Dance me to the end of love

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
holydove
Posts: 1567
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby holydove » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:40 pm

I feel that the deathcamp inspiration for "Dance me. . ." makes it even more beautiful; it is one of Leonard's most sublime talents, creating something exquisite out of the raw material of excruciating pain; intertwining desperation, agony, love, death, beauty, anger, desire, compassion, etc.
However, I have lately been wondering: what exactly does he mean by "the end of love"? I used to assume that the implication was that love is eternal, so that "dance me to the end of love" would mean something like, "dance with me forever". But now I am thinking, perhaps he is talking about an actual end to love; and in light of the death camp scenario, maybe he's saying something like: "although the world is in this nightmarish state of horror and deterioration, and our lives are now ending in this grotesque, horrific manner, let us dance each other to this terrible end"; this kind of statement could then be seen as either morbidly sarcastic, or triumphantly beautiful; (to me, even the morbidity would actually be beautiful!) which fits with the multi-layeredness of everything Our Wonderfu Man does.

By the way, I am a new member of this forum, though I have been listening to and loving Leonard for forty years. I just discovered this forum in the past year, and I want to thank you all for creating it and keeping it going. And let me say, it is a pleasure to meet you all, albeit in this strange realm of cyberspace!

Rachel
Lilifyre
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:29 am
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Lilifyre » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:44 am

Holydove, I think you were correct to begin with. Love truly has no ending. When all else is gone, the love remains. Those who were sacrificed to the ugliness of hatred and bigotry continued to love when all else was taken from them. Those who had family and friends who survived are still loved to this day. Those who had no one are loved by those who hear their story. That is why places like the US Holocaust Museum (and smaller regional versions of it) exist to show the world that Love Never Dies! http://www.ushmm.org/

The phrase: Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn sticks in my mind. To me it says, "shelter me even where shelter no longer exists". Love is the one thing that the "monsters" cannot destroy....unless we forget.

Lili
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."
holydove
Posts: 1567
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby holydove » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:20 am

Lili, thank you for your response. I think you are right that my first instinct was right! There are other lines in the song that may also support that conclusion, such as: "dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in", which could mean that their love will protect them even in the face of such abominable cruelty; and, "lift me like an olive branch. . . ", where he is perhaps implying an incredibly heartbreaking peace offering to those who are perpetrating such cruelty (or to the world in general), or the olive branch could represent hope for new beginnings on the other side; either way, what a tender and heartbreaking image. . .

And doesn't the death camp background shed new light on what that "panic" is about !(and perhaps why the olive branch is summoned up)

Thank you again for this conversation.
Lilifyre
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:29 am
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby Lilifyre » Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:30 pm

seadove wrote: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:
Seadove, I realize your quote above was written a few months ago, but it came to me just now as I was listening to/watching the clip you reference on YouTube (at least I think this is the clip you mean): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PIadFsvDk

If you look closely at the clip, most of the couples are Asian, Black, or possibly Polynesian/Filipino?. Some could be Jewish, but could just as easily be Italian, Spanish, French, or a mixture of European nationalities that make up your average "American". The couples look to me to be "newly weds" from the WWII era, but not necessarily Jewish. Quite possibly, some of those men fought in the war. They were united in their experiences. They witnessed the horrors and continued to love.

War and hatred are terrible things. They eat at the soul like a disease. Funny how this song seems to pop in my head when I see or do something in connection with the Holocaust. Last night, my synagogue presented a video entitled "Seeking and Hiding". It was a documentary made by a Jew who was the child of Holocaust survivors. He was concerned that his children were isolating themselves from the non-Jewish world and becoming xenophobic about the rest of the world. He traced his family back to Poland during World War II. He, his wife and his 2 sons went to Poland to find try to find the non-Jewish family who had hidden his wife's father and 2 of his brothers for over 2 yrs during the war. Surprisingly, he found the family. It was encouraging to know that in the midst of those who blatantly hated the Jews and those who adopted the "I don't want to get involved" mentality, there were those who risked their lives to hide Jews simply because it was the right thing to do.

The conclusion of the documentary was that a seed had been planted...a seed of understanding. That seed is those "children who are asking to be born". It is said that he who saves one person saves an entire world. Those brave Polish farmers, the Catholic nuns, and the many non-Jewish peasants and business people who risked their lives to do what was right saved many a world. This song is a tribute to all who survived that horrific period in the history of the world.
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."
seadove
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:06 am
Location: Israel
Contact:

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby seadove » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:56 am

Lilifyre wrote:
seadove wrote: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:
Seadove, I realize your quote above was written a few months ago, but it came to me just now as I was listening to/watching the clip you reference on YouTube (at least I think this is the clip you mean): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PIadFsvDk

If you look closely at the clip, most of the couples are Asian, Black, or possibly Polynesian/Filipino?. Some could be Jewish, but could just as easily be Italian, Spanish, French, or a mixture of European nationalities that make up your average "American". The couples look to me to be "newly weds" from the WWII era, but not necessarily Jewish. Quite possibly, some of those men fought in the war. They were united in their experiences. They witnessed the horrors and continued to love.

War and hatred are terrible things. They eat at the soul like a disease. Funny how this song seems to pop in my head when I see or do something in connection with the Holocaust. Last night, my synagogue presented a video entitled "Seeking and Hiding". It was a documentary made by a Jew who was the child of Holocaust survivors. He was concerned that his children were isolating themselves from the non-Jewish world and becoming xenophobic about the rest of the world. He traced his family back to Poland during World War II. He, his wife and his 2 sons went to Poland to find try to find the non-Jewish family who had hidden his wife's father and 2 of his brothers for over 2 yrs during the war. Surprisingly, he found the family. It was encouraging to know that in the midst of those who blatantly hated the Jews and those who adopted the "I don't want to get involved" mentality, there were those who risked their lives to hide Jews simply because it was the right thing to do.

The conclusion of the documentary was that a seed had been planted...a seed of understanding. That seed is those "children who are asking to be born". It is said that he who saves one person saves an entire world. Those brave Polish farmers, the Catholic nuns, and the many non-Jewish peasants and business people who risked their lives to do what was right saved many a world. This song is a tribute to all who survived that horrific period in the history of the world.
The thing is... jews resemble a lot to Asians, Blacks, or possibly Polynesian/Filipino. Italians, Spanish, French, and a mixture of European nationalities and Americans.

I have a neighbor who looks Thailandish.
sebmelmoth2003
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

Re: Dance me to the end of love

Postby sebmelmoth2003 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:53 pm

london schoolchildren visit death camp.

...With that, we enter the death camp Birkenhau. Our team leader reads us the Leonard Cohen poem All there is to know about Adolf Eichmann.
It begins: “Eyes, medium. Hair, medium. Weight, medium... what did you expect? Talons? Green Saliva?”...


http://www.camdennewjournal.com/reviews ... escription

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