Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby its4inthemorning » Mon May 22, 2017 12:45 am

Vickie,

When you say LC did not write the lyrics for "Waiting for the Miracle," are you sure? I know this song was co-written with Sharon, but I always thought he wrote the lyrics and she wrote the music. The lyrics really seem like quintessential LC to me, maybe B4 knows the answer (it doesn't appear that anyone else follows this thread which is unfortunate).

"Waiting" is one of my favorites from the album, maybe the favorite. So many simple yet thought-provoking lyrics. "The sands of time were falling from your fingers and your thumb," and the "of course you say you can't complain" and "squeezed for information" lines are favorites of mine, the latter two exemplifying how he could weave current jargon into a much more profound theme and avoid any awkwardness in doing so.

Unlike most LC songs, the meaning of "Waiting" always seemed to me to be obvious: failing to see and acknowledge true love that was right in front of you all the time. (That is not to say there aren't a dozen other interpretations that may be equally valid, but I've never dug down any deeper to find them.) About a year ago a nice fellow who had been doing yard and handyman work for us for about 30 years died unexpectedly at age 55. He had been going with a nice girl for a year or two in the late 1990s, but then she fell out of the picture. Since he was obviously still very interested in her, I always thought she was the one that broke up with him. Last year she showed up at his memorial service, and was just heartbroken, a tearful mess. We had a little conversation, and she said, "I always thought he would call me, I know I will never find someone like him, why didn't he ever call?" I am not sure which of them was waiting for the other, or if they were both waiting, but now whenever I listen to "Waiting" I think of them and what they missed.

Here is a nice video of "Waiting for the Miracle," note Leonard and Sharon at 5:45.

https://youtu.be/0EdFyoxVdNg

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL LEONARD COHEN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 3:36 am

Sorry 4, I was talking about the song Be For Real when I said it wasn't written by him. I could see how you could think that though, because I bolded the song titles that I liked the most, making it look like I was still talking about Waiting.
Funny that you would mention the finger and the thumb. That is one of my favorite lines as well.
What a sad story about the gardener and the girl he never called. People say that things happen for a reason, but I disagree. I feel that usually things just happen... or they don't happen, and it's people themselves that cause things to happen or not. Then we have to live with our choices, like the couple in your story.

What do you (and B4) think about whether or not I should wait a while before the next album out of respect for the fact that it was so long between this album and his next? (Not that I will listen haha) Now that I am getting closer to You Want It Darker, I'm torn between wanting to sprint and wanting to drag my feet.

Vickie
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 4:13 am

Ack! I just listened to Waiting again... and totally get what you are saying now. Sorry for not paying better attention with my last post. You said it was obvious but it wasn't to me (I had only heard it twice till now). So it's not only unrequited love but also the fact that so many people let happiness go by because they are waiting for that 'perfect' mate.
Obtusely but sincerely,
Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Mon May 22, 2017 6:00 am

4, I hope your stereo is fixed soon! Glad to see my instructions were helpful for you too!
The DNA thing is very interesting so I reckon you should go ahead and do it as well :)
4 wrote: maybe B4 knows the answer (it doesn't appear that anyone else follows this thread which is unfortunate).
Ha! Yes I do! And, ah....I’m beginning to suspect you need to get new glasses ....You’ve been reading on the wrong line again ;-)
There are lots of people following this thread but they are in the silent majority! Those who don’t post still read – I do that too! I hope they are getting some benefit and pleasure from reading what we write. Who knows, maybe Ancestry will get a sudden unexplained influx for DNA requests :lol:
Last edited by B4real on Mon May 22, 2017 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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B4real
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Mon May 22, 2017 6:06 am

Vickie, it’s always a pleasure to be of some assistance! Btw – I also am interested in understanding the many different religions etc. Last night I watched an interesting programme on SBS TV called The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman: Beyond Death. Morgan’s attitude to different religions is an open minded one as well.
Vickie wrote: I wonder what it is in our brains that makes us take to him, as if it could be tested for as easily as DNA.
That’s an interesting statement and in my case possibly true! Years ago unbeknown to me, my brother was listening to LC’s songs and poetry at the same time as I was. Neither of us was aware the other knew anything about him and it was so lovely to discover that we had this uncommon (at the time) understanding in common!
Vickie wrote: It is weird how the % mix can be different in siblings. I don’t understand it all, even though the science teacher at the school I work at tried to explain it to me.
This should help, especially the graphic: https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/201 ... _sch=Email

About The Future album – you know I love Anthem, but Waiting For The Miracle and Tacoma Trailer are also excellent! I knew you would like Closing Time!

