Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1225
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

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

Postby Hartmut » Sat May 06, 2017 4:59 pm

its4inthemorning wrote: Here is a video from a 2010 concert in Wiesbaden in which Leonard commits the unthinkable--he forgets the second line of So Long, Marianne.
Thank you! - I've been looking for this for a long time; but came to the sad conclusion that no video footage of that performance exists.
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Sat May 06, 2017 6:17 pm

its4inthemorning post wrote: I was always truly amazed that Leonard could remember all the lyrics... Here is a video from a 2010 concert in Wiesbaden in which Leonard commits the unthinkable--he forgets the second line of So Long, Marianne.
Thank you 4- how funny... and so cute when he looks up and goes, "What the?". I loved it!
Thanks for sharing
Vickie
User avatar
B4real
Posts: 6183
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

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

Postby B4real » Sun May 07, 2017 3:57 am

4, I remember that video! It was ironically hilarious!

Vickie,
Happy to hear your reactions to the I’m Your Man album! I didn’t want to influence you by first saying my favourite song from that album but it is also Take This Waltz and I still get shivers when it’s played! I think the line, “And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there and the moss”...definitely has something to do with it also plus the fact that it was played at all the concerts I went to on the last world tour. Leonard wrote this song and melody based on a poem called Little Viennese Waltz by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca who was a major influence in his early life of poetry.

Here’s what he had to say about it during his I’m Your Man 1988 tour: “I was 15 years old and I was wandering through the bookstores of Montreal and I fell upon one of his books, and I opened it, and my eyes saw these lines, ‘I want to pass through the Arches of Elvira, to see your thighs and begin weeping’. I thought, this is where I want to be ... I read along, ‘Green, how I want you green’. I turned another page; ‘The morning threw fistfuls of ants in your face’. I turned another page, ‘Her thighs slipped away like schools of silver minnows’. I knew that I had come home. So it is with a great sense of gratitude that I am able to repay my debt to Federico Garcia, at least a corner, a fragment, a crumb, a hair, an electron of my debt by dedicating this song, this translation of his great poem Little Viennese Waltz, Take This Waltz. I named my daughter Lorca, so you can see this is not a casual figure in my life”.

Tower Of Song has had quite a few humorous variations to it over the years in the last world tour. The very last one he ever did in Sydney 2013 is hilarious! LC’s droll sense of humour at its finest! It’s on the last live album, Can’t Forget – A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour 2015 so you’ll have to wait until then! I was friendly with one of the tour’s Australian film camera crew and every time Leonard would sing, “I was born with the gift of a golden voice”.... every night without fail, he would turn around to me from his camera (I was always in or near the front row) and roll his eyes in reaction to the audience’s (including mine) response!

About Jazz Police – This song was performed at approx. 12 concerts in 1988 in Canada and the USA but I think the only visual of it is Austin City Limits. If your satellite connection is not stable for the whole show, here it is singularly and you could watch the other songs individually from YouTube as well. The usual Star Trek theme song is here but he scats in this song at the concerts and not on the album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmaMYMWg6rE

Here’s an explanatory excerpt from The LC Files about it:
One of the frequently asked questions about the song considers its beginning. How or where did Cohen get the idea for the song? In an interview in Musician Cohen gives the story. It began during the making of the record Recent Songs when he worked with the fusion group Passenger. Often the band would sneak bits of jazz riffs into the songs, which Cohen admitted he had to watch out for. Between Cohen and the band grew an understanding that if he caught them playing jazz riffs (augmented fifths or sevenths is the example he gives) he would call them on it. Initially he was himself the jazz police! The intent was to then take the idea of a 'jazz police' and let it run on into some type of fruition, be it absurdity or full expression. It took 9 years (1979-1988) for the song to develop and be recorded; a testament to Cohen's well know practice of working and reworking pieces of poetry and songs in time consuming detail.

Songs from the life of LC isn’t on a DVD as far as I know but most of them can be individually watched on YouTube one at a time if your satellite internet won’t let you watch the complete link.

