My take on "Take This Waltz"

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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Post by Coco » Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:36 pm

I never considered it a song about suicide.
Rather it is about love and loss.
Does this help Coco?

Many thanks. Heretic. :roll: Now I can go back to my fuzzy bunnies and warm puppies.

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Post by Coco » Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:43 pm

Hi Kush!

I liked your interpretation of "pools" in that verse. :D

There is a stanza in the poem "Beneath my Hands" that is similar.

"When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing"
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Post by George.Wright » Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:23 pm

CoCo, Hairy Tick's ideas change as often as his identities, I would not worry too much.
It's difficult for Hairy Tick to understand suicide anyway as he is already dead and living in Circle Six.
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Post by Paula » Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:01 pm

Kush I really like your view on river's disguise. Inspired thinking :lol:

I think it is to do with suicide and I think the pools on the wrist are blood. The river's disguise could also meant death by drowning but I think Kush's version is beautiful.
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Post by jurica » Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:37 pm

Byron wrote: "On a bed where the moon has been sweating"

The Moon has represented Love; a light in the Darkness; a woman's menstrual periods; and if you look at the Art of The Old Masters such as Rubens, we see the moonshaped buttocks, and breasts of representations of beauty and bodies entwined in loving embrace. People have called to the Moon for Life and Love and Rich Harvests for thousands of years. Once again, an oblique reference to Time passing by.
...I think this image (moon) is VERY important for understanding special relation between the two poems.

There's no moon in Lorca's poem. However it is one of the most common symbols in his overal work:
The moon is almost always malevolent; not a romantic moon, but a cold, bloodless, evil gypsy moon.
---a Lorca scolar wrote this.
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Post by Kush » Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:35 pm

I certainly don't rule out the suicide version.
But this was the life I chose to give the poem/song. :) This version definitely requires music in waltz time by the riverside.
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Post by Kush » Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:48 pm

"On a bed where the moon has been sweating"

This is definitely about sex. I think of this as two glistening bodies entangled in a darkened room with open window and parted curtain. The moonlight/moonbeams (light emanating from the moon) is reflected by the sweat on the bodies making love and therefore glistening. So, the moon itself is sweating on the bed.
So maybe this poem is R-rated after all......

There is some symmetry about the idea of sweat mixed with moonlight and dust mixed with sunlight (from Love Itself)
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Post by Byron » Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:00 am

Blimey Kush, you'll be quoting Thomas Hardy next. :wink:
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Post by lizzytysh » Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:11 am

Good find, Kush.
There is some symmetry about the idea of sweat mixed with moonlight and dust mixed with sunlight (from Love Itself)
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Post by Kush » Sun Jan 18, 2004 7:59 am

eh....I don't get the Thomas Hardy bit....I've never read Thomas Hardy so I must be missing something. I used to be a big fan of the Hardy Boys though !!
But that line about the moon sweating it out has inspired me to write a poem.
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Cry filled with footsteps and sand

Post by dperrings » Mon May 08, 2006 10:56 pm

I am in the process of getting up to speed with this formun and my current interest is the song Take this Waltz.

I noticed in River's Disguise first post that he wanted to know what

"In a cry filled with footsteps and sand" meant

When i hear this line the image that goes through my head is that of two people walking long a beach with one person consuling the other person who is sad or in pain and is crying.

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Re: My take on "Take This Waltz"

Post by shedmaster » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:13 am

river’s disguise wrote:1st Part of the Story
Now in vienna there’s ten pretty women(A tribute to the original song)
There’s a shoulder where death comes to cry (I'm thinking a church)
There’s a lobby with nine hundred windows (Churches are known for thier windows)
There’s a tree where the doves go to die (My only guess is that he's talking about a war maybe? Tree throws me off)
There’s a piece that was torn from the morning (The death of a really young soldier)
And it hangs in the gallery of frost (The grave yard is full of "frozen" people...or stiffs...rigamortis is the cause)
Ay, ay, ay, ay (A cry of pain and sadness)
Take this waltz, take this waltz (Giving this waltz to those who fell)
Take this waltz with the clamp on it’s jaws (unsure)

(This pause coudl be the end of one part of the story)
2nd Part of the Story
Oh I want you, I want you, I want you (Sounds liek someone is fallen in love)
On a chair with a dead magazine (He's willing to take her anywhere and the dead magazine a tribute to the fallen soldier/s no inhabitions at all)
In the cave at the tip of the lily (Now it gets naughty...This ones almost self explanitory provided you know that the "lily" is another term for and womans...*clears throat* So yeah to make love...)
In some hallways where love’s never been (Not only to make love but to take her virginaty away. I coudl get graphic and explain in detail but I don't think I need, should nor have to.)
On a bed where the moon has been sweating (From evening to morning...or in other terms.."All night long!")
In a cry filled with footsteps and sand (No clue)
Ay, ay, ay, ay (The crys of love making)
Take this waltz, take this waltz (He's presenting a forum of love...a waltz...)
Take it’s broken waist in your hand (Asking her to take this forum that I think has been delt a crippling blow...the age of rock and roll had hurt the eras of old...classical, broque and even the waltz. That's me long shot guess! *L*)

(Yet another part to this story)
3rd Part of the Story
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz (A cry for a loss of an era?)
With it’s very own breath of brandy and death (An era that is in a sence wasting and withering away, some people waste and wither away with booze..and much like the waltz I'd say that brandy is on it's way to wither away from common use. Or brandy was a drink served then. I'm not to sure.)
Dragging it’s tail in the sea (I've heard of a phrase or expression..some to the extent of "dragging ones self into the sea"...meaning to die and go back to the earth that you came from. So I suppose it's meaning is the same?)
There’s a concert hall in vienna (Vienna a place where much of the old era music still place..where many many songs, waltz etc. were created or drived from.)

Where your mouth had a thousand reviews (Millions of people [through the ages] have come to listen to the music that would play there.)
There’s a bar where the boys have stopped talking (Meaning that the time of the Waltz has past and thier creators at a loss of inspiration)
They’ve been sentenced to death by the blues (A continuation of the last line...for a loss of inspiratin and a waltz to revive the old era death of this forum of music it all but spent)
Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture (unsure if it's not...Many pictures and halls carry the joyus times of that era)
With a garland of freshly cut tears? (A sad time, a time of tears, when an Era has lost it's popularity and those who have lived for those times had no where to go)
Ay, ay, ay, ay (A cry of pity and sadness)
Take this waltz, take this waltz (Trying to give those who have lost thier era a place once more.)
Take this waltz it’s been dying for years (A plea of help to try to save a dying era)

(Back to the "Second Part of the Story years later...)
Part 2 of the Second Part of the Story
There’s an attic where children are playing (Tryign to get away from the stresses of life and maturity)
Where I’ve got to lie down with you soon (To get away and share long missed quality time together)
In a dream of hungarian lanterns (I have no clue)
In the mist of some sweet afternoon (He mentioned sweet if he were both lover are remembering days long passed (either they are parents of grown kids or grandparents)
And I’ll see what you’ve chained to your sorrow (My guess is that they are getting together as is business or other thigns have gotten in thier way and are now finally able to be there for eachother from now on.)
All your sheep and your lilies of snow (I have no idea)
Ay, ay, ay, ay (A cry of happiness and relief)
Take this waltz, take this waltz (Asking her to take this thing of beauty that joined them many years ago and remember)
With it’s I’ll never forget you, you know! (Telling her that he'll always remember thier bond and first time as lovers)

This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz ... (The singing of all that has happend all the stories bing tied up together one way or another...I say this by the number of times he says "Take this waltz")

And I’ll dance with you in vienna (He'll take her to a place of love and romance and to a place long forgotten)
I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise (A symbold of ever going, ever flowing never dryign, never stoping...and in this case it's his love for her)
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder, (He's wearing a colorful flower on his shoulder...a tradition at promes and other occations...the tradition behind that has been lost upon my generation but I woudl not be suprised if that's what he means.)
My mouth on the dew of your thighs (Hehehe...technically he's eating her out...but as I see it he is making love to her once again...a pure pleasure for her alone. His need and want to make her feel good/happy...despite the encumbants of time. I would say)
And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook, (my very favorite...His confesion of true pure love telling her he'll be there forever. His soul...his life as it is through the years to be seen with her in a scrapbook...a place where you keep pictures...and memories..memories together)
With the photographs there, and the moss (part two of my favorite...Like I said pictures together...but not only that his wants to have many over the years so many years they see other words...He wants to grow old with her...soulmates)
And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty (His heart and soul stop at the site of her beauty. He sees her as the most beautiful woman in the world...from what she looks like to what she does...he loves all her idiosyncrasies)
My cheap violin and my cross (He's modest about his violin...and my cross...loyal to God. Humbled for all that he has.)
And you’ll carry me down on your dancing (He will be happy being by her side until he dies)
To the pools that you lift on your wrist (I have no clue)
Oh my love, oh my love (A cry of true passion and true love)
Take this waltz, take this waltz (A plea...a dying mans plea asking his soulmate to take what he has left (the waltz/love/ name it) for her and never let go)
It’s yours now. it’s all that there is (His way of saying the man has passed on and that the "waltz" is what's left.)

I personally think the "Waltz" is a symbol...a symbol of love...true love...and yet I also think he truely means a Waltz..
Hello to everyone on the forum,

I hope nobody minds if I continue(?) this particluar topic as a way of saying hello and introducing myself ?

My name is Dave, and I've joined up to learn a thing or two about Leonard Cohens music.
I'm not here to antagonise or rub anyone up the wrong way, as I hope you'll see for yourselves in time, but do have a sense of humour and don't bite !

I don't feel I've anything particularly constructive to offer to the forum just yet, as my 'serious' interest in Mr Cohens music is very new and I literally don't know anything much about the man, apart from watching some youtube videos from 2009 and loving his interaction with 'you friends' !

I'll be lurking around here, but reading more than posting.

My first experience of Leonard Cohen was in 1988ish, when I heard 'First We Take Manhattan'.

Frankly, it was never anything special to me, other than a catchy tune that I liked.

In 1990, I latched onto Pink Floyd ( Knebworth 90' )and became seriously obsessed with their music, and this is the way things have stayed over the years, having various musical tastes but always having this obsession with The Floyd.

Anyhow, I recently decided, for no reason at all, to look up Leonard Cohen on youtube and came away two and a half hours later.......fascinated !

I'm now at the stage of listening to 'I'm Your Man' continuosly and am truly fascinated by, in fact hooked on, 'Take This Waltz', especially considering the interpretation that starts this topic. What an absolutely fantastic way with words Leonard had on this track. I think it really gets interesting when we get to 'and I'll dance with you in Vienna'........just, beautiful words but what do they mean ?

I think the interpretation here is fantastic, however, can I ask out of curiosity, is there any word from Mr Cohen as to what this song is actually about ?

Well, just realised that this was supposed to be a friendly introduction and it's turned into an essay..........apologies!

Hope to chat and get to know some of you guys and gals as time goes on............

All the best,

Kindest Regards,

Haunted by the memory, of a lost paradise, My youth, or a dream, I can't be precise.....
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Re: My take on "Take This Waltz"

Post by dperrings » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:45 am

Here are some of my thoughts:

THere's a shoulder where death comes to cry= people consoling each other at a funeral or wake which is held at a church.

THere's a lobby with 900 windows= church

THere's a tree where the doves go to die= the crucifix

there's a piece that was torn from the morning= the person who died to young.

and it hangs in the gallery of frost = the disply of the person who died.

more latter.

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Re: My take on "Take This Waltz"

Post by Tchocolatl » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:08 pm

Dave, Hello! I can feel that you have the "cohenmania" well under your skin like any other members of this forum : in your own personal way! :D Everybody contributes in a unique manner, in this regard.

No doubt that you'll be "officially" welcomed among the other newcomers shall you do a little bow in this thread. :)


as it is more easy to communicate around here according to the manager of this forum :
Comments on Forum Posting
by jarkko on Fri May 02, 2008 9:13 am

(...). It will be easier for members to follow the discussions if each thread is about the topic that is described in the subject line.
Take this Waltz is an amazing song and an amazing sound.
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Re: My take on "Take This Waltz"

Post by holydove » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:25 pm

"there's a lobby with nine hundred windows":

A lobby is a place where people wait. Kaballah teaches that this earthly existence is a lobby where we wait for the "world to come".

Kaballah also teaches that there are 900 - yes, exactly 900 - potential types of death for a human being. This refers not to the manner or cause of death, but to the inner experience of the person who is dying, & the different experiences of death vary in degree of gentleness/painfulness. The most gentle & peaceful death is referred to as "the kiss", or "the kiss of Shekinah", & is described as feeling like a hair being pulled from a cup of milk. The most painful death is described as feeling like a spiked ball at the end of a hairy rope being pulled out of the person's throat.
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