A couple of really good interviews are no longer online about this album and the songs from it but here are some others:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ew0lMJQGs
1993 Dave Fanning – The Future album (audio)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgTV0mEoiWU
1993 MTV on theories on life, Democracy & The Future

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKF0gPdynJU
1992 Portrait of LC (different lines for Anthem)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rEPvCDEV-c
1992 Danish TV + The Future

The last one has quite a humorous segment ;-)
I hope everyone enjoys the info and the videos!

And Vickie, just travel this alpha journey at your own speed and simply enjoy the ride!
Let how you feel about whatever album and info that is current at that time determine your velocity rate as you go.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 6:51 am

B4real post wrote:...Years ago unbeknown to me, my brother was listening to LC’s songs and poetry at the same time as I was. Neither of us was aware the other knew anything about him and it was so lovely to discover that we had this uncommon (at the time) understanding in common!....
This should help, especially the graphic: https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/201 ... _sch=Email
How great that you and your brother both listen to Leonard. I sent copies of my CDs to my sister, hoping for the same.... but alas! I thought for sure she would like him. We had composed poetry together growing up, and she had even helped me win a poetry competition with her feedback way back when... but no luck!

Thank you very much for the link on siblings and DNA also. I knew siblings could have different %s, but didn't realize that it could be that different. Wow. The info about Y-chromosomal DNA is also very interesting.

I will watch the YouTube links in the morning when our satellite internet is more reasonable.

I have not heard the term "alpha journey" before. I think of alpha as primary or dominant, so do you mean "important journey" or something else? :?: Just wondering. I like the sounds of it though!
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B4real
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Mon May 22, 2017 8:13 am

vlcoats wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:51 am
I have not heard the term "alpha journey" before. I think of alpha as primary or dominant, so do you mean "important journey" or something else? :?: Just wondering. I like the sounds of it though!
Vickie
Vickie, I’ve never heard of it before either – I just made it up now! I was thinking that as this is your first journey with Leonard it could be appropriately used as alpha – the first; the beginning. Maybe because we were talking about religion that it unconsciously came to my mind. I’m remembering now that in the bible it says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. And now saying that, I’ve just realised Leonard used both those words plus “delta” in two lines from Light As The Breeze, “So I knelt there at the delta/at the alpha and the omega”. Hummmm.... Interesting how synapses in the brain click in sometimes!

Btw - that last video link is not about this album but LC does sing The Future at the end of it and there are a couple of those different lines from Anthem too about halfway through.

And here’s another link; it’s for Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkXpNQqQ4bI
I was in the front row at this concert, the last one he ever did in Australia, and it was the last time I ever saw Leonard sing this song in public. My friend Alan M who was sitting a couple of seats away from me filmed this actual video. Thank you Alan, for this wonderful memory and all your excellent videos from LC’s last tour downunder! I still have that unforgettable memory of us all sitting in this very front row and spreading across it while holding up your LC vinyl record covers that my camera crew friend kindly filmed of us for all to see on the big screens at the start of this show. Such a shame I couldn't get a copy of it and we couldn't see it because we were holding up the covers! I loved the looks on the all the band's faces - Sharon couldn't stop smiling!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 4:36 pm

Well then, no wonder I couldn't get Google to answer me on that. And of course it made me think of the line from Light as a Breeze. "Alpha Journey" would have been the perfect title for this thread topic.

What awesome memories you must have of sitting in the front row at those concerts. I loved the video of Anthem and it wasn't that hard to imagine being in your place there. I have only watched the beginning of the other videos so far. I think we need to move to town just so I can get regular internet and watch all of the video links on YouTube with Leonard on them! Especially the interviews. I like to hear him talk. Thank you so much for sharing them. Our satellite internet is less expensive and a bit quicker in the mornings, I don't have the time in the mornings. I will get to them all eventually. The donkeys are already complaining that I haven't been out there yet. Now that you have taught me how to post pictures, I can't resist showing you the picture of our donkeys that I shared on Instagram last week. You can see why I loved the picture you posted of Leonard on the farm in Tennessee so much. It reminded me a little of our place here.
Have a great day and thank you again!
Vickie
smaller donkey (500x500).jpg
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B4real
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Tue May 23, 2017 12:06 pm

Hi Vickie,
Yes, I can see why you liked the Tennessee farm photo and your donkeys look so adorable and full of individual personality! That's a beautiful sunrise in the background of the photos.

