A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
DBCohen
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by DBCohen » Sun May 10, 2020 7:07 am

B4real,

I’m grateful for your exhaustive effort! Once again, I realized that I should have checked some questions more carefully before posting them, since I had some inexplicable misses. I’ll wait to see if more people are going to post their answers before posting mine on Monday.
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B4real
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by B4real » Sun May 10, 2020 7:37 am

Thanks Doron!

It seemed to take me longer in the last third than it did in the first two thirds :)
And don't worry, after reading your post, I thought I'd better check my additions too and guess what? I missed one!
B4real wrote
DB Cohen wrote:
36. Turning back to the dark side, there is a surprising amount of chain, chains and being chained; can you name 12 songs mentioning them?
16 Songs:
(chain) I’m Your Man, Love Calls You By Your Name, The Law, The Old Revolution, Sing Another Song Boys.
(chains) Born In Chains, Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, Blessed Is The Memory, Samson In New Orleans, Show Me The Place, Who By Fire, Please Don’t Pass Me By, Memories (outro - You’ll never break these chains)
(chained) Love Calls You By Your Name, Take This Waltz, Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On, Tower Of Song - Live In Dublin.
Ahem...that adds up to 17 songs. I had added the Memories outro and forgot to change the number before I posted!
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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LisaLCFan
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by LisaLCFan » Sun May 10, 2020 5:26 pm

B4real wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 5:07 am
...I hope you don’t mind that I’ve once again included other songs and song improvisation excerpts from my book.
I know Lisa likes to read them :)

Indeed, I do! And, when I have half a day to spare ( ;-) ), I shall read and enjoy your latest marathon post!
DBCohen
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by DBCohen » Mon May 11, 2020 5:02 am

Hi All,

As stated earlier, a much more exhaustive effort than what I had in mind was demonstrated once again by B4real, so I refer you to her posting and the wealth of information and quotes available there. For what they are worth, here are the answers I prepared in advance, a few of them slightly modified:

31. Broken (basically, 26 songs):

SLC: Suzanne
SFAR: The Butcher; The Old Revolution; You Know Who I Am
SLH: Diamonds In The Mine; Sing Another Song, Boys
NSOC: Take This Longing
RS: The Guests; The Window; Came So Far For Beauty
VP: Hallelujah; If It Be Your Will
IYM: Take This Waltz; Everybody Knows
TF: The Future; Democracy; Light As The Breeze
TNS: Alexandra Leaving
OI: Come Healing; Banjo
PP: Born In Chains
YWID: You Want It Darker; If I Didn’t Have Your Love; Treaty
TFDD: Happens To The Heart; The Night Of Santiago

32. No mention of war: My answer was Dear Heather, but B4real added Ten New Songs, and I believe she’s right.

33. Torture: One of Us Cannot Be Wrong; The Butcher; The Future; Almost Like The Blues.
He is being interrogated: A Singer Must Die & Waiting For The Miracle are two quite clear cases, but there may be more.

34. Insects: spider (So Long, Marianne); butterfly (Listen To The Hummingbird); fireflies (The Night Of Santiago); crickets (A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes; Ballad Of The Absent Mare; Night Comes On). This is one of the questions which I should have checked more carefully before posting it; added now: I can’t believe I forgot the mosquitoes in One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong; B4real also located flies (Nevermind), moth (Humbled In Love), hornet (The Traitor) and a French bee (La Manic).

35. Animals: “dog” or “dogs” appear in three songs, but there is also the German Shepherd in Master Song, so the total is in fact 4; “snake” and “snakes” appear 4 times too, but one of them is “snake-eyes” (a dice term) in The Captain, so one might say that the snakes come second to the dogs; and if we add together the cat (2), kittens (1), pussy (1), and even the panther (1), the felines may have taken first place with 5. There are also the lamb (3), ape (2), monkey (1), sheep (1), horses (1), mare (1), ponies (1), turtle (1), mouse (1).

