Archivo de la categoría: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: My oh my!!

Wasn’t hard to love you…

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FAREWELL MR COHEN

YOU WANT IT DARKER

If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame
Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord
There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame
They’re lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker
Hineni, hineni
I`M READY MY LORD!
Hineni: Esta palabra es la que Dios espera de su criatura cuando sale a su encuentro y le pregunta “¿dónde estas?”. La respuesta a esta pregunta de Dios es “Heme aquí o aquí estoy”
leonard-cohen-you-want-it-darker

LEONARD COHEN: 82

El 21 de septiembre Leonard Cohen cumplió 82. Publico como homenaje una antología de algunas de sus mejores canciones a laespera de su inminente nueva entrega, “You want it darker”. Dejando de lado lo más obvio (himnos como “Suzanne” o “Hallelujah”), ofrezco una selección de 14 canciones viejas y nuevas que considero significativas y emocionantes:

 

DID I EVER LOVE YOU? (POPULAR PROBLEMS, 2014)

 

Did I ever love you?

Did I ever need you?

Did I ever fight you?

Did I ever want you?

 

Did I ever leave you?

Was I ever able?

Or are we still leaning

Across the old table?

 

[Chorus]

Did I ever love you?

Did I ever need you?

Did I ever fight you?

Did I ever want you?

 

Did I ever leave you?

Was I ever able?

And are we still leaning

Across the old table?

 

[Verse]

Was it ever settled?

Was it ever over?

And is it still raining

Again in November?

 

The lemon trees blossom

The almond trees wither

 

Was I ever someone

Who could love you forever?

 

[Chorus]

Was it ever settled?

Was it ever over?

And is it still raining

Back in November?

 

The lemon trees blossom

The almond trees wither

It’s spring and it’s summer

And it’s winter forever

 

[Verse]

Did I ever love you?

Does it really matter?

Did I ever fight you?

You don’t need to answer

 

DId I ever leave you?

Was I ever able?

And are we still leaning

Across the old table?

 

[Repeat Chorus 1] x2

 

MY OH MY OH MY (POPULAR PROBLEMS, 2014)

 

[Verse]

Wasn’t hard to love you

Didn’t have to try

Wasn’t hard to love you

Didn’t have to try

 

[Chorus]

Held you for a little while

My, oh, my, oh my

Held you for a little while

My, oh, my, oh my

 

[Verse]

Drove you to the station

Never asked you why

Drove you to the station

Never asked you why

[Chorus]

 

[Verse]

All the boys are waving

Trying to catch your eye

All the boys are waving

Trying to catch your eye

 

[Chorus]

 

[Repeat Verse 1 + Chorus]

 

CRAZY TO LOVE YOU (OLD IDEAS, 2012)

 

Had to go crazy to love you

Had to go down to the pit

Had to do time in the tower

Begging my crazy to quit

 

Had to go crazy to love you

You who were never the one

Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache

Her braids and her blouse all undone

 

Sometimes I’d head for the highway

I’m old and the mirrors don’t lie

But crazy has places to hide in

Deeper than saying goodbye

 

Had to go crazy to love you

Had to let everything fall

Had to be people I hated

Had to be no one at all

 

I’m tired of choosing desire

Been saved by a sweet fatigue

The gates of commitment unwired

And nobody trying to leave

 

Sometimes I’d head for the highway…

 

Had to go crazy to love you

You who were never the one

Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache

Her braids and her blouse all undone.

 

GOING HOME (OLD IDEAS, 2012)

 

I love to speak with Leonard

He’s a sportsman and a shepherd

He’s a lazy bastard

Living in a suit

 

But he does say what I tell him

Even though it isn’t welcome

He just doesn’t have the freedom

To refuse

 

He will speak these words of wisdom

Like a sage, a man of vision

Though he knows he’s really nothing

But the brief elaboration of a tube

 

Going home

Without my sorrow

Going home

Sometime tomorrow

Going home

To where it’s better

Than before

 

Going home

Without my burden

Going home

Behind the curtain

 

Going home

Without the costume

That I wore

 

He wants to write a love song

An anthem of forgiving

A manual for living with defeat

 

A cry above the suffering

A sacrifice recovering

But that isn’t what I need him

to complete

 

I want to make him certain

That he doesn’t have a burden

That he doesn’t need a vision

That he only has permission

 

To do my instant bidding

Which is to SAY what I have told him

To repeat

 

Going home…

 

I love to speak with Leonard

He’s a sportsman and a shepherd

He’s a lazy bastard

Living in a suit

 

IN MY SECRET LIFE (TEN NEW SONGS, 2001)

 

I saw you this morning.

