms of its being a capturing of the feminine idea[s] by Leonard, but I see what you mean... you could be right :idea:
His playfulness in full swing, and poignancy, as he sings a song that likely was popular when he was very young . . .
He and I are close enough in age that I can attest to its being popular when he was young; and far enough apart in age that it was popular when I was very young.

With Leonard having lived in Tennessee for awhile, and its seemingly having been a good experience at the time, it may have something to do with his covering that song, too.

You have good reason to be so proud 8) .


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
KjeXXXer
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby KjeXXXer » Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:04 pm

I just got home from the glorious and hot city of Bergen with three records in my bag: Nile's "Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka, " "The Essential Leonard Cohen," and "Dear Heather."
I have yet to hear any of these records due to a slow update in Windows Media Player, but as soon as I have put them all into the comp, I'll have a listen.
So this was a very interesting thread to read.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
imaginary friend
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby imaginary friend » Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:44 am

Is the song "Dear Heather playful? Yes. Experimental? Yes.

Heather walks by with a drink in her hand and her legs flash, startlingly white from the winter. The image captures Leonard's attention, and he writes a playful letter/note asking her to do it again. That's why the syllables are enunciated slowly, the way we speak words aloud when writing them, and that's why they are spelled out carefully as well.

There!

(I love this song. It's my favourite on the CD.)
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lizzytysh
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby lizzytysh » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:01 am

That's why the syllables are enunciated slowly, the way we speak words aloud when writing them, and that's why they are spelled out carefully as well.
Hi Imaginary Friend ~

This is a thought I'd never considered. Even though I knew theoretically that you were right about how we tend to slow down and enunciate as we speak words aloud, I still 'tested' it before I responded.

Welcome to the Forum :D , and thanks for this perspective. I, too, love this song, but hadn't gone beyond the playful and experimental aspects after Heather and her legs captured Leonard's attention.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
imaginary friend
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby imaginary friend » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:21 am

Hi Lizzy,

Until today, I was a forum virgin. Thanks for the welcome – I look forward to discussions to come!

imaginary friend
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Manna
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby Manna » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:55 pm

Hello, I.F.
I like your take on it. That may do it for me. I'm going to have to have another listen now. Thanks!
imaginary friend
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby imaginary friend » Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:36 pm

Dear Leonard,

Please walk by me one time,
with a twink in your eye
and your hair all white from the winter
and your hair all white from the winter
and your hair all white from the W-I-N-T-E-R
(of your years – you old goat.)

IF
lordbyron
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby lordbyron » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:19 am

For me, the track 'Dear Heather' mimicked the sensation of being drunk. The repeated repetition, the muddled layers of music being like a drunken person slurring and sloshing. At first, I didn't like it. But I warmed up to it fairly quickly after I quit skipping over it.

I think Undertow is the best track on the album, perhaps Cohen's best ever.
osmachar
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby osmachar » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:11 am

First i thought 'Dear Heather' was a bit odd, but after listening a few times it grew on me. Still not my favourite, but i quite like it now.

'Undertow' is my absolute favourite - love the saxophone.
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lizzytysh
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby lizzytysh » Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:40 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only one who this happens to; however, I'm listening my fourth time in a row now to all of the album Dear Heather ~ tethered to it, it would seem, as I have things to do that are out of range and I just keep circling within range doing the things I don't need to do as much. Just can't stop listening to it. It really struck me through these listenings just how sombre and serious the album as a whole is... serious issues of life and death, love and loss, deep friendship. I think of Irving and Leonard's friendship. I think of how the world was at the time when it was released and how much has happened since. When "Dear Heather" came on, it seemed so clear that it's the light relief in the album [along with "Tennessee Waltz," which is still serious, just a lighter melody and to which Leonard still added his own, more serious verse]. "Dear Heather" immediately and completely removes you from the seriousness of all the considerations that precede, as well as follow it... yet, without any abrupt change from the tonality of contemplation. This is such a mature album. I wonder if it's because I'm, knowingly, nearer the end of my life than the beginning of it that I feel and appreciate that element so strongly. Then, finally, here comes "The Faith." An encouragement that, no matter what, we maintain it.

This is like falling in love all over again.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
KjeXXXer
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby KjeXXXer » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:51 am

I find it a very good album, although I'm not as attached to it as I sometimes can be with records.
I think The Letters, There For you and The Faith are my favorites.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
osmachar
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Re: The "Dear Heather" Divide

Postby osmachar » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:43 pm

KjeXXXer wrote:I find it a very good album, although I'm not as attached to it as I sometimes can be with records.
I think The Letters, There For you and The Faith are my favorites.
Funny, that's the songs I don't like so much on the album. My faves are Undertow, Go no more a roving, Morning glory.

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