For some reason I had a feeling you would like Red River Valley so here’s an audio version of it by LC at the Birmingham soundcheck 1979 ....Yeehaw! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p98246laTNQ

As well as Red River Valley there are a couple more ‘cowboy’ songs I think you might like - Streets of Laredo and I Ride An Old Paint in the links below. I couldn’t find them individually so hope this is OK. It’s an audio compilation album by Dr H Guy called The Other Songs of LC vol1 & vol2 (those two songs are on vol2). You can download it and another compilation album he put together, Another Other Songs of LC from his site here -
http://cohencentric.com/2010/01/25/now- ... hen-album/
http://cohencentric.com/2010/05/20/pres ... hen-album/

or watch all The Other Songs of LC here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KPPQJrr-0s

I’ll stop now before I really get carried away!
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
its4inthemorning
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:59 pm
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

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

Postby its4inthemorning » Sun May 07, 2017 6:07 pm

B4, thanks for so many video links. Whenever I get the urge, I will come here and sample some.

It's great that you got to see LC a number of times in Australia (sorry Vickie, NOT meant to rub it in). Given the distance and logistics, it would have been easy for the band to skip Australia or gone there less; I am happy that he recognized that he had a strong following down under and accommodated them. Always dreamed of visiting, but I am entering a stage where, for the first time, reality sets in, and you begin to mentally cross things off on your dream list. But just maybe....

Loved Take This Waltz from the first time I heard it, it is always hard to get it out of your head every time you hear it. That I guess is a testament to the tune. The lyrics are a kaleidoscope of beautiful imagery. Whenever I look outside on the morning after a nice snowfall, I always think, "gallery of frost."

I usually do not overthink LC's lyrics (maybe because that is a skill I do not possess), I am happy to just sit back and view the images. Someone famous once said, and I am paraphrasing, that over-analyzing poetry "is like cutting open the blackbird's throat to see what makes it sing." I do very little cutting.

I find it remarkable that Take This Waltz, which includes such phrases as "shoulder where death comes to die," "where the doves go to die," "very own breath of brandy and death," and "sentenced to death by the blues" never comes across as depressing or down-beat. To me it is somewhat uplifting, go figure.

Favorite lyric is "garland of freshly cut tears," where does he come up with lines like that?

Biggest faux pas--For a long time I thought the line about the scrapbook ended with, "photographs there, and the moths." (Well, it sort of makes sense that there could be moths flying out of an old scrapbook, doesn't it?

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
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Sun May 07, 2017 9:24 pm

B4- Thank you so much for your reply and all you shared about this album!
B4real post wrote: I still get shivers when it’s played! .....Leonard wrote this song and melody based on a poem called Little Viennese Waltz by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca who was a major influence in his early life of poetry.”.
I do remember reading about Lorca being such an influence in his life but didn't realize how MUCH of an influence. Now I will have to find some Lorca to read. I did watch a YouTube clip of Leonard accepting an award in Spain and he mentioned Lorca on it (I told myself it was okay to break my own rule of not browsing through YouTube looking for Leonard because he didn't sing in the clip!).

How lucky to be sitting in the front row at the concerts in Australia. I would have been happy to be at a concert of his at all, but but oh so jealous of everyone in the front!

I am embarrassed to say (as a child raised on Star Trek) that I didn't recognize any similarities of the theme song in Jazz Police, but when I listened to the clip you shared, there it was! Thank you also for sharing the explanation of where the song came from. After hearing it the first time, I Googled the term ‘Jazz Police’ and thought I saw something somewhere about how it is a term used as a measure of coolness, as in, "You're wearing that to the club tonight? Somebody better call the Jazz Police!" but not sure where I saw that now.