36. Chains and being chained: Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye; The Old Revolution; Love Calls You By Your Name; Sing Another Song, Boys; Who By Fire; Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On; The Law; I’m Your Man; Take This Waltz; Show Me The Place; Born In Chains; Samson In New Orleans.

37. Prison: The Old Revolution; The Partisan; Light As The Breeze; The Land Of Plenty; Happens To The Heart.
For the extra ones I was mainly thinking of the Tower, a synonym for a famous prison where he is “doing time” in Crazy To Love You, “Had to go down to the pit / Had to do time in the tower”; therefore, also Tower Of Song, “They’re moving us tomorrow to that Tower down the track”.

38. Suicide: mentioned in Stories of the street & Field Commander Cohen; alluded to or portrayed in One of Us Cannot Be Wrong, “he drowned himself in the pool”; Seems So Long Ago, Nancy, “a forty five beside her head, / an open telephone”.
The song many believe to be about suicide but I believe they’re wrong: Dress Rehearsal Rag; I think it’s about shaving (yes, while self-depreciating, but no one is cutting anything in this song). Now, clearly LC himself, as quoted by B4real, says the opposite, but sometimes even the author is wrong :roll: .

39. Dancing: Probably 18 (B4real has 21, but one song is mentioned twice, and two are covers).

40. Green night: I should probably apologize for this question, because it isn’t a matter of facts and knowledge but of interpretation that can be arbitrary, especially with such a song which is one of LC’s most mysterious and hard to define, but I would still like to offer some possibilities.

First option: Lorca has a famous poem in his Romancero gitano (from which LC picked up “The Night of Santiago”), “Romance Sonámbulo”, which begins (in William Bryant Logan’s translation): “Green, how I want you green. / Green wind, green branches”. The theme of the poem is death, the scene is night, and “green” is repeated again and again, so it is possible that this image is after Lorca.

Second option: The song also has the line “before I turn into gold”. Now, the poem “Bermudas” by Andrew Marvell has the lines: “He hangs in shades the orange bright, / Like golden lamps in a green night”. This poem, which praises the seventeenth-century colonists who are supposed to have discovered a new paradise island with the grace of God, was rebuked in modern times, among others by Derek Walcott, in his collection In a Green Night (1962). It is likely that LC knew either Marvell’s or Walcott’s poems (or both), and the image floated over into his song from there.

41. Shakespearean characters: Sing Another Song, Boys, “The money lender’s lovely little daughter / ah, she’s eaten, she’s eaten with desire” (Shylock & Jessica); Is This What You Wanted, “I was the money lender”.

42. The binding of Isaac: To A Teacher, “When you glinted in every eye the held-high / razor, shivering every ram and son?” (I hinted it was a poem).

43. The Plague: Everybody Knows, “And everybody knows that the Plague is coming / Everybody knows that it’s moving fast”; Tower Of Song, “And there’s a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong”; The Future: The whole song!

44. A line from a popular song: Field Commander Cohen, “working for the Yankee Dollar”.

45. A famous commercial: Closing Time, “Where’s the beef?”.

46. East Asia: China (Suzanne), Tiananmen Square (Democracy), Hiroshima (The Future). I somehow managed to forget about Saigon (The Captain).

47. Religious organizations: Salvation Army (Suzanne), Rosicrucians (Dress Rehearsal Rag). (Someone had mentioned to me privately Voodoo as an option; how about it? “Sisters of Mercy”, another nice idea).

48. Most mentioned flower: rose (Stories Of The Street; Famous Blue Raincoat; The Window; The Traitor; Everybody Knows; A Street; Thanks For The Dance).

49. Other flowers: lilac (So Long, Marianne); lily (Take This Waltz; A Thousand Kisses Deep [live version]; The Night Of Santiago); daffodil (The Night Of Santiago); hyacinth (Take This Waltz). I missed Morning Glory

50. Questions with a twist:

The first and most obvious one which made me think of questions with a double meaning or a twist:
Who By Fire: “And who shall I say is calling?”

Other examples that stand out:
Famous Blue Raincoat: “Did you ever go clear?”
Hallelujah: “But you don’t really care for music, do you?”

