Joan of Arc

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
agaj
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Joan of Arc

Postby agaj » Sun May 20, 2012 1:25 am

Maybe I'm wrong, or don't read enough posts in this forum, but there is one thing that really bothers me much. What happened to Joan of Arc? We all talk about the beauty of Suzanne, admire Birds on the Wire, Hallejuah, the Future and many many others but never even mention Joan of Arc? I have many LC's albums and collections of his songs, but Joan of Arc appears only once. Other songs can be easily found in many different places. Joan of Arc seems to have been forgotten. Why? The subtle melody, the depth of its lyrics is really incredible! I love the piece. For me it is one of the best Cohen's songs, which is unjustly so strongly neglected.I can't believe that there is really noone among LC's fans, who hasn't discovered the beauty of the masterpiece!That those who choose songs to appear in various collections have never come across Joan of Arc or decided that it is not good enough to be released once more. Perhaps I am asking a difficult question, but I would like to get to know why is this so?
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B4real
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby B4real » Sun May 20, 2012 2:29 am

Hi agaj and welcome to the forum,
agaj wrote:Maybe I'm wrong, or don't read enough posts in this forum, but there is one thing that really bothers me much. What happened to Joan of Arc?
The link below should answer some of your questions. There are 184 matches and 13 pages with further links to the individual threads. Happy reading!

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joyezekiel
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby joyezekiel » Sun May 20, 2012 6:45 am

Yes..... Joan of Arc is one of my favorite songs from my favorite album (if one is allowed to have such a thing!) Hearing it immediately transports me back to my student days.....

Despite that, I somehow can't imagine Leonard singing it in concert now...... not sure why though?
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rmorgan
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby rmorgan » Tue May 22, 2012 6:46 pm

Perhaps it is just too perfect, as it exists on Songs of Love and Hate, to be disturbed. :)
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Mabeanie1
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby Mabeanie1 » Tue May 22, 2012 7:58 pm

joyezekiel wrote:Yes..... Joan of Arc is one of my favorite songs from my favorite album (if one is allowed to have such a thing!) Hearing it immediately transports me back to my student days.....

Despite that, I somehow can't imagine Leonard singing it in concert now...... not sure why though?
If I remember correctly, he sang Joan of Arc in 1993 so I can't think of any reason why he should not sing it now - apart from the obvious one that is. The concerts were mostly over 3 hours long in 2010 and that was before the new album. Now they have the songs from Old Ideas to fit in as well! I think the issue will be more what can they drop from the typical 2008-10 set to make way for Old Ideas, not which old songs can be brought back!

Wendy
John Etherington
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby John Etherington » Tue May 22, 2012 10:09 pm

It's also strange how "Joan of Arc" has remained absent from the main Leonard compilation albums - even the "More Best Of" collection, the triple CD version of "The Essential Leonard Cohen" and the extended version of "Greatest Hits". To the best of my knowledge, it only appears on Mojo's "Introduction to Leonard Cohen".

I first heard Leonard sing the song at my first Leonard concert (Royal Albert Hall, May 1970). Strangely, I forgot that I'd already heard it when "Songs of Love and Hate" came out (it was only later that I found a letter where I'd mentioned it!). Of course, Leonard appears on the Jennifer Warne's "Famous Blue Raincoat" version, and as Wendy rightly said, it was sung in 1993 (and appears on "Cohen Live"). It also features in the 1988 "Austin City Limits" programme, coming in at approximately 33 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DO5pA641EE

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LisaLCFan
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Re: Joan of Arc

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue May 22, 2012 11:11 pm

As John notes, Joan of Arc (a rather stunning performance, I think!) can be found on the officially released Cohen Live album (it is a wonderful album agaj, you should definitely get it!).

I agree that it was a strange omission from Best Of, More Best of, and The Essential LC. But, of course, as far as I know, Leonard personally chose the songs for those albums, so he must have had his reasons for not including Joan of Arc. I also happen to think that the original studio version is the most perfect version: Leonard's mournful la-la-la's convey so much intense emotion! (And, I always love it when he sings a "duet" by himself.)

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