if it be your will

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maria Tereza
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if it be your will

Postby maria Tereza » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:02 pm

I am studying L. Cohen's lyrics (yes, studying because I'm brazilian and sometimes it's really hard to understand his lyrics due to my limits in English) and I have a question which was not answered by my English friends.

I think I understand the lyrics of if it be your will...but I have a question. When he says: "If it be your will //That a voice be true //From this broken hill //I will sing to you "
What does he mean by "from this broken hill"??? I was trying to translate it to portuguese and could not really find a way. I might be completly wrong, but from What I understand he was referring to himself...is it right? I also relate that to the Calvary as religion is always implicit in his poetry....but I don't know how it could be translated....

Any thoughts?
Thanks anyway,

Love,
Maria Tereza
Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil
Steven
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Steven » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:32 pm

Hi Maria,

Here's my interpretation of "From this broken hill": the supplicant is expressing that he is addressing
God from a place of being brought down. An ego-based elevation is now broken and there's a
humility that the praying person is coming from.

Humbly yours, as others' interpretations may be equally or more valid.
maria Tereza
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Re: if it be your will

Postby maria Tereza » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:45 pm

Hi Steven,

THanks for your kindness in spending some time trying to answer my question.
I find Cohen's poetry quite a challenge to be interpreted but that's what makes it so rich and beautiful.
Isn't it great to be able to discuss his poetry trying to see how people see them? Thanks to Internet...I see it's quite possible.

Once again, thanks for your help :D

M. Tereza
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Geoffrey
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Geoffrey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:21 am

maria Tereza asked:
>What does he mean by "from this broken hill"???

It comes from Isaiah 55:12, which reads: "The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing."

Ask me another.
Steven
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Steven » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:58 am

Hi Maria,

You are welcome. Some of Cohen's poetry can be a challenge to interpret. Much of his poetry, i.m.o.,
is "so rich and beautiful." It is great, sometimes, to discuss how others see the poetry. :)
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brightnow
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Re: if it be your will

Postby brightnow » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:03 am

Nice one Geoffrey, I never made this connection before, thank you.
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
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Geoffrey
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Geoffrey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:31 am

brightnow wrote:
>Nice one Geoffrey, I never made this connection before, thank you.

You are more than welcome. People like to call me a troll, but that is, of course, their way of reacting to the inadequacy they feel when a person of sublime authority such as myself is around. In all humility, the truth is that there is nothing, not even the tiniest detail, about Leonard Cohen's life or work with which I am unfamiliar - and for that I suffer persecution. Yet it matters not, I understand the psychological workings of minds suffering from inferiority complex and my heart is filled only with forgiveness. This is why Leonard probably likes me more than any other single poster here, because he knows that I have studied the scriptures and understand his lyrics, while most others here have never opened a holy book in their lives - nor any book for that matter. They haven't the foggiest idea, not a clue. And for that I am trampled on, the village clown, ridiculed and intimidated in order to cover up their own mental shortcomings, their pitifully small accumulations of knowledge. I cannot help that I have an unending thirst for learning; it is hardly my fault that I have a personality that is void of cerebral lethargy. I was born this way, a super intelligent intellectual with a brain so limitless in its function that it exists as testimony to God's magnificent ability to create something perfect.
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lizzytysh
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Re: if it be your will

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:51 pm

As you see, Maria Tereza, we have no shortage of ego, bluster, and irony amongst Leonard's appreciators here ;-) . It's lovely that Geoffrey was able to bring the scriptural perspective to your question. Your own posting is very humbly refreshing 8) . I like your interpretation, too, Steven... so many layers to Leonard's work.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
maria Tereza
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Re: if it be your will

Postby maria Tereza » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:03 pm

Geoffrey,
Many thanks for your information on Isaiah 55:12. It was really helpful.
Regarding the rest of your message….I didn’t know whether you were joking or not!! “I understand the psychological workings of minds suffering from inferiority complex and my heart is filled only with forgiveness.”
Well…I’m an Orthodox and I do enjoy reading the Bible although I’m aware it’s quite complex to understand it. (even though I'm very much in love with Literature and have been dedicating a lot of time to it)And you know Geoffrey, thinking over what you have written....I don’t suffer from inferiority complex …I know by experience that it is not that simple to interpret the Bible as we tend to read it with our “limited eyes”. This limit is due to our own culture, selfishness and this “human feeling” that we think we know it all…
Just to tell you a short story: About 20 years ago (I was this curious, adventure young lady) I had so many questions about my own religion that I needed an accurate explanation. So, I flew to a Monastery in Portugal and spent a month with a group of female monks and the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church in Portugal (That's why I totally understand Mr. Cohen's "reclusion"). There I worked a lot (physically) and studied the Scriptures daily but when I came back to Brazil I knew that the best way to understand my religion and myself was through meditation and the hardest of all...while meditating trying not to think of anything . Today I know that I will be this endless student who hopefully will never be able to answer all the questions. This makes me eager to learn more and more. (If it weren’t like this, I’m sure that “spiritually speaking” I would be lazy and a very uninteresting human being!)

