Dance me to the end of love

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
eliooz
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Dance me to the end of love

Postby eliooz » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:57 pm

I understand that this song was written with the german death camps in mind, and it refers to the jewish musicians who were forced to escort the horror of the trains going one way... can anybody add to this?
seadove
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby seadove » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:26 am

Eh?

How did you get to assume this?
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tomsakic
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:10 am

Up there in the right corned you have the search button, and also I recommend "advanced search" option.

This is what I got: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11979&p=132340 and viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3798&p=40877
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby seadove » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:25 am

I have read your links. First of all, I am all shocked and shaking, to think that a romantic song will have a conception of death and turmoil behind it. :(

And now I realize why the clip have elderly jewish looking people dancing cheek to cheek, perhaps insinuating the survivors of the holacoast. :shock:
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tomsakic
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:10 pm

seadove, there was a video at Youtube, an interview from 1985, where Cohen explained the inspiration. Unfortunately the video was removed a month ago because Australian TV station claimed copyright infringement. Anyhow, that's why you have "burning" violin in the lyrics also.

At least in couple of movies about death camps I saw a small band made up of prisoners playing while the people are getting of the trains. (Not sure, but maybe there's a similar scene in Schindler's List.)


Whoever will come next year to Krakow for 2010 Leonard Cohen Event, should before see Spielberg's movie as it was shot in Kazimierz, the Krakow old district where the event will take place. (Well, although it's "Krakow 2010 Leonard Cohen Event" it's actually not happening in Krakow's Old Town, but in the next neighborhood, in Jewish district of Kazimierz.) Most of Krakow's tourism is concentrated around Jewish heritage and Holocaust, and in city seeing tours anybody will recognise locations from Schindler's list, including the Schindler's Factory, which museum will be opened in time for our event, plus old cemetery, Ghetto wall, commemorative square, synagogues, etc. (Also, Auschwitz is just outside the town and probably many fans will go to visit it's site and musem in days before or after the event programme.)
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby seadove » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:56 am

Last night I listened to the song whilst taking in mind the background in which this thread speaks off. I tell you, the song suddenly lost it's love charm and sounded more macabre.

:(
Caillte
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Caillte » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:53 pm

I have decided to ignore the inspiration for this song, which is to horrific to imagine. On those terms it is a truly beautiful love song. I''m often amused when Hallelujah, is played at wedding cermonies. I love Hallelujah but I think its a song about the destruction of love "...love is not a victory march...". For me Dance me to the end of love is a far more appropriate wedding song.
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Stamatina
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Stamatina » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:23 pm

Caillte wrote:I have decided to ignore the inspiration for this song, which is to horrific to imagine.
I was watching the video on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pA5UhNaYw0

..and I noticed the note on the left.

FINAL NOTE FROM THE MAN HIMSELF:

'Dance Me To The End Of Love' ... it's curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that's why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin," meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song -- it's not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.


Someone has posted it here, in the forum, too, you'll see it on one of Tom's links.
"Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love
Oh tangle of matter and ghost
Oh darling of angels, demons and saints
And the whole broken-hearted host
Gentle this soul..."
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Womanfromaroom
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Womanfromaroom » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:05 am

Thanks, Stamatina, for the very valuable link!

If anyone is interested in the original background, i.e. music at Auschwitz, all the same, I recommend the following read (the impressive memoirs written by a survivor, a musician himself): Szymon Laks: Music of Another World (Jewish Lives), Northwestern University Press, 2000.
"You thought that it could never happen / to all the people that you became"...
Love Calls You By Your Name
Lilifyre
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Lilifyre » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:47 am

So many here have expressed horror in knowing the inspiration behind this beautiful song. I see it as a song of hope...hope in the face of hopelessness. True, many Jews were forced to play beautiful music to cover the horrors around them. That was a horrible time. But the people who were sacrificed to the whims of hate and bigotry are given respect and shown in their heroism. The Nazis attempted to strip them of all dignity, humanity, and worth. For them to be honored by a song like this is a triumph of justice and sanity in an unjust and insane world. Please don't be put off or try to divorce this song of it's origin because it is too painful to imagine. Honor those who inspired beauty in the midst of such profound ugliness.
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Lilifyre » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:09 am

A few short hours ago I watched a program on the History Channel. I believe it was called "The Hidden Holocaust" or something similar. I really didn't pay much attention to the title. It spoke of the murder of the Jews of Latvia and Lithuania...the pre-deathcamp killings. A select squad of Nazis was sent out to the small villages of Russia. Their job was to round up all the Jews in an area and kill them. Large trenches were dug, often by the victims themselves. They were then stripped of all their clothes and dignity and shot one at a time to fall into the trenches where they were burried, some of them still alive. I also wondered, what does a monster look like? Do they have deformed features making them ugly? Do they have fangs? How about demonic grins and blood dripping from their mouths? Do they look like the Frankenstein monster of the old movies? Maybe they look like Bella Lugosi's Count Dracula, or Freddy Kruger, or Jason? The answer I came up with is, NO, they look like regular people. They look like the man down the street, the preacher behind his pulpit, the policeman on the corner, the doctor, the checker at the grocery store, like you and me. It's been remarked by survivors of the Holocaust that the infamous Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death, was quite a handsome man.

I thought of this song, Dance Me To The End of Love. A song of incredible beauty, inspired by the ugliness of a time of infamy. To all 6 million innocents sacrificed to hatred and bigotry, may you dance to the end of love!
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
Mirek
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Mirek » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:06 pm

Lilifyre wrote:I also wondered, what does a monster look like? Do they have deformed features making them ugly? Do they have fangs? How about demonic grins and blood dripping from their mouths?
Right - there are no distinguishing features of the monster. As LC says:

'ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT ADOLF EICHMANN'

EYES - Medium
HAIR - Medium
WEIGHT - Medium
HEIGHT - Medium
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES - None
NUMBER OF FINGERS - Ten
NUMBER OF TOES - Ten
INTELLIGENCE - Medium

What did you expect?
Talons?
Oversize incisors?
Green saliva?
Madness?
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mutti
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby mutti » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:28 pm

Lilli
Your post brought tears to my eyes....
thank you so much..for remembering and honoring their memory
and ending it with dance me to the end of love.
And thank you Leonard for writing this song...
"May their memory be a blessing"...
Mutti
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby lizzytysh » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:35 pm

Absolutely, Lili. I agree with you and have always agreed with you. I have just never said it so eloquently myself. Well done.
Re: Dance me to the end of love
by Lilifyre on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:47 pm

So many here have expressed horror in knowing the inspiration behind this beautiful song. I see it as a song of hope...hope in the face of hopelessness. True, many Jews were forced to play beautiful music to cover the horrors around them. That was a horrible time. But the people who were sacrificed to the whims of hate and bigotry are given respect and shown in their heroism. The Nazis attempted to strip them of all dignity, humanity, and worth. For them to be honored by a song like this is a triumph of justice and sanity in an unjust and insane world. Please don't be put off or try to divorce this song of it's origin because it is too painful to imagine. Honor those who inspired beauty in the midst of such profound ugliness.

Lili
Your comments that followed about what do human monsters look like are so true. Not a reason to fear everyone; but a reason to remain aware of possible agendas, no matter how beautifully presented or how appealing the presenter.

Well done by Leonard, as well, Mirek.


~ Lizzy
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bridger15
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Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby bridger15 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:30 pm

mutti wrote:Lilli
Your post brought tears to my eyes....
thank you so much..for remembering and honoring their memory
and ending it with dance me to the end of love.
And thank you Leonard for writing this song...
"May their memory be a blessing"...
Mutti
A very moving tribute. Thank you to both Lili and Mutti.
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