Thank you for the link with Red River Valley, I loved it! I will watch the others tomorrow morning. Our internet works best early in the day. I find it interesting that Leonard had such an affinity for old cowboy music. I know his first band was the The Buckskin Boys and he spent some time in Tennessee, but I wonder if there is more to it than that?
its4inthemorning post wrote: I usually do not overthink LC's lyrics (maybe because that is a skill I do not possess), I am happy to just sit back and view the images. Someone famous once said, and I am paraphrasing, that over-analyzing poetry "is like cutting open the blackbird's throat to see what makes it sing." I do very little cutting.
I love that quote about the blackbird. I often love snippets of lyrics/poetry just for the sound of the words themselves or the image they create without having a desire to know exactly what they mean, but I do sometimes find myself imagining an overall theme or I might make up an event that I think it is about. Usually I’m way off. I do think Take this Waltz could just as easily have been titled Take this Life because I imagine it is about our lives in general. Maybe that’s why the repeated mention of death doesn’t bother me either. And don’t worry 4, I also thought he said “photographs there, and the moths” the first time I heard it! Makes sense, right? But then when I read the actual lyrics, they made sense too of course!

Thanks again, both of you, for your thoughts and for sharing everything you know about LC with me. I want to learn everything about him that I can, to try to make up for all the years I was senseless enough to ignore him. I keep checking my mail for one of the two biographies I ordered, but neither has arrived yet! I did just order the next 3 albums on my list from Amazon (The Future, Ten New Songs, and Dear Heather) but I am happy to listen to the ones I have for a while.

Vickie
its4inthemorning
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:59 pm
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

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

Postby its4inthemorning » Sun May 07, 2017 10:28 pm

In this same section (Leonard Cohen's Music) there is a post that fits in perfectly with Vickie's "studies." Someone named Roy posted a very thoughtful and well-written piece on that album, anyone interested in LC should read "I'm Your Man Reinvented Leonard Cohen at Age 53."

It was posted more than eight years ago, need to browse around this forum more often.

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
User avatar
B4real
Posts: 6183
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

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

Postby B4real » Mon May 08, 2017 7:39 am

4 and Vickie, glad to be of service!

.....and here's a link recently from Feb 2017 (this came up first when I searched) I think to the same or similar article that 4 is talking about -
I’m Your Man reinvented LC at 53 years: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=37256
and a direct link to the writer from Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/226 ... al_twitter

4, I’ve heard that very applicable blackbird analogy before and actually read somewhere (can’t find it at the moment) that Leonard agrees with the underlying principle of it. Personally, I say be cautious with your scrutiny because too much can destroy the very thing that drew you to it in the first place. And Vickie, you're never way off! We all see different things in LC's poetry and songs and that's the beauty of his words! This is not the quote I was looking for but he did say this:
When I was at school there was a book that was very popular called Seven Types of Ambiguity. One of the things it criticized was something called "The Author’s Intention." You’ve got to discard the author’s intention. It doesn’t matter what the author’s intention in the piece is, or what his interpretation of the piece is, or what his evaluation or estimation of the piece is. It exists independently of his opinions about it.
btw - at the moment in Australia "Seven Types Of Ambiguity" is on ABC TV as a series.

Just a little more about Take This Waltz connections:
Here is Lorca’s original poem -
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=415&hilit=little+viennese+waltz
just scroll down the page to find it.

look at the second last entry on this page .... Yes, I’m guilty too ;-)
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1485&start=90

actually the whole thread is fun to read!

And Vickie, seems you will be very busy with new LC material soon so please take your time and enjoy the experience.
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
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 08, 2017 4:46 pm

Wow. The I'm Your Man...at age 53 piece was full of info, even if it 'cut open the blackbird's throat' a bit and was a little intimidating. One of the reasons I haven't really delved into the forum is because it is so intimidating. So much has been said about his music and his writing by people who have known his talent for so many years that it is almost overwhelming to me and makes me feel like, who am I to join all ...that? And I am afraid if I read too many opinions about his work that it will make it harder for me to have my own. I will get there eventually. If I started reading everything now and delving into all of the stuff that is out there, I would get lost in it and never get through all of the albums, and I am not patient enough to wait that long to hear You Want it Darker. Or maybe I am not smart enough to keep it all straight :?

My favorite part was of I'm Your Man... at age 53 was the end where he says "Leonard took this responsibility very seriously", because that is one of the things I love about him. He took his responsibility as a poet very seriously, and I am glad he worked so hard at it. Lyrics that hit you like that shouldn't come easily to anyone.

