Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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mnkyface
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Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby mnkyface » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:34 am

Well, not really. :lol: Just saw this upload of the "I'm Your Man" documentary on YouTube. Though I've seen it a few times, I had completely forgotten that he sings the beginning of BiC at 0:15.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h679g8TM5Fk
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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Mabeanie1
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby Mabeanie1 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:10 pm

Thanks for that. It's a fascinating reminder that songs can take years and years to germinate, grow and bloom in their final form - if indeed Leonard's songs are ever "final". It wasn't just the new songs that he was changing the lyrics for over the course of the 2008-10 tours!

Wendy
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby dce » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Interestingly, as I noted in my other posting in this section, I recently picked up a copy of the not-particularly-interesting 2009 Omnibus Press book "The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen". Mostly this book just gives the lyrics to the recorded songs, but for each there is a small "commentary" written by Maurice Ratcliff.

Under the entry from "I Can't Forget", the commentary reads: "This song, included on I'm Your Man (1988), originally had an entirely different set of lyrics entitled 'Taken Out Of Egypt' and dealing with the Jewish Exodus as a 'metaphor for journey of the soul from bondage into freedom.' This had taken Cohen several months to write, but in the studio he found himself unable to sing it. These lyrics were hastily written so as not to waste the melody, with a somewhat less august and portentious theme. Perhaps, in what is essentially an extended literary riff on an old joke, the song itself journeyed out of bondage!"

Not really sure how accurate this commentary is, or what source Ratcliff used for his information ... but in light of the recent "emergence" of Born In Chains, it seems strangely related.


Dean (from Adelaide)
(For most of November 2010, I followed Leonard and the band as they toured around Australia and New Zealand. You can read about my wanderings on the blog I created to collect them all in one place: http://lcdownunder2010.wordpress.com/)
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brightnow
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby brightnow » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:39 pm

Dean, I think what you quoted is quite accurate. On Marie's site (Speaking Cohen) you can find an interview from Musician magazine (1988) talking about the album "I'm Your Man" with the following direct quote:
MUSICIAN: It's been three years since your last album. How did this one come about?

COHEN: Well, I hope I don't have to write a record like this again. I've always been slow, but this was very slow and tricky and it broke down a lot. And I had to leave it many times and I spent a lot of money and my judgments were all wrong. In the middle of the recording I realized that the lyrics were all wrong and they'd already taken a year or two to write.

For instance, "I Can't Forget" has that limpid kind of language that doesn't twist your arm at all. It's a dead, flat language that I like. But that song started off as a song about the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. As a metaphor for the journey of the soul from bondage into freedom. It started out, I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt / I was bound to a burden but the burden it was raised / Lord I can no longer keep this secret / Blessed is the name, the name be praised. It went on like that for a long, long time, and I went into the studio and tried to sing this song about how "I was born in chains and I was taken..." But I wasn't born in chains and I wasn't taken out of Egypt, and not only that, but I was on the edge of what was going to become a very serious nervous breakdown. So I hadn't had the burden lifted and the whole thing was a lie! It was wishful thinking.

And this song, "Taken Out of Egypt," took months and months to write. Nobody believes me when I say these things but I have the notebooks and I don't fill them in an evening. And there were many of them. So it wasn't as if I had an endless supply of songs: I had to start over. And I was saying to myself, "What is my life?" and that's when I started writing that lyric: I stumble out of bed / I got ready for the struggle / I smoked a cigarette / And I tightened up my gut / I said this can't be me / Must be my double / And I can't forget / I can't forget / But I don't remember what. That was really true.
http://www.webheights.net/speakingcohen/mus0788.htm
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tomsakic
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Born in Chains aka Taken Out Of Egypt was indeed an early demo or even an outtake from I'm Your Man back in 1988. Even before the song premièred out of the blue in 2010, I put this song on the new album tracklist we started to keep here on the Forum two years ago (check the thread titled "Leonard Cohen Talks about First Album in a Decade" in News section), since I heard it in I'm Your Man back in 2005 and immediately recognized.
tomsakic wrote:2. Born in Chains - WORLD PREMIERE in Salzburg July 27, 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv6aZ945StQ
Sung by Leonard, Sharon, Hattie and Charlie; the album version will be by Leonard.

Earlier known as "Taken Out Of Egypt", it started as the original version of "I Can't Forget" and was discarded in 1987-88. Also titled at one point as "Born in Chains".

"[...] that song started off as a song about the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. As a metaphor for the journey of the soul from bondage into freedom. It started out, I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt / I was bound to a burden but the burden it was raised / Lord I can no longer keep this secret / Blessed is the name, the name be praised. It went on like that for a long, long time, and I went into the studio and tried to sing this song about how "I was born in chains and I was taken..." But I wasn't born in chains and I wasn't taken out of Egypt, and not only that, but I was on the edge of what was going to become a very serious nervous breakdown. So I hadn't had the burden lifted and the whole thing was a lie! It was wishful thinking. And this song, "Taken Out of Egypt," took months and months to write. Nobody believes me when I say these things but I have the notebooks and I don't fill them in an evening. And there were many of them. So it wasn't as if I had an endless supply of songs: I had to start over. And I was saying to myself, "What is my life?" and that's when I started writing that lyric: I stumble out of bed / I got ready for the struggle / I smoked a cigarette / And I tightened up my gut / I said this can't be me / Must be my double / And I can't forget / I can't forget / But I don't remember what. That was really true." (Leonard Cohen, interviewed by Mark Rowland, "Leonard Cohen's Nervous Breakthrough", Musician, July 1988

Leonard can be heard mumbling these lines "I was born in chains" etc. to the unknown melody in Lian Lunson's 2005 documentary Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. That's when I got the clue that he works on this old song again. Out of the blue, he premièred it on the sound check in Zagreb, July 25, and in public show two days later in Salzburg, July 27. Since then the song is included in every show of the European Summer tour of 2010. I am still honoured that I was only person in the audience in the empty Zagreb Arena on July 25 afternoon soundcheck.

