I am ardent fan of Leonard Cohen and i have started a facebook group Leonard Cohen India Chapter.
I am here in Facebook, inviting likeminded friens to this group..
my first post is as below;
t is universally accepted that Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are at the summit in the pantheon of singer-songwriters..With my extremely limited exposure to their gigantic body of work, i think it would not be totally incorrect to position them like below..may be i will revisit this assessment in a couple of years and will have a hearty laugh at myself at my abject ignorance..
Bob Dylan..A genius for whom the verses tumble out from nowhere..case in point..the apocalyptic Hard Rains are going to fall..the images dark and compelling come out so vivid and stare at you with all of its fearsomeness....I liked the Patti Smith rendering it at his Nobel Prize ceremony very much...
Leonard Cohen..The Future has a similar apocalyptic feel to it..LC is the quintessential wordsmith toiling over the appropriate wordings but comes out with polished gems always...He is skewering the worst times ahead with such skill..as usual he is also travelling the biblical landscape here with repeating the "repent" many times alluding to Jesus prophesying worst times ahead to the wailing ladies on his way to crucifixion.
I think this could be a reason why Bob Dylan scores LC over the sheer magnitude of the volume of work ...Also the backgrounds are dissimilar..LC was an published author before he came to songs which was more of a existential imperative while Bob Dylan was musician first, writer second...
I am now working on an appreciation of one of my favourites; The Famous Blue Raincoat
Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
Good Morning, I have the fortune of starting the day with Salman Rushdie, the perennial author in waiting for Nobel Prize giving a speech on Leonard Cohen while awarding the Pen Prize for song lyrics to Leonard Cohen.He was part of the jury as well. I was amazed at how he is attuned to so many lines in his songs...He says if I could write like that he would....Today I would attempt at what i see in Famous Blue Raincoat..A masterpiece covered by so many musicians..LC has stated that this is one song he has never been satisfied with although the carpentry that has gone into the song is remarkable..Yes, there is an ambiguity which I feel it is there in terms of the characters...Definitely it is a triangle with the lady of love at the center, but we are not quite sure who are the other two...Definitely LC is one , but the other could be a third person or another self of himself.. The song is structured as a letter to the friend written during the earning morning of a closing Decemeber...The protagonist is living in NY Clinton Street and he feels good about it..he likes the place he is living in..there is music allthrough the evening...It can also mean that he is in a good place now emotionally...he heard that his freind is building his own house far away....He is writing to him to just aask whether he is better..This can allude also to his own depressive self as LC has grappled with the same all through his life...Then the line comes which is central to the song..Jane came with a lock of your hair which she said it is of him..it was the night he planned to go go clear..Here we need to see what this clear means..The lock of a hair signifies the brief intimacy the Jane his wife had with him...LC had dabbled in scientology for a brief period and clear in it means letting go of attachments...I feel LC is asking his friend whether he let go of the brotherly love they had between each other to enjoy intimacy with his life..He is not sure.....Last time when LC saw him he was wearing the blue rain caoat, but it was torn at the shoulder and he came without Lili Merlene, the ideal female companion for 2nd world war soldiers....and LC says you treated MY woman to a flake of your life..if you hear the rendering his accentuation on MY is very clear...She was HIS own till that time, but after that poet states she was nobodys wife..The author gets emotionally distanced from his wife on account of this perceived infidelity....The firend then turns to just another gypsie thief with a rose in his teeth who moves from woman to woman.. Jane is awake and she is sending her regards...This means he was a common friend..Then poet says if he again comes back for Jane or for me...she is free now..now the poet moves on....he is addressing brother or killer..again it is bit of a biblical reference which LC uses so wonderfully..He loved him as a brother ,instead of him being his keeper he turns out as an emotional killer as Cain...The sense of outrage is very palpable here....Here comes the big statement on love and forgiveness.. The author painfully acknowledges that his friend was able to " take he trouble" from her eyes which he thought was there for good..Poet thanks him for that and signs off.....I will deem as this a master statement on loss and at same time his deep love for his muse which shines through the attempt at forgiveness he makes... Signing off now...I hope I can come out with a more coherent write up on the same.." If it be your will"......
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