Thank you also B4 for the quote about Author's Intention. It fits right into what we were talking about and having your own opinion of someone's art.

And especially thank you for the link to Lorca's poem! I loved it. I looked him up and noticed he was a handsome guy, not that it matters, but that is always fun. I will definitely read more on him when I have time.

Loved the topic about misheard lyrics too! :lol: It's so funny when you finally realize what was actually said.

Thank you again for helping me along this way. I hope I am not frustrating you too much. Please don't give up on me. I will get there.

Vickie
User avatar
B4real
Posts: 6183
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

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

Postby B4real » Tue May 09, 2017 5:11 am

Vickie,
I'm happy to help as much as I can!
I'm glad you enjoyed IYM link – I wouldn't have looked for it without 4's prompting :)

No need to feel intimidated about the forum – everyone here is kind and understanding and they all had to start somewhere in discovering LC. Yes, there is a mountain of information here written by multitudes of people with varying views over the years. In the long run, the only opinion that matters is your own so keep reading, looking and listening in whatever order or speed takes your fancy and don't fret on the process; just enjoy it as it comes.

Interesting coincidence you should say “that” title at this time because before you mentioned it, I had this paragraph below already to start this post!

Ah, just when you think it's safe enough to go back into the water ....
Last night was the first time I've felt brave enough to play LC's last album You Want It Darker since Nov 7th last year. It sure has an additional connotative feeling now ....

I had just before that read these words below by Yoshin David Radin and now how could I not listen :cry:
When Leonard was only a few months away from death, I asked him why he was using the last ounces of his energy to produce yet another CD.

He said: “There are hundreds of thousands of people in this world who have been so kind as to listen to my music and this is my last chance to thank them.”

Who says something like that? Only someone who had himself poured his heart into countless poems and songs and was so touched that his heart had been received — and that was at the core of the Leonard Cohen sangha, the community of those who could laugh and cry together with him.
....Amen
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
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Tue May 09, 2017 4:20 pm

B4-

This is exactly why 4's suggestion to listen to the albums chronologically made so much sense to me. Even though I am so curious to hear that successful final album, I know I haven't earned it yet. But you have!

I am so glad that you have listened to it again. Of course you know that is what he would have wanted.

Love,
Vickie

PS- Thank you for the Yoshin David Radin quote. I like hearing how LC felt about his art.
User avatar
B4real
Posts: 6183
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

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

Postby B4real » Wed May 10, 2017 9:11 am

Vickie, I just realised that you previously had asked about the country & western influence in LC’s life. I’m not an expert on this but as you know he was interested in C&W from The Buckskin Boys days and probably was before that as well. I do know that The Boys repertoire included Red River Valley, Cannonball Express, You Are My Sunshine, Redwing and Turkey In The Straw. We know about Streets of Laredo and I Ride An Old Paint from my first post at the top of this page. A couple more are Regina and Tennessee Waltz. I remember reading or hearing that in the 60's or 70’s he said because he lived in the country he could only get the US armed forces radio and they played a lot of C&W which he said did influence him. And of course, I'm sure you know that he looked up to Hank Williams - in fact, 100 floors above him in the Tower Of Song ;-)

I know you like Ballad Of The Absent Mare and here’s briefly how he arrived at the idea for that song as told by Jennifer Warnes:
Leonard had found some old pictures somewhere. They were called The Ten Bulls, old Japanese woodcuts symbolizing the stages of a monk's life on the road to enlightenment. These carvings pictured a boy and a bull, the boy losing the bull, the bull hiding, the boy realizing that the bull was nearby all along. There is a struggle, and finally the boy rides the bull into his little village. "I thought this would make a great cowboy song", he joked.
......I asked Leonard if he would bend the lyric in a couple of places, for a cowgirl, and he sent me this new version, now titled The Ballad of The Runaway Horse.
Listen here for her version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BD7CFwiIsI

And a couple of appropriate visuals –
The first one on the white horse is when he rode it up on stage in 1970 at Aix-en-Provence festival in France. If I remember rightly something happened to hamper their normal mode of transport and LC and the band acquired some horses and actually rode them all the way to the festival concert and Leonard decided to make a grand entrance on stage. I think it would be fair to say mission accomplished!