Versions from Sligo July 31, with recitation of the lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f37lh9LqRs, Malmo August 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDBOhN0V-Ew, Goteborg August 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0fT0SH57EA, Odense August 14: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AfMWBuWl7U, Berlin August 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31fRbKyq1is, Gent August 22: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkndB4KcXtM

Unfortunately, it seems that leonardcohenlive.com has gone into the history, so I cannot link you the history and lineage of those old songs-in-process. That nice website had section called Storeroom, where I wrote the page about Cohen's 1980-2005 outtakes and demos - it was a list with references to various articles, Jim Devlin's work etc. E.g., Leonard recited In My Secret Life in 1988, in Helsinki, stating it's from the new song. A Thousand Kisses Deep can be hear in its first version on 1992 album The Hunter by Jennifer Warnes, titled Way Down Deep (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvcBQWRtqoQ). Anjani's Never Got To Love You was actually the original, discarded demo of Closing Time back in 1991, while on the manuscript of Closing Time (which is on The Essential Leonard Cohen website) you can see, on one page, the manuscript of Undertow, written in 1992. Etc.
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tomsakic
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:46 pm

Look at this 1995 "news" ... :P

>>> http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/news0.html
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby Citizen_Kane » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:45 pm

tomsakic wrote: Unfortunately, it seems that leonardcohenlive.com has gone into the history
Ha, finally someone who noticed that too. Thanks Tom for stating that here, I thought my Internet was just bad.
Do you have any idea what happened to Leonardcohenlive.com?

I thought it was such a good, well-kept, and very comprehensive database of LC's song and tour history. Too bad to see it suddenly gone (like twoshakesofalambstail).

Anyway, there is always the Wayback Machine, so leonardcohenlive.com can still be accessed (at least as it was on 22 May 2008)
http://web.archive.org/web/200805221531 ... nlive.com/

Also, the Store Room you referred to above is also still accessible through the Wayback Machine:
http://web.archive.org/web/200804240738 ... reroom.htm
2008: Manchester, Brussels (2), Rotterdam - 2009: Lisboa - 2010: Lille, Dortmund - 2012: Ghent (3), Amsterdam (2) - 2013: Antwerp, Oberhausen, Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam!
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Davido
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby Davido » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Citizen_Kane wrote:
tomsakic wrote: Unfortunately, it seems that leonardcohenlive.com has gone into the history
Ha, finally someone who noticed that too. Thanks Tom for stating that here, I thought my Internet was just bad.
Do you have any idea what happened to Leonardcohenlive.com?

I thought it was such a good, well-kept, and very comprehensive database of LC's song and tour history. Too bad to see it suddenly gone (like twoshakesofalambstail).

Anyway, there is always the Wayback Machine, so leonardcohenlive.com can still be accessed (at least as it was on 22 May 2008)
http://web.archive.org/web/200805221531 ... nlive.com/

Also, the Store Room you referred to above is also still accessible through the Wayback Machine:
http://web.archive.org/web/200804240738 ... reroom.htm
I used to use the' leonardcohenlive' site a lot - so I was concerned about the prospect of it disappearing, and so made some enquiries.
I have been told that it will restart soon under the auspices of another forum member.
The title may change.
I will keep you informed when there are any developments.
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drsing
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby drsing » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:17 pm

Citizen_Kane wrote:
tomsakic wrote: I have been told that it will restart soon under the auspices of another forum member.
Let's hope so :!:
BTW Which member :?: It's not me ;-)
1985 Rotterdam
1988 Amsterdam
1993 The Hague
2008 Manchester, Brussels (2x), Rotterdam
2009 Lisboa
2010 Dortmund
2012 Ghent 2012 (2x), Amsterdam 2012 (2x)
2013 Antwerp, Oberhausen, Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
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Joe Way
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby Joe Way » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:26 pm

tomsakic wrote:Look at this 1995 "news" ... :P

>>> http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/news0.html
Look at this 1995 "news" ... :P

>>> http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/news0.html
Wow, Tom!
I had never seen that before. Among other very interesting tidbits, I had no idea that Leonard not only likes Ice Hockey but that he played left defenseman.

This must come from around the time that Jarkko started this website. Thanks very much for bringing it up.

I was speaking with a young cousin of mine this weekend, and trying to explain my admiration of the depth of spirit in Leonard's music and thought that I would play "I Can't Forget" and "Born in Chains" while explaining the process that Leonard used in evolving these great songs.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
MaryB
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby MaryB » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:16 pm

Thanks for the link Tom. Being partial to reggae, I wish his 'There's a Light in Jamaica' had come to fruition.

Best regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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tomsakic
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Re: Born in Chains- 2005 "performance"

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:22 am

1985 version is now available, if you download (from dimeadozen) the whole show with soundcheck - that's Munster 1985 recording.

Quite recently I was in Krakow and met our Forum member Artur/banalny - he showed me the offline version of new leonarcohenlive.com in his laptop. So it is coming soon I guess:) Jean-Francois couldn't keep the site running anymore so Artur took over.

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