Funeral reading

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Golem
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Funeral reading

Postby Golem » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:38 am

Can anyone suggest an appropriate LC song or poem to read at the funeral of a very good friend and LC admirer. He was very ill for the past year and deeply regretted missing the London concerts. He was 55, devoted to his wife and children and loved by all who knew him.
Thanks.
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brightnow
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby brightnow » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:13 am

Hi Golem, I am sorry for your loss.
Are you looking for a complete piece (song or poem) that can stand alone, or a few lines to include in a eulogy? Are you looking for something mournful? uplifting? insightful?
It would also help if you could write a little bit about the person that passed away and about the planned funeral.
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
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DrHGuy
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby DrHGuy » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:08 pm

My condolences for your loss.

This may not fit your needs, but I feel compelled to suggest Nightingale from the Blue Alert album which features Leonard Cohen's lyrics sung by Anjani. The woman I loved was so taken with the song and found it so comforting that she listened to it at least once a day and arranged for it to be part of her memorial service. It proved to be one of the most moving parts of that ceremony following her death last year. A YouTube version is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aEIuoUG3XM. While I prefer the slower, more elegant (to my ear) Blue Alert track, a version of the same song from the Dear Heather album is sung by Leonard Cohen, Anjani, and Sharon Robinson. That version can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT0tCUjPDOY
Lilifyre
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby Lilifyre » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:51 pm

So sorry for you loss, Golem. I suppose my suggestions for songs would depend on the nature of the service and the type of person the deceased was. I've given some thought lately to what I would like at my own funeral. What springs to mind first off, would be "Who by Fire", which is taken directly from the U'netane Tokev prayer of Yom Kippur. Also "If it be Your Will" is a good prayer/song that fits the occasion without being overly maudlin.

Personally, while I would not want this at my actual funeral, but at a gathering of friends soon after my funeral, is "Closing Time". I just love that song and even tho it speaks of death, it is so upbeat and "let's head into the next chapter on this journey called life" that I would like my friends and loved ones to celebrate that I will have gone on beyond this earthly existance to who knows what.

"The Window" is another that you might find appropriate. "Dance me to the End of Love" would be another that might be comforting to his family.

So many of Leonard's songs could be adapted to fit the end of this material existence. You know your friend and how he related to Leonard more than we do. Check out many, many selections. Look up the words to his songs. I use the following site for lyrics: http://www.lyricsmania.com/lyrics/leona ... rics_3198/ but there are several others, including, I believe one somewhere on this site.

Take care
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."
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Stamatina
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby Stamatina » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:34 pm

I very much agree with DrHGuy on Nightingale sung by Anjani and another one that came to my mind was Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye, but not as a song, as a poem. If his wife would accept to recite it for him, maybe changing a few pronouns and maybe not (you know, about the hair upon the pillow), I think it would be pretty.

Something like:

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
my hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it's come to distances and both of us must try,
my eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.

I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time,
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
our eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.




My condolences, too. All people are friends to us and LC admirers are even closer.
"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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Inne
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby Inne » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:22 am

My father passed away on February the 24th.
For the (non-religious) funeral service next Thursday I chose Anjani's Nightingale from Blue Alert and If it be your Will from VP.
Mozart's andantino from the concerto for harp and flute will also be played, as well as the Sound of Silence and Bocelli's and Brightman's Time to say Goodbuy.
He was the sweetest dad on earth, I'll miss him so deeply
Inne
Silence
and a deeper silence
when the crickets
hesitate
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mutti
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for Inne

Postby mutti » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:18 am

Inne I am so sorry for you loss of your father. I know last week you said he was gravelly ill and I have been thinking of you a lot these days..
take good care of yourself at this time as its so hard...
Sending you a big hug
Mutti (Leslie)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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mutti
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby mutti » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:20 am

Golem I am also sorry for your loss of your friend...all those song selections are so beautiful..you can't go wrong. Have you asked his wife what his favorite song was?
take good care
Mutti (Leslie)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
Lilifyre
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Re: Funeral reading

Postby Lilifyre » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:46 am

My sincerest condolences to all who have lost a dear one. Within the last month my partner lost her mother. The woman was 85 and had been quite frail for some time. It's beautiful that music can say so much to the heart at times of transition such as this. As a tribute to my in-laws, I created a short video that I posted to YouTube in memory of this dear woman. No, I didn't use any of Leonard's songs, but I did use one of my favorite songs of all time. I plan on creating a longer video tribute for the family, using many of the pictures of my partner and her siblings as children. In that one I will undoubtedly use several of Leonard's songs: Nightingale, Hallelujah, Love Itself, The Window, Alexandra Leaving, Sisters of Mercy, and possibly a few others.

Here is the brief tribute that I posted on YouTube. It was my first effort at something like this, and even tho it is not a Leonard song, I rather like the way it turned out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBrpHhBUZpA

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."

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