Leonard Cohen died at age 82

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November 10th, 2016 at 8:24:33 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Posts: 8379


I think his hedonistic homage to closing time is appropriate.


I think Hallelujah has been recorded by hundreds of different artists.
November 10th, 2016 at 8:59:15 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 108
Posts: 11342
Never heard of him till today. Looked
at his song list and none were familiar.
Irving Berlin, Jimmy Van Heusen, I
know their songs. I think Sinatra sang
every song Van Heusen wrote. His
real name was Chester Babcock, he
wore Van Heusen shirts so he changed
his name. Sinatra called him Chester
because Van Huesen didn't like it.

I have no idea why I never heard of
Cohen.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
November 10th, 2016 at 9:21:42 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5117
Quote: Evenbob


I have no idea why I never heard of
Cohen.


Some artists barely get off the alternative radio channels and you can miss most of their careers.

I can't think of the lady's name right now, but most of her hits were made big by other people.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
November 10th, 2016 at 10:39:34 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 720
Posts: 8379
Quote: Evenbob
I have no idea why I never heard of Cohen.


Suzanne was his first hit nearly 50 years ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX0CfFdk-jw

He never really was much of a singer and had a limited range. I don't think that any song he ever wrote was a big hit. He tended to win more awards for poetry than anything.

But he was virtual god for songwriters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGorjBVag0I
November 10th, 2016 at 10:44:01 PM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 3
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His biggest hit by far was Hallelujah covered by probably at least 100 artists. Even 'Even Bob' I am sure has heard someone cover it but not none who wrote it.
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
November 11th, 2016 at 12:09:55 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 108
Posts: 11342
Quote: kenarman
His biggest hit by far was Hallelujah covered by probably at least 100 artists. Even 'Even Bob' I am sure has heard someone cover it but not none who wrote it.


I've heard Willie Nelson sing it. I went
and listened to Cohen on youtube and
he's a terrible singer. But really, everybody
has heard Van Heusen's songs but who's
ever heard of him. I only know because
I've read 12 Sinatra biography's..
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
November 11th, 2016 at 6:44:57 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 321
Posts: 11090
Quote: Pacomartin
I think Hallelujah has been recorded by hundreds of different artists.


I've heard some covers of it. Recently after Gladwell covered it in his podcast, I browsed through the lyrics.

My questions are: what the hell? What's it supposed to be about?

I can only conclude it's a religion thing, and that the music has a more emotional impact than the lyrics. Unlike for instance:

When I saw you for the first time
Eyes the color of the ocean
Something moved inside of me
Long forgotten, lying broken.
Now I can't turn away
Watching you as you lay sleeping.
Can you hear winds of change?
Is this something to believe in?

I lost direction in the darkness
Couldn't stop my self from running
I could feel the Sun on my back
But I was afraid to let the light in.
Now I can't run anymore
Now I see this gift you bring me
Can you hear winds of change?
Maybe this loser's luck is turning
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 11th, 2016 at 7:00:34 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 3
Posts: 868
Quote: Nareed
I've heard some covers of it. Recently after Gladwell covered it in his podcast, I browsed through the lyrics.

My questions are: what the hell? What's it supposed to be about?

I can only conclude it's a religion thing, and that the music has a more emotional impact than the lyrics. Like for instance:

When I saw you for the first time
Eyes the color of the ocean
Something moved inside of me
Long forgotten, lying broken.
Now I can't turn away
Watching you as you lay sleeping.
Can you hear winds of change?
Is this something to believe in?

I lost direction in the darkness
Couldn't stop my self from running
I could feel the Sun on my back
But I was afraid to let the light in.
Now I can't run anymore
Now I see this gift you bring me
Can you hear winds of change?
Maybe this loser's luck is turning


Cohen apparently wrote 80 verses for the song but not all of them might even exist now. Certainly not all were recorded. He was tweaking the lyrics almost until he died. The song went nowhere until other singers started covering it.
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
November 11th, 2016 at 7:10:36 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 720
Posts: 8379
"To find that song, that urgent song, takes a lot of versions and a lot of work and a lot of sweat," Cohen told Paul Zollo in an interview for SongTalk magazine. There were some 80 verses drafted for Hallelujah, and later there would be another version still, somewhat bleaker in its conclusion:
Maybe there's a God above/
But all I ever learned from love/
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew ya/
It's not a cry that you hear at night/
It's not somebody who's seen the light/
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.

Although Leonard Cohen recorded the song in 1984 it got very little notice. Bob Dylan did perform it in 1988. John Cale from the 60's group "Velvet Underground" would record a version in the 1991 Cohen tribute album, "I'm Your Fan".


His version became the basis for most of the later covers and was used in the original soundtrack to the movie Shrek in 2001 (but with the overtly sexual bits omitted). But when the soundtrack was released the John Cale version was performed by Rufus Wainwright who was under contract. The Shrek movie first exposed the song to hundreds of millions of people


Jeff Buckley, based his version on Cale's cover, recorded a version for his album "Grace", in 1994. Buckley drowned in 1997 at the age of 30, so the song was not released as a single until 2007.

Quote: Nareed
IMy questions are: what the hell? What's it supposed to be about?


The lyrics are clearly sexual with religious overtones like a lot of Cohen songs.
November 11th, 2016 at 7:32:42 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 321
Posts: 11090
Quote: Pacomartin
"To find that song, that urgent song, takes a lot of versions and a lot of work and a lot of sweat," Cohen told Paul Zollo in an interview for SongTalk magazine.


I'm acquainted with that. Gladwell's podcast was about artists who toil on a work for a long time, vs those who just produce one after another. He also uses Cezanne and Picasso as examples.

The thing is, if it is "that urgent song," then one can infer it's something important to the artist. Maybe personally important. There are many such works, like Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," for example. And if it has become so popular, and people are moved by it, one can infer the lyrics have an emotional impact. But it's a song and not a poem, so the music at least contributes to that impact (set "Yesterday" to a dance beat and it becomes hilarious).

another such song, more or less, is "American Pie." I understand it. It tells of moments in history, though I'm not entirely clear on all of them, and of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The latter is in the refrain of "The day the music died." It's also the theme of the last verse depicting widespread shock and sadness, the part that goes:

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admired most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

Though I'm sure that's not a literal depiction, but more an expression of how the author felt that day.

It's also heavily laced with religion. But I get it. The chorus always moves me to tears.


Quote:
The lyrics are clearly sexual with religious overtones like a lot of Cohen songs.


Granted. but what is it about? what does it mean?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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