"There For You"

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
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lizzytysh
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Re: "There For You"

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:56 am

Welcome to the Forum, Pbshel :D ~

What Leonard's songs and lyrics mean is one of the great, ongoing, questions that permanently resides here. I love this song and its melancholy. I used to think it was about a woman... and now I think it's intentionally written to be about either a woman or G~d or both.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
KjeXXXer
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Re: "There For You"

Postby KjeXXXer » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:56 am

I love it, it tends to describe my feelings quite accurately. And I love the melody of how it's performed.

I walk the streets, like I used to do,
And I freeze with fear, but I'm there for you.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
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lizzytysh
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Re: "There For You"

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:27 pm

After listening to Leonard's music for so long, it's hard to know or remember when [if there is a 'relevant' time frame] particular ones were written, so we can try to interpret their origin, if there is a particular one for a given song. However, when I listen to this one in the sense of its being written about a woman, I think of the lyric, "I had to go crazy to love you," and how freezing with fear in the midst of 'losing oneself' as they're falling in love [some purport that this is a typical fear with men... that of being absorbed by the woman, hence their resistance, insistence on maintaining their boundaries and their space, etc. as the process unfolds]; yet, the speaker/singer still knowing they can assure that, despite their fear, " . . . but I'm there for you." I love this interpretation of the song. Still, thinking of it in terms of wanting and doing G~d's will [If It Be Your Will], even though it sometimes makes no sense and can make one afraid in various ways [giving up one's own will], it makes sense to me, too.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lizzytysh
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Re: "There For You"

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:33 pm

When I listen to his songs of more recent times and compare those written in the past, it [still] seems to me that Leonard [despite his reputation as a ladies' man]... and remembering his comment in the poem about that very reputation causing him to weep bitterly many nights alone [sorry I don't have the exact phrasing]... anyway, it still seems to me that the prospect of a breaking heart at any age can't be one he loves to experience... and certainly can't be a prospect at his current age that he would welcome. Still, he's taken the risk and become involved with Anjani. Those double entendres, as you already know, are always to be considered, regardless. :)

I'm glad you liked how I feel about this song. I believe him when he says he doesn't remember exactly how he felt at the time of something written long ago. I'm almost always amused, however, when he answers an interviewer's question regarding the meaning of a particular song :wink: .


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Steven
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Re: "There For You"

Postby Steven » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:52 pm

Pbshel67,

I haven't looked at the lyrics recently nor played the song in awhile, but my take on
the walking the streets lines were of an introspective, self-absorbed walking,
the kind that a pensive loner might do.
KjeXXXer
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Re: "There For You"

Postby KjeXXXer » Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:22 pm

I tend to assimilate that verse into my own experiences and the emotions and feelings I've had.
So I read the line as just walking the streets on the way from A to B, running your own errands and whatnot, and feeling paranoid and exposed and vulnerable, but nevertheless, you focus on the situation of this person you love.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
KjeXXXer
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Re: "There For You"

Postby KjeXXXer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:38 pm

I'd subscribe to that, too.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
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lizzytysh
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Re: "There For You"

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:31 pm

Happy Birthday, Pbshel :D !!! When I turned 40, I was given my first-ever surprize birthday party 8) . I had no clue it was happening... just another night of get-togethers living in the Florida Keys. I was astonished, humbled, and delighted :D . I hope your day goes well as you pass this milestone... and, absolutely, may you have many more :D . Did you take the day off from teaching?


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Kinbote8
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Re: "There For You"

Postby Kinbote8 » Tue May 13, 2008 7:12 pm

I have always been struck by the lines "And death is old/But it's always new". Does it mean that you shouldn't be afraid of death because so many people have gone before, or so many graves have been filled? Or does it imply a personal aspect to death, unlike the communal troughs which organized religions tout? It seems that this might also be hinting at reincarnation, although I myself don't like the idea of it. What good is it to be reincarnated if you can't remember any of your previous reincarnations? Reincarnation could also induce procrastination by saying I'll let the next one do it. If anyone has any thoughts, drop a post. Ta.
imaginary friend
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Re: "There For You"

Postby imaginary friend » Tue May 13, 2008 11:50 pm

This is what it says to me:

Whether in war, or martyrdom or for a cause, individuals have faced death from the beginning of civilization, death is 'old'; but each time it's a new (and frightening) experience to the person who's facing it ("I freeze with fear...")

I think 'There for You' speaks about devotion – to a person, or a cause, or a God, that is powerful enough to direct and dictate our actions, even when we are not conscious of being directed.
imaginary friend
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Re: "There For You"

Postby imaginary friend » Tue May 13, 2008 11:53 pm

... I'm not up to speed on reincarnation, but karma is something I try to work on ;-)
Kinbote8
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Re: "There For You"

Postby Kinbote8 » Wed May 14, 2008 3:15 am

It seems an odd coincidence that you mention the idea of being directed because I am writing a paper about the novel "The Remains of the Day". In the paper I'm going to focus on the problem of the main character's identity, or lack thereof. The guy is a butler and he is preoccupied with veneers and his vocation, or the veneers that his vocation elicits. As far as reincarnation goes, I didn't say I believed in it. I just think it is interesting. I am an atheist with an open mind, so perhaps that makes me an agnostic. I like how Cohen can evoke religious imagery and not sound didactic or dogmatic. I think Charles Baudelaire said, "It's easier to believe in god than it is to like him", but that might have been his syphilis talking. Excuse the name dropping. I just took a French final and am still in French mode. I can't stop listening to the song "I Can't Forget". It's the perfect song to crack open a cold beer and light up a cigarette to. When finals are over I'll post something about the "report" image on "Dear Heather", which I think echoes throughout the album. Ta Vancouver. I'm from Milwaukee.
imaginary friend
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Re: "There For You"

Postby imaginary friend » Wed May 14, 2008 4:40 am

I didn't read the book, but Anthony Hopkins was splendidly eclipsed by his vocation in the movie.

Somewhere in another thread on this forum, there was a post with a quote from Leonard in which he remarked that he would not put down religion, because there were so many people who were deeply comforted by their faith, whichever it might be.

I am not one of them, but I am drawn to the intrinsic fairness of the remark.

Best wishes for your paper.
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jimbo
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Re: "There For You"

Postby jimbo » Thu May 15, 2008 4:12 am

if you rellace the word reincarnation with resurection

resurection of the dead of old.for the new beginning of eternal life...
love is not forgotten......
Kinbote8
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Re: "There For You"

Postby Kinbote8 » Thu May 15, 2008 8:07 pm

I don't mind if people take comfort from their religions, just as long as they don't force it on me. I don't go looking to try and persuade people to my agnostic point of view and I merely ask for kind reciprocation from religious people.

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