The following may also be included:
Master Song: “And now do you come back to bring / your prisoner wine and bread?”
Teachers: “are your lessons done?”
Story of Isaac: “Just according to whose plan?”
The Faith: “O love, aren’t you tired yet?”
It’s Torn: “Why did you leave us? / Why did you leave?”

And probably more… It’s a matter of the right definition, which is tricky, as I said.

*
Now as for the challenge offered by B4real about food in the songs, it made me realize how much more difficult it is to answer a question you hadn’t thought about, rather than create your own questions (the answer for which you often already now when you created them). But I’m trying to be a good sport, so here are some answers, probably only partial ones:

Food: bread (The Stranger Song), crumb (Waiting For The Miracle; Lullaby; Avalanche may also be mentioned), crust (Lullaby), oranges (Suzanne), apples (Master Song; Stories Of The Streets), lamb (The Butcher), beef (Closing Time)

Beverages: tea (Suzanne, Half The Perfect World), wine (probably 13 songs), brandy (Take This Waltz), cider (Closing Time), alcohol (Democracy; The Darkness)

Animal’s food: grass (Stories Of The Streets, Ballad Of The Absent Mare)

Eating human flesh: Diamonds In The Mine, “He was eating up a lady”; Lady Midnight, “the stars eat your body”.

Is bubble gum food?

*
That's it for now. Take care, everyone!
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B4real
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by B4real » Mon May 11, 2020 8:13 am

Thanks for taking up my challenge, Doron! The boot’s on the other foot now :razz:
And it is how one sees a certain thing personally too. Actually, the question I asked says “food”.
I was thinking of asking for "drink" as well but I thought I wouldn’t complicate it.

Your first answer “bread” is correct but it comes from Master Song, not The Stranger Song.
Don’t worry, it can be easy to muddle them up sometimes – I confess I've done it on occasion too!
Maybe because they're both from the same album and they both end in ‘song’.

ANSWERS: 19 foods
Chocolates (Everybody Knows, Diamonds In The Mine)
oranges (Suzanne)
bread (Master Song)
crumb (First We Take Manhattan, Lullaby), crumbs (Avalanche)
crust (Lullaby)
fish (The Night Of Santiago)
meat (A Thousand Kisses Deep - Live in London)
turtle meat (Jazz Police)
grapes (Diamonds In The Mine)
apple (Master Song, Passing Through), apples (Stories Of The Street)
berries (Dress Rehearsal Rag), berry bush (The Night Of Santiago)
raspberries (Dress Rehearsal Rag)
peanuts (Love Calls You By Your Name)
seaweed (Suzanne, Bird On The Wire, Blessed Is The Memory)
honey (Suzanne, Tonight Will Be Fine – Live Songs)
cane (Passing Through)
olive branch (Dance Me To The End Of Love)
grain (Love Calls You By Your Name)
grass (Ballad Of The Absent Mare, Stories Of The Street)

Ha! I forgot” lamb” and “beef” but I did remember “meat” and of all things, “turtle meat”!
I think the human flesh examples are figures of speech and not to be taken literally here.
I actually don’t eat any red meat (haven’t done so since 1976) but I do eat lots of “fish”.
I haven’t been able to buy any “seaweed” (Nori) for a couple of months now and I do love my homemade Sushi!
I’m guessing that you don’t eat Chocolates? It was top of my list and capitalised for a reason ;-)
I class "honey" as a food and I think animals do too. Honey Badger springs to mind. Sometimes liquid, sometimes solid.
Coming from the tropics, I have taken “cane” as “raise some [sugar] cane”.
And maybe “olive" as in "olive branch” is a maybe...

DBCohen wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 5:02 am
Is bubble gum food?
I don’t eat bubble gum but I think you’re only supposed to chew it, blow bubbles then discard it when you’re done with it.

