Meaning of "Death of a ladies' man"

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Sane Man
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Meaning of "Death of a ladies' man"

Postby Sane Man » Fri Dec 27, 2002 2:03 am

What do you think is the meaning behind the title of the album and the theme of the album? Does it have anything to do with Leonard Cohen's life situation at the time or any events that had happened to him? Was his life changing at the time so that he was going through a transition in life? I don't know any biographical facts about him, so I'm curious about this particular album and song title.

When listening to it I feel he is expressing a sort of humbleness towards women and in a way saying saying his appeal to them is gone. That he once had a sort of power and ability to make women fall in love with him (being a ladies' man, he has been called a 'womanizer', hasn't he?), and that he with the title of the album says that this has come to an end.

I have to admit that I'm fairly new to LC's music, so if I'm way off on this one, that's probably why. In any case I'm very interested in hearing some the more knowledgeable and experienced fans' thoughts on this.


Oh, and this is my first post here; I'm glad to be here!
"...and I'm neither left or right; I'm just staying home tonight getting lost in that hopeless little screen..."
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linmag
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Postby linmag » Sat Dec 28, 2002 11:59 pm

Hi, Sane Man,

Stina asked a very similar question to yours during an interview with Leonard a few years ago. Leonard said his reputation as a ladies' man was quite undeserved, and that he didn't need to try to put an end to it "the ladies took care of that". He added that he felt at a certain point that he "got creamed" in his personal relationships. You are probably absolutely right in your assumption that DOALM is about those feelings. In any case, your thoughts and feelings are as valid, and as welcome, here as those of any more informed member. I hope you will enjoy yourself here.
Linda

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
Sane Man
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Postby Sane Man » Sun Dec 29, 2002 11:46 pm

Thank you for the information and the warm welcome! What you wrote makes perfect sense when listening to the lyrics, it seems like "the women took care of ending that for him" regardless of to what extent he was a ladies man.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he could always get a lot of women, but was easily torn apart by many of them because he lacked the "wolf-like" attitude of the men and women who play that game.
"...and I'm neither left or right; I'm just staying home tonight getting lost in that hopeless little screen..."
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linmag
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Postby linmag » Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:46 am

He always seemed to me to be looking for an ideal woman who, by definition, did not exist. So any woman he got close to was bound to fail him sooner or later. Others have put it down to his own inability to commit. They are probably better informed than me, but I like my version better :wink:
Linda

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Mon Dec 30, 2002 5:59 am

Hi Linda and Sane Man,

I don't see where one necessarily precludes the other, Linda. Seems it may be hard to commit to the imperfect woman, while still waiting for the perfect one to appear. I agree, however, that the idealized woman has been an issue for Leonard, as well as a number of other men....and while we're at it, women too, regarding men. Hmm :wink: .

~Lizzytysh
Sane Man
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Postby Sane Man » Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:41 pm

lizzytysh wrote:Hi Linda and Sane Man,

I don't see where one necessarily precludes the other, Linda. Seems it may be hard to commit to the imperfect woman, while still waiting for the perfect one to appear. I agree, however, that the idealized woman has been an issue for Leonard, as well as a number of other men....and while we're at it, women too, regarding men. Hmm :wink: .

~Lizzytysh
Absolutely!
"...and I'm neither left or right; I'm just staying home tonight getting lost in that hopeless little screen..."
David26
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Re: Meaning of "Death of a ladies' man"

Postby David26 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:35 am

To my understanding, the song "Death of a ladies's man" is a complain about how hard is to get a girl when she is involved in an ideal passed relationship. A previous man whom all admires are put on.

The song begins with a man passing away (the relationship is over but only in space and time, but now it starts up in the inside): (lyric: "Ah the man she wanted all her life was hanging by a thread") and after that ending (she was pushed away), she undergoes a suffering due to her longings. So she fulls into the seeking of him in others men. And in that seeking, men have to do their best to take her. So she has to face lies and abuses of other real man. (lyric: "She said, "I'll make a place between my legs, I'll show you solitude.")

Then the woman of the song, because of feeling so alone, becomes a prostitute or promiscuous, but with the willing of keeping the previous love intact. She sells her sex but not her love inside (lyric: "This mental space is occupied and everything is mine."). But then, after many encounters she start to lost the passed away love. Time in healing all. (lyric: She said, "The art of longing's over and it's never coming back.") .

After time has passed, then both see each other again. So he was not literally dead. They just break up. And he is with a stupid young girl and she is still promiscuous. (lyric: The last time that I saw him he was trying hard to get a woman's education but he's not a woman yet. And the last time that I saw her she was living with some boy who gives her soul an empty room and gives her body joy).

In the last lines he expresses this complain about how hard is to get a woman because they normally have inside an ideal man. All the love she has missed (from him) because of this stupid faithful tendency over dead relationships.(lyric: "So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed. It would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed)

So how stupid is sometimes to waste time like this, being faithful to a dead relationship. (lyric: It's like our visit to the moon or to that other star. I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far".)

It seems to me that he wrote this song after the rejection of a woman who told him that sex was ok but nothing more as love is for her ideal men.


Great song indeed, as most of his work.

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