1970-aug-2nd-Aix-en-Provence,-France-festival.jpg
1970-aug-2nd-Aix-en-Provence,-France-festival.jpg (41.28 KiB) Viewed 466 times

The second one is in the 70's at his Tennessee farm.
“O come with me my little one, we will find that farm
and grow us grass and apples there and keep all the animals warm”.

In the late 60’s LC bought a somewhat uncontrollable ornery horse from a neighbour, Kid Marley who was a rodeo champion. I suspect this horse could have a presence in BOTAM as well. When LC wrote Chelsea Hotel #1 in one of the versions of it he mentions both Kid Marley and also another neighbour Willie York who is mentioned alone in other versions of CH#1.

“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
Then I went to Tennessee
Sittin’ by the creek with Willie York
And Kid Marley came to visit me”

1970's-Tennessee-farm.jpg
Nashville Columbia studio A was where Songs From A Room and Songs Of Love And Hate were both mainly recorded.

If you’ve read or seen all or part of this that’s OK, I thought it would be fun to post a cowboy theme answer anyway!
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
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Wed May 10, 2017 4:11 pm

Thank you so much for the cowboy themed post! By coincidence, I happened to be online looking for tickets to our local rodeo (The Lewiston Roundup!) when I was waiting for the page to load and got sidetracked by this forum and saw your 'cowboy' post. I love it!! Yes, I had heard a couple things before but not all, and I hadn't seen the pictures. I especially love the one of him taken in Tennessee. I wonder, did he get the uncontrollable mare settled down? It seems that the more I learn about Leonard the more I like him.

About the rodeo, people who know me are often surprised that I go, because they know I am an animal lover and rodeos aren't always kind to all the animals. I don't have an explanation except for my love of the west in general. Growing up, I never wanted to play princess, I wanted to be a cowboy! I loved the version of BOTAM written for Warnes.

Thank you again for the awesome post and the great pictures! A perfect way to start my day!
Vickie
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1225
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

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

Postby Hartmut » Wed May 10, 2017 11:40 pm

B4real wrote: About Jazz Police
The usual Star Trek theme song is here
Huh. I never made that connection. - Is this well known for everybody but me?
User avatar
B4real
Posts: 6183
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Australia

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

Postby B4real » Thu May 11, 2017 6:23 am

Vickie, I'm glad you enjoyed that! .... and another coincidence, this time about the rodeo connection!
My sister and her family have horses too; they keep them just for riding and she says they're big expensive but lovable pets!
I don’t think that Tennessee horse was ever truly tamed because Leonard could hardly ever get a saddle on him let alone ride him. I know the white 'stage' horse was a stallion and I think this one was too. Not that it matters too much but it was a 'male' for sure; I don't know what colour it was :)

Hartmut, it’s not one of those songs most people would pay close attention to so perhaps the bridge of it went undetected for some! Hummm .... Maybe I should have used it in the Song Hunt game ;-)
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
User avatar
vlcoats
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:25 pm
Location: Idaho

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

Postby vlcoats » Thu May 11, 2017 3:50 pm

Good morning B4-

I have printed the picture of LC on the TN farm and have it on my desk at work. It reminds me not only of him but our little farm too, which is always calming. We don't have horses, we have 3 donkeys. The large one Sam is in my avatar with me and we have 2 mini donks (Buttercup and Cha-cha). Your sis is right, equines are expensive but they are fun!

I have a question for anyone here. Our son is getting married in July and has asked me to pick a song for the Mother/Son dance at the reception. Any ideas? I want to pick a Leonard song of course, but I suppose it doesn't HAVE to be. I would like to make up for the fact that I wasn't able to teach him about LC as he was growing up, which I should have. At least he was educated in Dylan and other favorites. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Also wondering what 4 thought of his 'new' album...
its4inthemorning wrote: Amazon just delivered a NEW Leonard Cohen album. It's titled Recent Songs, have any of you heard it?
Thanks all,
Vickie

Return to “Leonard Cohen's music”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests