Your top twenty one Cohen songs

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
seadove
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Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:23 am

I've been wanting to start a thread about this for quite a long time now but I keep putting it off for fear that this subject had been hatched up before. But I am really dying to know how you guys appreciate Cohen's music and which particular song catches you as the being the best, in your own and various opinions, of course.

Should this subject had a mention before well then, mods, feel free to strike it off the face of the cyber world, if it be thy wills.

About my own sweet tooth on Leonard Cohen's music, I don't think there was any that I have left unlistened to or have paid my attention. I have been listening to Cohen ever since the early 1970's. That was the time when I knew how to strum a few chords on a cheap guitar that I had obtained from a fellow student second hand for a pinch full of shekels. Ever since then I was Lennie's man.

So here's my all time favorites, of no particular order:

1. So long Marianne
2. Chelsea Hotel number 2 (was there ever a number 1?)
3. If it be your will
4. Who by fire
5. Hallelujah
6. Bird on a wire
7. Suzanne
8. Anthem
9. The Future
10. Dance me to the end of love
11. Gypsy wife
12. In my secret life
13. Hey that's no way to say goodbye
14. Tower of song
15. First we take Manhattan
16. True love leaves no traces
17. Democracy
18. Closing time
19. Sisters of Mercy
20. Everybody knows
21. Joan of Ark ;-)
Last edited by seadove on Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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DrHGuy
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Re: Your top twenty Cohen songs

Post by DrHGuy » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:05 pm

2. Chelsea Hotel number 2 (was there ever a number 1?)
Yep, there was a Chelsea Hotel #1 and there is even a video of it. I posted a brief writeup and embedded the video at http://1heckofaguy.com/2007/08/05/rare- ... l-1-video/

The direct YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRwjqj50 ... L&index=43
seadove
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Re: Your top twenty Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:49 pm

DrHGuy wrote:
2. Chelsea Hotel number 2 (was there ever a number 1?)
Yep, there was a Chelsea Hotel #1 and there is even a video of it. I posted a brief writeup and embedded the video at http://1heckofaguy.com/2007/08/05/rare- ... l-1-video/

The direct YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRwjqj50 ... L&index=43
Thanks for the link. Amazing. It's more or else like number 2. Number 2 is more polished. ;-)
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Yorkshire Lad
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by Yorkshire Lad » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:47 pm

Seadove
I will post my list later but for now I am curious why twenty one . Is there any significance to that number . I notice in your two replies to date it says twenty . I think ten would probably be about right after that all Leonards songs that are left are of equal merit more or less in my humble opinion
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:57 pm

Yorkshire Lad wrote:Seadove
I will post my list later but for now I am curious why twenty one . Is there any significance to that number . I notice in your two replies to date it says twenty . I think ten would probably be about right after that all Leonards songs that are left are of equal merit more or less in my humble opinion

I'll tell you the truth.

I wanted to post a top ten, but the damn thing is Leonard Cohen is far too genius for a top ten. So I expanded it to 15 songs and went ahead and posted it.

Then I suddenly remembered there were 5 songs that deserved a mention, so converted the thread to a 20.

Suddenly I heard on my play list Joan of Ark where Cohen sang with Joan Baez and that melted me down so here you are..... 21 songs. Probably there are others that deserve a mention.

:(
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Yorkshire Lad
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by Yorkshire Lad » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:27 pm

seadove wrote:
I'll tell you the truth.

I wanted to post a top ten, but the damn thing is Leonard Cohen is far too genius for a top ten. So I expanded it to 15 songs and went ahead and posted it.

Then I suddenly remembered there were 5 songs that deserved a mention, so converted the thread to a 20.

Suddenly I heard on my play list Joan of Ark where Cohen sang with Joan Baez and that melted me down so here you are..... 21 songs. Probably there are others that deserve a mention.

:(
By that answer I think you have just expressed what a difficult task you are setting forum members . I suspect most people will have problems on those lines but I will certainly have a go and post my twenty later when I have listened to all his songs again ( thankyou for the excuse to do that )
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:54 pm

Yorkshire Lad wrote:
seadove wrote:
I'll tell you the truth.

I wanted to post a top ten, but the damn thing is Leonard Cohen is far too genius for a top ten. So I expanded it to 15 songs and went ahead and posted it.

Then I suddenly remembered there were 5 songs that deserved a mention, so converted the thread to a 20.

Suddenly I heard on my play list Joan of Ark where Cohen sang with Joan Baez and that melted me down so here you are..... 21 songs. Probably there are others that deserve a mention.

:(
By that answer I think you have just expressed what a difficult task you are setting forum members . I suspect most people will have problems on those lines but I will certainly have a go and post my twenty later when I have listened to all his songs again ( thankyou for the excuse to do that )
It was a challenge for me, I must admit. But I wonder which songs made the impact on you, guys.

But you don't see me as a mad man, do you? People in my environment think I'm a Cohen nutty. Here, in this forum, I'm amongst fellow crazies, eh? ;-)
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by surrender » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:56 pm

Don't worry, Seadove my fellow in this noble madness, we are safe here!
I was just going through all the CD's... My top 21 consists of the most beautiful songs (IMHO) and the songs that mark significant events in my life.
1 Suzanne
2 Sisters of Mercy
3 The Stranger Song
4 Bird on the Wire
5 The Butcher
6 Avalanche
7 Dress Rehearsal Rag
8 Joan of Arc
9 There is a War
10 Hallelujah
11 If It Be Your Will
12 The Guests
13 Our Lady of Solitude
14 The Gypsy's Wife
15 Ballad of the Absent Mare
16 I'm Your Man
17 Closing Time
18 Anthem
19 In My Secret Life
20 By the Rivers Dark
21 Villanelle for our Time (words Frank Scott)

And now I am not sure, maybe Tower of Song instead of .... what?
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Marine
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by Marine » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:58 am

Wow, 21 songs that's quite a challenge! Last month, I tried to do my own best of for my MP3 player and ended up with 63 songs :lol:
But it's always fun to listen all this wonderful CDs and to choose my favorites, I never agree with myself (is it serious? :razz: )
Here's my top twenty one (it has some songs in common with yours) without any order either, it's hard enough like this!

1. So Long, Marianne
2. Nightingale
3. Ballad Of The Absent Mare
4. Tonight Will Be Fine
5. Anthem
6. Who By Fire
7. The Window
8. Closing Time
9. Memories
10. Lady Midnight
11. If It Be Your Will
12. The Stranger Song
13. I Tried To Leave You
14. Tower Of Song
15. Dance Me To The End Of Love
16. The Traitor
17. Suzanne
18. Sing Another Song, Boys
19. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
20. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
21. Sisters Of Mercy
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somewhat_nifty
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by somewhat_nifty » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:44 am

Ok, I'll give it a go...

In no particular order:

1. So Long, Marianne
2. Chelsea Hotel #2
3. Light As The Breeze
4. Avalanche
5. Hallelujah
6. Sing Another Song, Boys
7. Love Calls You By Your Name
8. Anthem
9. Diamonds In The Mine
10. Lady Midnight
11. The Gypsy's Wife
12. Dress Rehearsal Rag
13. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
14. Memories
15. Ballad of the Absent Mare
16. Master Song
17. Take This Longing
18. Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace)
19. Sisters of Mercy
20. Everybody Knows
21. The Window

I think there are ones I'm kicking myself for not remembering as well. But confirms my suspicions that, as much as I love Leonard's later material, the ones that really get me are his early songs.
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seadove
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:07 am

From the above choices it will be easy for me to distinguish which songs are getting more attention, so I'll go and have a listen myself. The ones that are not in my list. ;-)
John Etherington
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by John Etherington » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:28 pm

Hi seadove,

My "What is your Favourite Song From Each Studio Album?" thread actually metamorphosed into the same thing as this! First of all LisaCFan suggested we choose two songs from each studio album instead of one (total 22), then Mary B suggested we just choose our 22 favourite songs. However, after I had posted my 22 songs, the thread didn't go much further, so thanks to you, we may as well carry on here! Here are my 22 again (I'm allowing 22 because there are 22 paths in the Kaballah). My list in alphabetical order, and off the top of my head, so it may not be totally definitive:

A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes
Alexandra Leaving
Anthem
Avalanche
Ballad of the Absent Mare
Be For Real
Bird on the Wire
Coming Back to You
Democracy
Heart With No Companion
Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
I Can't Forget
If it Be Your Will
Lady Midnight
Love Calls You By Your Name
Night Comes On
The Partisan
Sing Another Song Boys
Sisters of Mercy
Suzanne
Take This Waltz
The Window

All good things, John E
seadove
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:53 pm

Lol, I noticed the last 3 posters did not mention Hallelujah and First we take Manhattan. ;-)
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Yorkshire Lad
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by Yorkshire Lad » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:39 pm

As promised here are my twenty one in no particular order :
bird on a wire
coming back to you
anthem
waiting for the miracle
democracy
famous blue raincoat
i'm your man
take this waltz
tower of song
hallelujah
joan of arc
lady midnight
sisters of mercy
so long marianne
song of bernadette
suzanne
the partisan
stories of the street
in my secret life
hey that's no way to say goodbye
the future

I would just like make a couple of comments to go with my list :
First of all thankyou Seadove for stipulating the list should be in no particular order . Listing them in order of merit would be just too much of a task .
Secondly I was tempted to leave out Hallelujah because of all it's recent media exposure but hey it is still a great song
And finally I will bet your bottom dollar nobody posts a list with "Jazz Police " in for that in my humble opinion would be top of his worst song list ( If there can ever be such a list... perish the thought ! )
Last edited by Yorkshire Lad on Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your top twenty one Cohen songs

Post by seadove » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:48 pm

I was listening to Jazz Police about half an hour ago and I agree with you. It makes me imagine Lennie wearing tights and making splits on the floor, lol. ;-)
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