Most Evocative Songs

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Steven
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Most Evocative Songs

Postby Steven » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi,

Which Leonard Cohen songs do you find to be most evocative?
lonndubh
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby lonndubh » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:56 am

Hi Stephen.
Leaving Alexandra is the one I find most evocative.
How about you ?



Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The god of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.

Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure,
They gain the light, they formlessly entwine;
And radiant beyond your widest measure
They fall among the voices and the wine.

It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving,
A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for this to happen,
Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
Your firm commitments tangible again.

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked –
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.
John Etherington
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby John Etherington » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:38 am

Probably "Dress Rehearsal Rag" or "Sing Another Song Boys"!
Steven
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Steven » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:45 pm

Hi John,

Yes, those songs are very evocative. Their evocations, I find, are similar to some
songs of Townes Van Zandt, including "Marie" and "Waiting Around To Die."
Steven
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Steven » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:55 pm

Hi lonndubh,

"Alexandra Leaving" is evocative for me also, as it stirs up mixed feelings and a variety of visual elements. The first song that comes to me now as particularly evocative is "Famous Blue Raincoat." -- There are many other evocative songs, but that one does it for me from the first couple of lines on. Can't say it is the most evocative, but that it would be at or close to the top of the list.
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Diane
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Diane » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:06 am

Hi Steven. I'd say Joan of Arc. I can smell that song, and feel the fire.
Steven
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Steven » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:23 am

Hi Diane,

"Joan of Arc" is spirit made song. It is evocative and searing.
rmorgan
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby rmorgan » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:38 pm

I agree with all the above views ... Joan of Arc, Famous Blue Raincoat .. and the equally unique and evocative Alexandra Leaving. As well as these ... the lovely "If it Be Your Will" .. and "Anthem" ('there is a crack, a crack in everything ...'). Oh .. and Sisters of Mercy!!!

Love to all Cohen-ites!

Richard
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musicmania
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby musicmania » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:46 am

For me the first song that came to mind was So Long Marianne but also Anthem of course and at the moment If It Be Your Will. Recently a very close friend of mine passed away at an age much too young and while at The Webb Sisters concert on Friday night I was moved to tears during this song as I remembered my friend. Leonard's songs have a way of reaching deep inside me like no other songs can and I credit Anthem with changing my outlook in life and accepting that everything can't be perfect all the time and sometimes "cracks" are ok.
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Steven
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Steven » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:31 am

Hi musicmania,

Sorry that you experienced the loss of your friend. The song is valuable in its ability to connect with deep and personal experience, and in its cathartic possibilities.
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david birkett
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby david birkett » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:11 am

'It seems so long ago, Nancy' moves me to tears each time I hear it. I'm a relative latecomer to Cohen and the Forum, but I don't recall this song being much celebrated. Also, 'Avalanche', the enigmatic opacity (or sheer meaninglessness, perhaps?) and striking imagery of which I love.

David
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lightasabreeze
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby lightasabreeze » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:52 pm

.



'That's No Way to Say Goodbye' rather moves me.

Also 'Bird on the Wire' only because it always brings back the memories of my daughter when she still lived at home, so long ago now.
Every time I came home from work, even before my key was in the lock I could hear Leonard doing his stuff with 'Bird on the Wire' over and over and over while she did her homework.

Since then I have wondered how she concentrated on her homework with Leonard singing at the same time. I couldn't have done.
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ianinfrance
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby ianinfrance » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Not really much help, but they are all amazingly moving. I think the only honest answer - for me - would be to say the one I've just listened to. What an extraordinarily high quality output the man has.
All the best
Ian
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hydriot
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby hydriot » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:28 pm

Take This Longing
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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Kush
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Re: Most Evocative Songs

Postby Kush » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:05 pm

Hi Steven,

I'll go with Winter Lady, A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes, Joan of Arc and Seems so long ago, Nancy.

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