As a teacher, I never think that when you are not 100% sure of something and you feel insecure…it has nothing to do with an inferiority complex. On the contrary, I think we learn even more when we think we don’t know enough and besides, there’s always something new to be learned.

But I was quite surprised to read that your heart is full of forgiveness since mine is still crawling on that path…for me forgiving is my eternal fight…and still my target in life! - But I have improved a lot!!!! LOL

Anyway Geoffrey, thanks for the precious information and I hope you “forgive” my limits in English (although my Brit husband keeps telling me that it’s my charm!! :oops:

And from what you say, you must know a lot about Cohen's work which makes you a very special teacher!!! From now on I'll keep an out out for your posts....)

Um beijo from Brazil
M. Tereza

Steven...THAAAANKS !!!!!! :razz:
Last edited by maria Tereza on Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
maria Tereza
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Re: if it be your will

Postby maria Tereza » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:10 pm

Lizzytysh,

Oh..you have no idea how much I’ve been enjoying this community!!!! It’s just a paradise for me who struggles to find someone in Brazil who really knows Cohen’s work. I’ve just met a few and I keep on showing Cohen’s CDs to my friends and making them enjoy him as much as I do.

I guess I’ll be reading all the messages posted in this community for quite a long time!!!! :razz:

Tereza
Steven
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Steven » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:34 am

Hi,

Recently, a thought-stream connection with soldiers and fighters taking hills came to mind in relation to
this thread. The highground is the preferred vantage point for confronting one's enemies. The superiority
of the elevated position and its wider metaphorical possibilities in terms of personal and communal battles
wouldn't seem to be precluded as a possible not out of line interpretive slant on the "broken hill." -- People
can be humbled and brought to their knees to find that what was taken to be a position of strength has become
broken (or leveled, smashed, busted up, etc.). -- Here, the humbleness/humility is the result of being brought
down in the course of stuggle/battle.
John in LA
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Re: if it be your will

Postby John in LA » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:26 am

Either Mr. Wren is correct or hill rhymes with will. One or the other.
"and did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
and what did you want?
to call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth."

Late fragment
Raymond Carver

"can't start it like a car, can't stop it with a gun..."

Warren Zevon, referring to love...
seadove
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Re: if it be your will

Postby seadove » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:47 am

"From this broken hill" doesn't mean anything significant. It simply fits well in the song, and sounds balanced in the scale.

You're welcome. ;-)
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Casey Butler
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Casey Butler » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:53 am

Note that in "If It Be Your Will" he was singing to you (when the song was written, anyway, I'm sure?).

Maybe the Biblical prophets used a sort of poetic "code" of "Spiritual Geographical Metaphor"? Thus, like God, ignoring the various national, racial, and religious walls we erect around ourselves so that they might better describe the various human spiritual states. Which is most of what would matter to God?

For instance, say that Mountains are high spiritual places, immovable, difficult to climb. Examples would be Mount Zion, Mount Sinai, Eagle Peek, etc.. these being references to the "highest" spiritual state (or even perceived spiritual state).

Deserts and Wildernesses, and Valleys, are maybe low spiritual places. Water and rain representing spiritual knowledge [or something] are plentiful in the Mountains and Hills.

In Valleys the animals go to trees that grow by streams and rivers, there to give their own "drink offerings" in exchange for shelter from sun and wind, and a little water. They have Iron Chariots in Valleys too.

Trees are as rare as water in the Desert. Perhaps the Wilderness is for crying voices and mysteriously disguised women at the reins of beasts.

Leonard Cohen may have been a "Hill" when he wrote "If It Be Your Will", but I think today he's a Mountain [Fort, Walled/Fenced City, etc...]. I mean, he's more of a religion unto himself today, based on a song, isn't he?

Aren't all the famous Artists of old?

During these troubled times, and like any good Church Administrator or Religious Authority, Leonard Cohen collects tithes and offerings [no drink offerings, please] in exchange for vintage encrypted bread crumbs shared with his adherants. Sort of a flame drawing moths willing to pay to see an old man skip across the stage in glee.

I cannot speculate on exactly how jet aircraft fit into "Spiritual Geographic Metaphor", but all's fair in Love I'm told.

One guy called it all the Speech of Birds... In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee (as) a bird to your mountain?

Casey
Tenebrius
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Re: if it be your will

Postby Tenebrius » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:38 am

That's from Mr. Cohen...

"This is an old prayer it came to me to rewrite. It’s about surrendering

I don’t know which side everybody’s on any more, and …I don’t really care. There is a moment when we have to transcend the side we’re on and understand that we are creatures of a higher order. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish you courage in your struggle. There is on both sides of this struggle men of good will. That is important to remember… on both sides of this struggle. Some struggling for freedom, some struggling for safety. In solemn testimony of that unbroken faith which binds a generation one to another, I sing this song: “If it be your will”.

Hope it help.

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