About your sister not liking Leonard, maybe she will eventually – for some he is an acquired taste. Possibly if she could watch some of the interview videos it might help.

I thought I’d add some interesting things about a couple of the songs on this album.
Last night I listened to it and as is usual for me I had to play Tacoma Trailer at least six times! I find it has a soothing, hypnotic effect on me. A very relaxing last song before sleeping.

Leonard’s words about this song:
"This was designed for a theatre piece by Ted Allen. It was part of long suite and I kept playing the music when I was in this trailer in Tacoma. That part of the suite attached itself and started to sound better and better. Then, I thought it would just be a nice moment to unwind from a very dense and literate album. I think you can unwind before you put the record on again."

Leonard spoke about the 1925 Irving Berlin song, “Always” that he adapted and added to:
“A grand song, very popular in our house when I was growing up. My mother loved the song, and we used to play it when I was playing clarinet in dance bands around Montreal. (I'd love to have seen that!) For this album, I changed the tempo from 3/4 to 4/4 and it allows a lot of space to arise when it's turned into an R&B song. I think it's on this album because the track survived. I wouldn't have put it on the album unless the track had a certain exuberance. I prepared a lot of Red Needles. That's a cocktail I invented in Needles, California, in 1976. It consists of tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit. I prepared pitchers of this cocktail for the musicians and we couldn't stop playing; most of the takes are twenty-five minutes long, and we kept this one because it's eight minutes long. I did fall down in it, that's where the guitar solo occurs. It was a very exuberant, passionate evening, and several musicians told me it was the happiest time they ever spent in a recording studio”.

EDIT: I forgot to say the drink “Red Needles” Leonard invented which he talks about above is physically featured on my last video link on Danish TV and he demonstrates how to make one. I laughed outright at his reaction when he first saw the “waitress”. There used to be a short clip of this but it’s not online anymore.
Last edited by B4real on Wed May 24, 2017 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Tue May 23, 2017 4:06 pm

Thank you for the insight into Tacoma Trailer! I was just thinking yesterday, as I was listening to it through my earbuds while I was weed wacking, that I would post today and ask if anyone had any info on it. It really is a beautiful song. I listened to it twice in a row myself yesterday. I told my husband that I want some of those Beats headphones for my birthday this year because it would be awesome to listen to Leonard through them! (Not that I want to wait until November).

Thank you also for the info about Always. Sounds like it was a very fun recording session. Now I will always be listening for the part where he fell down.

While listening during my chores to some of his other albums, I was reflecting on how often I will like a song more all of the sudden after a several plays, even if it wasn't a favorite at first. Sometimes it might be because of something one of you has told me about it, like imagining Dance Me to the End of Love being played just as he took the stage at every concert, but sometimes I have no idea why I suddenly like a song more.

Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby its4inthemorning » Tue May 23, 2017 10:46 pm

Too occupied with other activities to contribute much just now, but here's a short anecdote showing that there are a lot of fans even though we may not always notice them.

We drove to Kingston, Ontario in 12/2012 to attend the concert there, having booked lodging at a small hotel/large B&B, the Hotel Belvedere. It had, I am guessing, about 15-20 rooms. We did not have occasion to speak with any other guests that day, as we were out looking over the city, then rushing to change and have an early dinner before the concert. Next morning we went down for breakfast, and the room was packed...with Leonard Cohen fans. Apparently almost everyone at the hotel had come for the concert from various points in Ontario, New York state, and Vermont, and we all traded concert stories until we had to check out.

Am enjoying the posts (and links), thanks!

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL LEONARD COHEN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:04 am

A quick question before I post on album number #10.

I want to watch one of the DVDs I purchased. I was going to wait to watch them all after I have heard the studio albums (although I have already succumbed to watching Isle of Wight). What do you think about watching I'm Your Man, the film by Lian Lunson? From what I have read without delving too deeply, I think it is more of a documentary with an interview and tribute from other artists. Yes, I know I can do whatever I dang well please...... which includes asking for an opinion.

Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:58 pm

Hey Vickie, and there you be :)
vlcoats wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:04 am
Yes, I know I can do whatever I dang well please...... which includes asking for an opinion.
Old cowboy saying: A change of pastures makes for a fatter calf ;-)
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:41 am

Hi 4, Vickie, and Bev -
I would have suggested the same as you did, 4, to start from the beginning. It's how I 'discovered' him, so I guess that's naturally my preference. I was glad to see that Vickie was willing to exercise that kind of self control... and how could she go wrong by approaching Leonard's career in the actual way it unfolded. I would add to this, but you three are doing great... and I type on this blasted tiny keyboard on my phone! Thoughts can"t flow like on a keyboard of regular size. Restricted in so many other ways than just speed, too. :?
I think your being a librarian is a huge advantage in your exploration. Forget surfing the net for stuff on Leonard. You're already on the mother lode, quintessential location for all things Leonard. Bev was a huge help in pasting the list of bios for you, too! My only other suggestion would be for you to take some breaks by visiting Marie Mazur's site Speaking Cohen. Link at the top of the page. Leonard channeled things to her as exclusives, the same as he did with Jarkko. A fun discovery for you will come with Allan Showalter's site. He has a definite humourous twists to what he posts there, and Leonard loved his site, too.
Over and out... my index finger is begging for mercy. I've never gotten that 2-handed phone typing that younger people do.
Love seeing you guys here, and reafing your discussions! Welcome, Vickie! You're a super addition to Leonard's appreciators :D
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:23 am

New Songs.............
I am sharing a letter. My husband reminded me that he is gone, and I don't mean any disrespect by writing it.

Dear Mr. Cohen,
You aren’t making this easy for me, are you?
Your first albums were like falling off a log. I have been in the palm of your hand all the way from Songs of Leonard Cohen to Ballad of the Absent Mare. But while it took you years and years to get there, I have been stumbling and tripping along in just weeks and months trying to keep up. By the time Various Positions came along, so much had changed. Completely gone was the familiar acoustic music that you stopped my breath with in The Stranger Song. Since then, getting through my first listening of each album has taken blind holding-my-breath faith in you. But I have stopped asking “what is this?”, because I have learned what happens. And what happens is this: suddenly it doesn’t matter. Like the master brainwasher that you are Mr. Cohen, I find myself listening to types of music I thought I never would. Stuff like (for wont of better terms) Synthetic Pop, Easy Listening, and Lounge Lizard stuff. Even worse (or better?), I have become totally convinced that I love it.
You are killing me Mr. Cohen.
Signed, another stolid devotee,
Mrs. Coats
PS: Ten New Songs is one of my favorites, as if you didn't know.
PPS: Wish you were still here.


Thank you for indulging me.
lizzytysh post wrote:Welcome, Vickie! You're a super addition to Leonard's appreciators :D
Thank you lizzytysh for being so nice to say that. I like what you said about being on the mother lode here. I have learned as a librarian that you need to narrow your focus sometimes. I will dive deep into all of what is out there after I get through his studio albums in my own little way. Your suggestions sound great! Thank you so much.
B4real post wrote:Old cowboy saying: A change of pastures makes for a fatter calf ;-)
Thank you B4! I took your advice, and we watched it last night. It was so good for my heart. I know I don't need my love of LC to be validated by anybody, because it is what it is, but it is still heartwarming, even for a solitary soul who likes it that way, to know there are connections out there and people who feel the same way.

As for Ten New Songs:
Like I said, for some reason this one hit me. It is natural and honest, and in spite of my issues with the genre, I love it and feel especially close to it. There are so many favorites on this one. In My Secret Life (I bite my lip…), A Thousand Kisses Deep (... consented to be wrecked…), That Don’t Make It Junk (How come you called me here tonight?), Love Itself (…Love went on and on, until it reached an open door – then Love itself was gone), and By the Rivers Dark (I belonged at last to Babylon…)... especially loved that one.

I know I will have to hold my breath again with the next album. But I am getting more sure that it will be okay.

Thank you for being here. Watching "I'm Your Man" last night made me realize that I am not so crazy after all. I think my husband was relieved as well. ;-)
Vickie

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