And in keeping with my excerpts (more for you to read, Lisa :) ) here are some applicable entries below relating to the above -

Coming Back
(Night Magic musical 1985 lyrics by Leonard Cohen, music by Lewis Furey)
(Judy) He's the sweetness of the sweetness
Of the sweetness honeycomb

We Told You So
(Night Magic musical 1985 lyrics by Leonard Cohen, music by Lewis Furey)
It eats cow's meat
And apple pies


Chelsea Hotel #1
And we fed the peafowl the bread for their pride
The stream there, it's still running inside…

Clap! Clap! (Mirror Song)
(Night Magic musical 1985 lyrics by Leonard Cohen, music by Lewis Furey)
To think he honours someone's bed
With his wine and with his bread
And his legendary member…

Wishing Window
Night Magic musical 1985 lyrics by Leonard Cohen, music by Lewis Furey)
And feed him with the fruits of solitaire?
Is this my miracle of bread and fishes? …

You Came To Me
(Philip Glass BOL 2007 - sung version of poem Thousand Kisses Deep from Book of Longing 2006 representing a collaboration between Leonard Cohen and Philip Glass, involving 22 poems by Cohen, some read by him and others sung by members of the Philip Glass ensemble)
You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat

Still Into That
(this part of the poem A Thousand Kisses Deep printed under 1 in Book of Longing was actually planned as new song entitled Still Into That)
You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.

Works Of Charity
(According to Leonard this song and several others exist on a demo tape The Leonard Cohen Acetate he did for Polygram in the early sixties. They are maybe part of the Vanguard Studio Demos and possibly recorded New York 1966)
Explaining to me why you’re late
That’s just another way to wait
I don’t care about your works of charity
Reading all the telegrams you get
From all the fishes in your net…

Song To Make Me Still
(LC poem from TSBOE - Anjani Thomas sings at Feast of Cohen 29th Dec 2013 St. John’s, Newfoundland)
to draw the seaweed through…

Bird On The Wire
(Frankfurt 6th, London 10th, Leeds 19th May 1970)
Like a fish on a hook
like a knight from some old-fashioned book…

Banana Song
(TV Much Music 1991)
And I have come to say
bananas must be eaten in a certain way
You can put them in a salad you can bake them in a pie
Any way you want to eat them it’s impossible to beat them
But bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you must never put bananas in the refrigerator
no, no, no, no!

I Cried Enough For You
(early name and verse for I'm Your Man)
I’ve never seen the sky so blue
The grass so green the day so new
I can’t believe it but it must be true
I’ve cried enough for you.

Better Than Grass
(improvisation - Amsterdam 15th April 1972)
It’s better than grass,
and it’s easily available,
and it’s sanctioned by antiquity.

Priests
(sung on their own records by Judy Collins & Richie Havens. Demo New York 1966-67 & Songs From A Room Outtake 1968. Copyright registered 24th July 1967. According to Leonard this song and several others exist on a demo tape he did for Polygram in the early sixties and maybe recorded with the other early songs printed on The Leonard Cohen Acetate as a demo tape)
they will trample on the grass,
they will trample on the grass.


And now I’m going back into my art room to finish a portrait of Leonard (for my book) I started before the first quiz.
Be kind to yourselves and look after each other.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
DBCohen
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by DBCohen » Mon May 11, 2020 3:29 pm

B4real,

A very impressive food list, and I’ve missed quite a few (how could I skip chocolates?). I’m not sure, though, that all those items are actually depicted as food staff, even if they may serve so potentially (“fish” in The Night Of Santiago, for example). You may also wish to double check your list (seaweed in Bird On A Wire? You probably intended to include it with the fish; crumb – not First We Take… but Waiting For…). Anyhow, it’s time to take a rest from quizzing and train our over-stimulated minds on something more relaxing. Cheers!
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B4real
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Re: A Leonard Cohen Song Quiz

Post by B4real » Tue May 12, 2020 12:57 am

Ah Doron, you are correct on all three accounts! Now we’ve seen what it’s like on different sides on the fence ;-)

And it seems we are both all-quizzed-out! Painting and drawing my portraits of LC certainly doesn’t take nearly as much concentrated effort and for sure, it is most calming :)

“Thanks for the dance
It was hell, it was swell, it was fun”…
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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