"Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

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lisz
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"Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby lisz » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:09 pm

My questions is about the lyrics in famous blue raincoat. Did you ever go clear? he asks of his brother in the song. What does clear mean?

Must say, this is a great site, :D and the answer is probably here somewhere - there is bound to be a spot where lyrics are explained.
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blonde madonna
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby blonde madonna » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:37 am

Leonard has shown his interest in all religions and this may be a reference to Scientology. I'm no expert so I'll leave it it to wikipedia to explain:
Clear is stated to be a condition in which a person is free of the unwanted influence of engrams, unwanted emotions or painful traumas which are not readily available to the awareness of present time. A person in this condition, then referred to as a "Clear", would be a person cleared of those negative influences.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_(Scientology)

BM
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Womanfromaroom
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby Womanfromaroom » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:59 am

Well, even without the (revealing) Scientology link, I would have thought that "clear" in this context means something like "free from painful struggle"... At least, it would make sense, don't you agree? :?
"You thought that it could never happen / to all the people that you became"...
Love Calls You By Your Name
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lisz
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby lisz » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:05 am

both those explainations would make sense... What about the whole song? he says my brother, my killer, and talks of his wife becoming no ones wife but released from something negative. Wondering what the story behind the song is.. It is the latest song to get stuck in my head lol.

the lock of hair = well i know the english always used to cut a lock of hair when someone died, and they used to make them into brooches so that they could have something of the person forever.
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Minna
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby Minna » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:55 am

.
Last edited by Minna on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
anunitu
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby anunitu » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:28 am

From personal experience with Hallucinogenic drugs, I think going clear, at least for me would be breaking through into "Clear"
understanding. For me this was when I quit using Acid. I could be way off here.

Anunitu
John Etherington
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby John Etherington » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:40 am

The term is almost certainly related to Scientology. As I recall, Leonard was driving past the Church of Scientology when he was with Joni Mitchell, circa 1968, and said something to the effect of "who are those nutters". A week later, he had enrolled there (this I believe is in Ira Nadel's book). I don't think Leonard was involved for very long, as he discovered Roshi soon after.

All good things, John E
anunitu
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby anunitu » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:50 pm

I actually do remember a friend telling me about Scientology, and the process they call clearing. It is supposed to rid you
of your "Limiting" aspects of your past history. I myself have read L.Ron Hubbard's "Science fiction", but was not impressed by his writing style. My favorite science fiction writer was Asimov, I read his foundation series when I was 8 years old. Favorite writer over all is Umberto Eco.

Anunitu

All good things to you also John.
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anneporter
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby anneporter » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:55 pm

lisz,

There are some interesting thoughts about Famous Blue Raincoat in the book Intricate Preparations: Writing Leonard Cohen, edited by Stephen Scobie. There is a section called "Famous Blue Raincoat: A Symposium", with a number of people offering their thoughts on the song.

Reading it helped me sort the song out in my head so I could design a tarot card based on it for the lyric tarot deck I've been working on. That card (the three of swords) is presently a work in progress.

Anne
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lisz
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby lisz » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:05 pm

Wow thats cool anneporter. How are you making the tarot? I am a printmaker.

So did you get an idea that you agreed with about the meaning of that song? That book would be a search for me.

clear could mean clear of anything negative i am thinking. Would hate to think it was about scientology.
lisz
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anneporter
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby anneporter » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:47 pm

lisz,
It would be a challenge for me to excerpt the relevant bits of the symposium that influenced my thinking. I can try to scan some of it & send it to you, maybe in a couple of days because my scanner is non-functional right now.

What kind of prints do you make? Do you do it for a living?

I am using acrylic to paint 8 X 12 cards, to be reduced and reproduced later. I have 4 cards completed and 3 nearing completion. My daughter has 3 cards completed. There are 78 cards in the deck. It has taken one year to do the first 10, so we've got about 8 more years of work to do.
I have posted a couple of them on the forum previously. You can see them at these links, if you are interested. (Please bear in mind that I am a raw amateur with a day job) viewtopic.php?f=18&t=103http://www.leon ... #p14790771

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10371&p=136810&hil ... me#p136810

Thanks for your interest,
Anne
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lisz
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby lisz » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:41 am

eight more years??!! You are gonna have to step that up. Had a look and very nice. A great idea to do a tarot set.

I do make some money, but not a living. I do mainly etchings in the traditional sense - intaglio and mezzotint and some monoprints. I have a press now at home which is really cool, but hard to get motivated sometimes. I belong to a group that meets weekly for classes, but as we have all been going for over 5 yrs it is kinda like we meet for the group rather than the teacher. Printmaking is supposed to get a surge when there is a financial depression as we are cheaper as well sell an edition rather than a one off. Very slow process, which i enjoy.
WayneG
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby WayneG » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:09 am

Re: Famous Blue Raincoat - I've always thought that it's just a song about someone whose best friend ran off with his wife and the husband desparately trying not to hold too much of a grudge.

And the definitions about go clear make it much clearer! I don't think she did ever go completely clear.

best line for me is: Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.


WG
264811403188
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby 264811403188 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:29 pm

I'm not English and could'nt understand the meaning, although I thought about those words many times. My guess was that the singer asked his "brother" (friend?) if he ever came out with the full story of his betrayal; told the truth.
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Cheshire gal
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'Going Clear'

Postby Cheshire gal » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:14 pm

This may be an odd question, but what does 'going clear' mean in Leonard's songs? I am not familiar with that saying.


Cheshire gal
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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