Listen to "Banjo"

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)

Moderators: MarieM, Maarten, pekka, Henning, Andrew (Darby), dick, tomsakic, Wybe, jarkko

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Tony Crosbie on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:00 pm

Have read somewhere that this song was inspired by Hurricane Katrina. I think it was in a review by Barry Egan in the Irish Sunday Independent.
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
Tony Crosbie
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby BEATRIZ SALLES on Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:31 am

Tony Crosbie wrote:Have read somewhere that this song was inspired by Hurricane Katrina. I think it was in a review by Barry Egan in the Irish Sunday Independent.


I've read this too, Tony
2008 Paris. 2009 Barcelona. 2010 Marseille. 2012 Ghent. Verona. Barcelona. Lisbon. 2013 Antwerpen, Berlin, Pula.
BEATRIZ SALLES
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:24 am
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby panjandrum on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:28 pm

jerry wrote:Those lyrics don't do much for me. There's no meat there.


Well, it isn't any "light as a breeze", but not all of Leonard's songs require a degree in literature to glean their meaning. I too tend to like his "meatier" works, but I won't dismiss it just because the meaning seems close to the surface in this case...
panjandrum
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:56 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby howthelightgetsin on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:08 am

I love Sharon's backing on this one, such a beautiful voice she has :)
User avatar
howthelightgetsin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:51 pm
Location: Brighton, UK.

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Evie B on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:01 pm

sturgess66 wrote:About "Banjo" - at the Joe's Pub Press conference - Leonard told Rita Houston of NPR -

He's reluctant to say too much about where his inspiration comes from, but reveals that "Banjo" came from Hurricane Katrina. "After Katrina ... I saw that culture dismantled, and I think that the image of a broken banjo floating in the dark came out of that deep discomfort that had been imposed on all our psyches."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/ ... n-new-york


I was so busy with the other tracks that I overlooked Banjo somewhat as I didn't really 'get' what it was about so it lost my attention - I thought I would probably get back to it later. But reading this article of how Leonard's inspiration came from the powerful image of the banjo floating on the water in the aftermath of Katrina, I now understand the track a little better and will listen to it with new ears.
I loved the story about the candles in this article, so Leonard, so funny though not for poor Edie Sedgwick of course. Thanks for posting this link Sturgess66.
Evie B
...he shows you where to look amid the garbage and the flowers
Evie B
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby howthelightgetsin on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:25 pm

They just played it on 6Music on Lauren Laverne's show, it is a beautiful track.
User avatar
howthelightgetsin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:51 pm
Location: Brighton, UK.

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby howthelightgetsin on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:41 pm

yopietro wrote:For me, the "banjo" is a powerful metaphor that is making a reappearance in Leonard's work. In Boogie Street, he "tidied up the kitchenette and tuned the old banjo" as the "traffic jam" awaited him. He was back on Boogie Street, back in the commotion of the lights, the dance of men and women, sex, the highs and lows, the excitement of the new experience and the loneliness when Boogie Street yields no fruit. Leonard as the minstrel, and the banjo as his lute. He was back tuning it, his beautiful weapon, to once again ply his trade in the landscape of hunger and romance.

Now, in this new song, the banjo is broken and bobbing on a dark infested sea. Boogie Street no more. The minstrel not in that game anymore. His instrument broken. Perhaps that game of romancing and charming, perhaps an artifact of his past life. The song speaks of time...of decay. And mortality. "It is coming for him darling." Is it decay? Is it death? Is it the inevitable? Either way, the tune as it used to be played is no more. The banjo that served him well on boogie street is busted up. But still in his view as a reminder of what was and what will be.

Just my first take...


That is exactly how I interpreted the lyrics...
User avatar
howthelightgetsin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:51 pm
Location: Brighton, UK.

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby lizzytysh on Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:18 pm

That's beautiful, yopietro... so well expressed. Eloquently fitting.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
User avatar
lizzytysh
 
Posts: 24839
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby yopietro on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:38 am

howthelightgetsin wrote:
yopietro wrote:For me, the "banjo" is a powerful metaphor that is making a reappearance in Leonard's work. In Boogie Street, he "tidied up the kitchenette and tuned the old banjo" as the "traffic jam" awaited him. He was back on Boogie Street, back in the commotion of the lights, the dance of men and women, sex, the highs and lows, the excitement of the new experience and the loneliness when Boogie Street yields no fruit. Leonard as the minstrel, and the banjo as his lute. He was back tuning it, his beautiful weapon, to once again ply his trade in the landscape of hunger and romance.

Now, in this new song, the banjo is broken and bobbing on a dark infested sea. Boogie Street no more. The minstrel not in that game anymore. His instrument broken. Perhaps that game of romancing and charming, perhaps an artifact of his past life. The song speaks of time...of decay. And mortality. "It is coming for him darling." Is it decay? Is it death? Is it the inevitable? Either way, the tune as it used to be played is no more. The banjo that served him well on boogie street is busted up. But still in his view as a reminder of what was and what will be.

Just my first take...


That is exactly how I interpreted the lyrics...


I understand that LC mentioned that the idea for the song was inspired by Katrina. Yet there's still a strong part of me that believes that the theme of the banjo in this song is more complex and personal than the hurricane catastrophe. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was working, as much of his work does, on more than one level. The old banjo theme from A Thousand Kisses Deep still resonates powerfully for me in this song...
yopietro
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:03 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby yopietro on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:39 am

lizzytysh wrote:That's beautiful, yopietro... so well expressed. Eloquently fitting.


Why thank you Lizzy!
yopietro
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:03 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Steven on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:10 am

Hi,

Consider "broken banjo" as a metaphor for a broken instrument of art... the artist. Read that into the lines and
the song becomes a deeply personal, troubling statement.
Steven
 
Posts: 1780
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:32 am

Previous

Return to OLD IDEAS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest