What Does Leaving Green Sleeves Mean?

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Flatlinebeforedeath
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What Does Leaving Green Sleeves Mean?

Postby Flatlinebeforedeath » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:31 pm

I Just got New Skin For the Old Ceremony. I love it, but I don't know what he
means by:
Green sleeves, you're all alone
The leaves have fallen, the men have gone
Green sleeves, there's no one home
Not even the Lady Green Sleeves

What are the green sleeves supposed to mean?
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Fljotsdale
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Postby Fljotsdale » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:03 am

It's a traditional English ballad and melody, adapted by Cohen.

'Greensleeves' is the name given to the woman in the song because she wears a dress with green sleeves.
Only just found this video of LC:
http://ca.youtube.com/user/leonardcohen?ob=4" target="_blank

This one does make me cry.
jurica
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Postby jurica » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:38 pm

Greensleeves (original 1580 lyrics; the tune first appeared in 1652)

Greensleeues was all my ioy,
Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my hart of gold,
And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

Alas my loue, ye do me wrong,
to cast me off discurteously:
And I haue loued you so long
Delighting in your companie.
Greensleeues was all my ioy,
Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my heart of gold,
And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

I haue been readie at your hand,
to grant what euer you would craue.
I haue both waged life and land,
your loue and good will for to haue.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

I bought three kerchers to thy head,
that were wrought fine and gallantly:
I kept thee both boord and bed,
Which cost my purse wel fauouredly,
Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

I bought thee peticotes of the best,
the cloth so fine as might be:
I gaue thee iewels for thy chest,
and all this cost I spent on thee.
Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy smock of silk, both faire and white,
with gold embrodered gorgeously:
Thy peticote of Sendall right:
and thus I bought thee gladly.
Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy girdle of gold so red,
with pearles bedecked sumptuously:
The like no other lasses had,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me,
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy purse and eke thy gay guilt kniues,
thy pincase gallant to the eie:
No better wore the Burgesse wiues,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy crimson stockings all of silk,
with golde all wrought aboue the knee,
Thy pumps as white as was the milk,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy gown was of the grossie green,
thy sleeues of Satten hanging by:
Which made thee be our haruest Queen,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy garters fringed with the golde,
And siluer aglets hanging by,
Which made thee blithe for to beholde,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My gayest gelding I thee gaue,
To ride where euer liked thee,
No Ladie euer was so braue,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My men were clothed all in green,
And they did euer wait on thee:
Al this was gallant to be seen,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

They set thee vp, they took thee downe,
they serued thee with humilitie,
Thy foote might not once touch the ground,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

For euerie morning when thou rose,
I sent thee dainties orderly:
To cheare thy stomack from all woes,
and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thou couldst desire no earthly thing.
But stil thou hadst it readily:
Thy musicke still to play and sing,
And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

And who did pay for all this geare,
that thou didst spend when pleased thee?
Euen I that am reiected here,
and thou disdainst to loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Wel, I wil pray to God on hie,
that thou my constancie maist see:
And that yet once before I die,
thou wilt vouchsafe to loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Greensleeues now farewel adue,
God I pray to prosper thee:
For I am stil thy louer true,
come once againe and loue me.
Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.
Finis.
now, Cohen's version is somewhat different:
Alas, my love, you did me wrong,

to cast me out discourteously,

for I have loved you so long,

delighting in your very company.

Now if you intend to show me disdain,

don’t you know it all the more enraptures me,

for even so I still remain your lover in captivity.



Green sleeves, you’re all alone,

the leaves have fallen, the men have gone.

Green sleeves, there’s no one home,

not even the Lady Green Sleeves.



I sang my songs, I told my lies,

to lie between your matchless thighs.

And ain’t it fine, ain’t it wild

to finally end our exercise

Then I saw you naked in the early dawn,

oh, I hoped you would be someone new.

I reached for you but you were gone,

so lady I’m going too.



Green sleeves, you’re all alone,

the leaves have fallen, the men have gone.

Green sleeves, there’s no one home,

not even the Lady Green Sleeves.



Green sleeves, you’re all alone,

the leaves have fallen, the men have all gone home.

Green sleeves, it’s so easily done,

leaving the Lady Green Sleeves.
...therefore, i think he did the similar thing with this traditional poem that he did with God Abandons Antony. he changed some images into something else that better fitted his personal experience.

i think in his version he has a girl he lives with in this home that has a nice green tree in the yard (the green branches look like sleeves), the girl leaves him, and he moves away abandoning the tree which is now left all alone (the leaves have fallen, the men have gone/Green sleeves, there’s no one home). i think that's why he changed the chorus.

that's what i hear listening to the song anyway...
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Fljotsdale
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Postby Fljotsdale » Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:19 pm

Heh! I haven't seen all the words of the original since I was at school - and even so, I don't remember all of those verses!

Thanks for posting, Jurica. :)
Only just found this video of LC:
http://ca.youtube.com/user/leonardcohen?ob=4" target="_blank

This one does make me cry.
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:14 am

Greensleeves was , I heard, originally a name for an army camp follower whose sleeves became green from rolling in the grass with so many soldiers. One, I guess, fell in love with her. Leonard , however. was less deeply smitten.
jurica
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Postby jurica » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:05 pm

very interesting, lightning...

i'd never come up with that one. and reading LC's version again, it really makes sense.
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Postby jeanna » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:11 am

http://www.templeofsakkara.com/menuframe.htm

o A View of Sakkara: Sakkara is the actual school where the Emerald Fire was created. The song "Greensleeves," is actually the music that was used to move the blocks. It got its name when the students from Sakkara were required to move the blocks that built the Great Pyramid. When they stuck the rods of P'tah into the platforms that moved the blocks, their arms glowed green. The music that was used to move the blocks got its name from this fact. Later on people that were trained in this knowledge wore green sleeves because whenever they used this knowledge to heal or to levitate, their arms would glow green - the neutral point between infrared and ultraviolet, now know as zero point energy. That is why the Magdalene often wore green sleeves. Includes excerpts from the book "Pyramid Energy: The Philosophy of God, the Science of Man.
OK... this post is falling off the deep end. On the topic of things green, including Nancy’s green stockings – and in the spirit of green men, a bit of Leo (Da Vinci) and the ‘Language of Birds’ aka ‘Green Language’ --

Rossetti’s the Beloved
Image

Leonard’s Nancy was a prostitute (as is said of Magdalene). It is said that the tradition of troubadours includes gnostic songs to Mary Magdalene. Today there are several music projects that are songs about Magdalene (i.e., Tori Amos)... more popular now? because of Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code. Yet, a search on Magdalene songs indicates that as diverse a mix as Neil Diamond to Procol Harum to Frank Zappa were recording Maggie songs in the 70’s (not to mention Maggie... Maggie May, Maggie’s Farm, Little Maggie) and the influence of folk music on rock music.

http://www.soundexp.com/history.html Interesting link on history of Love Songs
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:24 am

Hi Jeanna ~

I'd love to have a framed copy of Rossetti's the Beloved ~ a very interesting and beautiful painting. Not so "deep end" really, but rather deep, considering the origins of these songs. I've heard of the green glow, and the 'pyramid energy' would seem to account for their impossibility[ies]. Extremely interesting information you've brought to this discussion.

When I needed to adopt a 'pen name' for something, I chose "Maggie Finn." My paramour at the time just called me that one day and it stuck. I still love it as much now as I did then. However, never read into it in any of the ways suggested here :shock: :wink: ~ I did already know of and love Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," though. So, did he ~ and he was 18 years younger than I was, so "Maggie May" fit; hence, maybe the origin of "Maggie Finn"?

Well, back to Greensleeves, the colour green obviously has a lot of significance ~ and it wouldn't be unlike Leonard to incorporate that in his song. Thanks for this fascinating info.

Welcome to the Forum, too :D ~ I see it's your first posting ~ great way to begin 8) !

~ Lizzy
jeanna
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Postby jeanna » Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:06 am

Hi Lizzy... Maggie Finn

Happy Belated 10,000th . Here is some more info that veers away from Greensleeves (but I tried to point it back)

There is alot of material that relates to the tradition of Celtic ballads and Maggie and Magdalene songs and it is rather interesting. The Beatles short ‘Maggie May’ was a spin-off of a traditional English song that is the source for other artists such as U2’s ‘Van Diemen’s Land’, Dylan’s ‘Jim Jones’ (of Botany Bay), and I think it is interesting that Dylan covered the traditional ‘Little Maggie’ in contrast to Maggie’s Farm... same goes for ‘Lily of the West’ and ‘Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.’ The name Maggie, is sometimes slang for prostitute (but not if the middle name is Finn)

Beatles’ Version:

Oh, dirty Maggie Mae,
They have taken her away, and she'll never walk down Lime Street anymore
Oh, the judge he guilty found her, of robbing the homeward bounder
Dirty no good robbin' Maggie Mae
Dis the part of Liverpool, she returned me to
Two pound ten a week, that was my pay

from Traditional Version:

1: Now you jolly sailor lads, come listen to my tale,
I'm sure you will have cause to pity me,
I was a damned young fool in the port of Liverpool,
When I called there on my first port home from sea.

Chorus:
Oh Maggie, Maggie May
They have taken her away
To slave upon Van Dieman's cruel shore.
Oh, you robbed so many whalers,
and dosed so many sailors
But you'll never cruise 'round Peter Street no more.


Green things:
The Green Man therefore may be just another example of a Pagan image brought into the Church to be made safe. As to the Green Lady, well there is good reason to believe that the cult of the Virgin Mary which was suppressed with such vigour by the Reformation and by the Puritans was related to the worship of the Green Man's female counterpart. One of the Green Man's manifestations was as Robin Hood, the Lord of the Merry Greenwood. This Robin Hood had nothing to do with the bows and arrows and Sheriff of Nottingham stories. He was an older and more powerful figure and the Robin of Loxley figure was grafted on much later. Robin Hood was a lord of Misrule as well as the King of the Wood. His lady was Maid Marion and thus the Merry Greenwood and Merry Men thus become Mary's Greenwood and Mary's Men and the Morris Dancers who danced on May Day got their name not from the Moors or Morriscoes but from Mary - they were Mary's dancers and their dances when they leap into the air are a symbol of Life triumphing over death.
http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/green5.html
May King and Queen - Notre Dame de Paris - In the side chapel beyond the treasury these heads look down from opposite sides of the church perhaps above the seats of the King and Queen of France? Said to be later replacements for heads destroyed by fire and to have been designed by Violet le Duc. The heads appearing from a bower of leaves are a hint at Jack in the Green and the Maid Marion/Robin Hood legends.
http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/greenpix1.html
Image
Image
In the merry month of May
When green leaves begin to spring,
Little lambs do skip like fairies
Birds do couple, build and sing.

--(traditional verse)

The first day of May is still celebrated as a pre-Christian magical rite in some parts of England. Local people dance around a maypole (an ancient fertility symbol), in what was once one of England's most important festivals of the year. However, because of calendar and public holiday changes, these customs are now often spread out over several weeks.
In Oxford, people gather on Magdalene Bridge very early on May Day morning. At 6am, from high above the top of the tower of Magdalene College, the sounds of a Latin hymn can be heard, sung by the college choir.

Sold my guitar to the baker's son
For a few crumbs and a place to hide,
But I can get another one
And I'll play for Magdalena as we ride.

:?:

--Romance in Durango (Bob Dylan, 1975)
'Wiki-jeannia' :wink: Jeanna
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:32 pm

Pedantic irrelevancies are best saved for private messages (pm's).
Kevin W.M.LastYearsMan
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Postby Kevin W.M.LastYearsMan » Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:33 pm

Welcome Jeanna,
That was some really interesting stuff about "Leaving Green Sleeves." I hadn't thought of it a couple of the ways you wrote about-unearthed.

I don't think Leonard's Nancy was a prostitute. I just think she slept around...according to what I learned about her from that article.

This all makes me think about what Irving Layton said about Leonard's writing having some of the same characteristics of ballads from the 1500's.
Kevin
greenfairy
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food for thought

Postby greenfairy » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:24 pm

Wow, guys, that's a lot of information - quite interesting! I knew that Greensleeves was an old ballad (I read that it may have been written by, or more likely for, Henry the IV or something?), but the rest of it was new to me.
And quiet is the thought of you
the file on you complete
Except what we forgot to do
A thousand kisses deep...
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Ali
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Postby Ali » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:58 pm

Hey Greenfairy,
Greensleeves was (allegedly) written for Ann Boylen by Henry VIII who avoided becoming his mistress until she had a firm commitment from him, that they would marry when his divorce from Katheryn of Aragon happened. Ann had a thing for scarlett or green dresses.
ALI
X
"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilage it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to live." ....... Marcus Aurelius
Red Poppy
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Greensleeves

Postby Red Poppy » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:55 pm

The lyrics for the original of Greensleeves were (reputedly) written By Henry VIII for Ann Boleyn - the tune was also (reputedly) composed by the self same Henry though where he got the time between wiving, beheading and seducing is a mystery.
I don't think, referring to a point made in this correspondence, there ever was a suggestion that Nancy in "Seems so long....." was a prostitute. My understanding is that she was a friend who committed suicide.
Last point - there is no suggestion anywhere in the New Testament that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. The legend is there but there's no basis in the documentation of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John
Red Poppy
Kevin W.M.LastYearsMan
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Postby Kevin W.M.LastYearsMan » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:50 am

Red Poppy, there was probably someone just out to ruin Mary Magdalene's rep, and the label followed her. You know how that goes. :wink:
I think it's amusing to think of Biblical characters in high school cafeteria terms.
Kevin

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