The Partisan

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Lazysuit
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:59 pm

The Partisan

Postby Lazysuit » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:41 pm

'An old woman gave us shelter..then the soldiers came, she died without a whisper'

This line bothers me. Why do the three young men leave her to die for their lives? It's horrible - Is it this horror that LC wants to convey?

But the three were hidden and the old woman 'died without a whisper'...Did they not know that she'd been murdered for them until too late? would they have stepped out anyway? Would this have meant all four would die?

I don't know, this line breaks me.

So heavy. Somehow this line is heavier than 'I've lost my wife and children'

No, I'm not asking for this to be lightened, explained. I just needed to share my feeling somewhere.
Vicomte
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Location: Saint Malo Bretagne

Re: The Partisan

Postby Vicomte » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:21 pm

I think this song shows quite clearly the utter horror and grotesqueness of war. I lived for sometime during the Franco era south of Barca in Spain, I knew several families that had lost loved ones many years before in the civil war and I get a lump in my throat on occasion when this song is sung....
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones
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abby
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Location: new mexico

Re: The Partisan

Postby abby » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:52 pm

Leonard didn't write that song, did he?
holydove
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Re: The Partisan

Postby holydove » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:28 am

abby wrote:Leonard didn't write that song, did he?
No, Leonard didn't write The Partisan. It was written in 1943 in French, by Anna Marly & Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie. It was translated into English by Hy Zaret.

Editing: Leonard didn't write the lyrics; but the musical arrangement is his.
Vicomte
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Re: The Partisan

Postby Vicomte » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:24 am

Yes, that is the one I first heard in France (where we live now)

Here it is :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZIDTHYmxcg
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones
Vicomte
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:49 am
Location: Saint Malo Bretagne

Re: The Partisan

Postby Vicomte » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:29 am

And this one is so very well known in France...........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRBZgOfwK20
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: The Partisan

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:46 pm

I don't want to explain anything to you lazysuit (I like this!!!)(It's not me, it's my clothes. Dress for lazyness : the XXIe century yuppy) I just need to share my feelings about this.

"There is no decent place to stand in a massacre."
A war, you know when it begins, you don't know when it ends, and what horrors with no name it will creates. Better not to start a war to being with. Agressivity is not necessarily to be embodied in violence. This song is the song of the Resistance. Now, when you were in the Resistance you were enroled volontarily in a war, you became a volunteer soldier so to speak, and sometimes (ha!), you know, soldiers have to die in order to "win".

In French it is an old man, not an old woman. His gender was lost in the traduction. 8) It was pretty confusing those war times. 8)

My understanding of this event is that this old person was caught because he/she be known to be in the Resistance, and not because people were hidden in the garret at this very moment. And this person died like a brave soldier.

I finish with another song.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
words and music by Pete Seeger
performed by Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
holydove
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Location: Connecticut

Re: The Partisan

Postby holydove » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:38 pm

Vicomte wrote:Yes, that is the one I first heard in France (where we live now)

Here it is :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZIDTHYmxcg
Thanks so much for the links, Vicomte. I've wanted to hear the previous versions, never got around to researching it, was planning to research it now that the topic came up again, & now you have saved me some time! I didn't have a chance to listen yet, but will do so asap - thanks again!

Editing: Now I've listened to both - very nice! Esp. the first one, which is the song we are familiar with, thanks to Mr. Cohen, & the musical arrangement is actually similar to Leonard's. It's lovely hearing the whole song in its French version. Thanks again!
Vicomte
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Re: The Partisan

Postby Vicomte » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:46 am

holydove, this is from the French LC site but in English although some of the spoken word is in French. The links to the different versions are sung in French or English languages. I hope you will find it quite interesting.

http://leonardcohensite.com/partisaneng.htm

I love this version, it is calm but it takes you there and you know what he is singing about, it is from this version that I think LC sings it with such conviction and the same calmness of a torrid time............. he knows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS5ENsFkcOM
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones
holydove
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: The Partisan

Postby holydove » Wed May 01, 2013 10:16 pm

Thank you for the additional links, Vicomte.

It's fascinating to hear Anna Marly doing the original version - I loved that! Mouloudji's rendition is indeed so beautiful & touching - very contemplative & oddly soothing, even though it's a song of such anguish - like you said, quite interesting! (Is that a clarinet in Mouloudji's version? - I couldn't quite tell for sure. . .). I also love the recording of LC in Warsaw, esp. when he inserts the words, "you who know, you who know", with such raw intense emotion. That's all I listened to so far, but I will return to hear more sometime soon. . .

Editing: actually, what I thought might be a clarinet (in Mouloudji's) could be an electronic keyboard/synth. . .
Tony
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Location: UK

Re: The Partisan

Postby Tony » Sat May 04, 2013 1:58 am

Here is the song sung by Anna Marly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTMe6-6VSuQ
Vicomte
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Re: The Partisan

Postby Vicomte » Sat May 04, 2013 2:15 am

There are several people's versions on the link that I put on previously, including of course, Anna Marley

Here is the link again.

http://leonardcohensite.com/partisaneng.htm
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones

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