You were moving so fast.

Can’t seem to loosen my grip

On the past.

And I miss you so much.

There’s no one in sight.

And we’re still making love

In My Secret Life.

 

I smile when I’m angry.

I cheat and I lie.

I do what I have to do

To get by.

But I know what is wrong,

And I know what is right.

And I’d die for the truth

In My Secret Life.

 

Hold on, hold on, my brother.

My sister, hold on tight.

I finally got my orders.

I’ll be marching through the morning,

Marching through the night,

Moving cross the borders

Of My Secret Life.

 

Looked through the paper.

Makes you want to cry.

Nobody cares if the people

Live or die.

And the dealer wants you thinking

That it’s either black or white.

Thank God it’s not that simple

In My Secret Life.

 

I bite my lip.

I buy what I’m told:

From the latest hit,

To the wisdom of old.

But I’m always alone.

And my heart is like ice.

And it’s crowded and cold

In My Secret Life.

 

A THOUSAND KISSES DEEP (TEN NEW SONGS, 2001)

 

The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat.

You win a while, and then it’s done –

Your little winning streak.

And summoned now to deal

With your invincible defeat,

You live your life as if it’s real,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.

You lose your grip, and then you slip

Into the Masterpiece.

And maybe I had miles to drive,

And promises to keep:

You ditch it all to stay alive,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

 

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,

We gather up our hearts and go,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

 

Confined to sex, we pressed against

The limits of the sea:

I saw there were no oceans left

For scavengers like me.

I made it to the forward deck.

I blessed our remnant fleet –

And then consented to be wrecked,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

 

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.

I guess they won’t exchange the gifts

That you were meant to keep.

And quiet is the thought of you,

The file on you complete,

Except what we forgot to do,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

 

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,

We gather up our hearts and go,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

 

The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat.

 

ALEXANDRA LEAVING (TEN NEW SONGS, 2001)

 

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.

 

I’M YOUR MAN (I’M YOUR MAN, 1988)

 

If you want a lover,

I’ll do anything you ask me to

And if you want another kind of love,

I’ll wear a mask for you

If you want a partner, take my hand

Or if you want to strike me down in anger,

Here I stand

I’m your man

 

If you want a boxer,

I will step into the ring for you

And if you want a doctor,

I’ll examine every inch of you

If you want a driver, climb inside

Or if you want to take me for a ride,

You know you can

I’m your man

 

Ah, the moon’s too bright

The chain’s too tight

The beast won’t go to sleep

I’ve been running through these promises to you

That I made and I could not keep

But a man never got a woman back,

Not by begging on his knees

Or I’d crawl to you baby

And I’d fall at your feet

And I’d howl at your beauty

Like a dog in heat

And I’d claw at your heart

And I’d tear at your sheet

I’d say please, please

I’m your man

 

And if you’ve got to sleep

A moment on the road,

I will steer for you

And if you want to work the street alone,

I’ll disappear for you

If you want a father for your child,

Or only want to walk with me a while

Across the sand

I’m your man…

 

TOWER OF SONG (I’M YOUR MAN, 1988)

 

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey

I ache in the places where I used to play

And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on

I’m just paying my rent every day

In the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?

Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet

But I hear him coughing all night long

A hundred floors above me

In the Tower of Song

 

I was born like this, I had no choice

I was born with the gift of a golden voice

And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond

They tied me to this table right here

In the Tower of Song

 

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll

I’m very sorry, baby, doesn’t look like me at all

I’m standing by the window where the light is strong

Ah they don’t let a woman kill you

Not in the Tower of Song

 

Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure

The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor

And there’s a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong

You see, you hear these funny voices

In the Tower of Song

 

I see you standing on the other side

I don’t know how the river got so wide

I loved you baby, way back when

And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed

But I feel so close to everything that we lost

We’ll never have to lose it again

 

Now I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back

There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track

But you’ll be hearing from me baby, long after I’m gone

I’ll be speaking to you sweetly

From a window in the Tower of Song

 

Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey

I ache in the places where I used to play

And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on

I’m just paying my rent every day

Oh in the Tower of Song

 

AIN’T NO CURE FOR LOVE (I’M YOUR MAN, 1988)

 

I loved you for a long, long time

I know this love is real

It don’t matter how it all went wrong

That don’t change the way I feel

And I can’t believe that time’s

Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure for love

I’m aching for you baby

I can’t pretend I’m not

I need to see you naked

In your body and your thought

I’ve got you like a habit

And I’ll never get enough

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure for love

 

There ain’t no cure for love

There ain’t no cure for love

All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky

The holy books are open wide

The doctors working day and night

But they’ll never ever find that cure for love

There ain’t no drink no drug

(Ah tell them, angels)

There’s nothing pure enough to be a cure for love

 

I see you in the subway and I see you on the bus

I see you lying down with me, I see you waking up

I see your hand, I see your hair

Your bracelets and your brush

And I call to you, I call to you

But I don’t call soft enough

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure for love

 

I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go

When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul

I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much

It’s written in the scriptures

It’s written there in blood

I even heard the angels declare it from above

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure,

There ain’t no cure for love

 

There ain’t no cure for love

There ain’t no cure for love

All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky

The holy books are open wide

The doctors working day and night

But they’ll never ever find that cure,

That cure for love

 

 FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN (I’M YOUR MAN, 1988)

 

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom

For trying to change the system from within

I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens

I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin

I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

 

I’d really like to live beside you, baby

I love your body and your spirit and your clothes

But you see that line there moving through the station?

I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

 

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win

You know the way to stop me, but you don’t have the discipline

How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

 

I don’t like your fashion business mister

And I don’t like these drugs that keep you thin

I don’t like what happened to my sister

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

 

I’d really like to live beside you, baby …

 

And I thank you for those items that you sent me

The monkey and the plywood violin

I practiced every night, now I’m ready

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

 

I am guided…

 

Ah remember me, I used to live for music

Remember me, I brought your groceries in

Well it’s Father’s Day and everybody’s wounded

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

 

IF IT BE YOUR WILL (VARIOUS POSITIONS, 1984)

 

If it be your will

That I speak no more

And my voice be still

As it was before

I will speak no more

I shall abide until

I am spoken for

If it be your will

 

If it be your will

If a voice be true

From this broken hill

I will sing to you

From this broken hill

All your praises they shall ring

If it be your will

To let me sing

 

If it be your will

If there is a choice

Let the rivers fill

Let the hills rejoice

Let your mercy spill

On all these burning hearts in hell

If it be your will

To make us well

 

and draw us near

Oh bind us tight

All your children here

In their rags of light

In our rags of light

All dressed to kill

And end this night

If it be your will

 

If it be your will.

 

CHELSEA HOTEL NO. 2 (NEW SKIN FOR THE OLD CEREMONY, 1974)

 

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,

you were talking so brave and so sweet,

giving me head on the unmade bed,

while the limousines wait in the street.

Those were the reasons and that was New York,

we were running for the money and the flesh.

And that was called love for the workers in song

probably still is for those of them left.

 

Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,

you just turned your back on the crowd,

you got away, I never once heard you say,

I need you, I don’t need you,

I need you, I don’t need you

and all of that jiving around.

 

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel

you were famous, your heart was a legend.

You told me again you preferred handsome men

but for me you would make an exception.

And clenching your fist for the ones like us

who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,

you fixed yourself, you said, “Well never mind,

we are ugly but we have the music.”

 

Ah then you got away, didn’t you babe,

you just turned your back on the crowd,

you got away, I never once heard you say,

I need you, I don’t need you,

I need you, I don’t need you

and all of that jiving around.

 

I don’t mean to suggest that I loved you the best,

I can’t keep track of each fallen robin.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,

that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often.

 

SISTERS OF MERCY (SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN, 1967)

 

Oh the sisters of mercy

They are not departed or gone

They were waiting for me

When I thought that I just can’t go on

And they brought me their comfort

And later they brought me this song

Oh I hope you run into them

You who’ve been traveling so long

 

Yes you who must leave everything

That you cannot control

It begins with your family

But soon it comes round to your soul

Well, I’ve been where you’re hanging

I think I can see how you’re pinned

When you’re not feeling holy

Your loneliness says that you’ve sinned

 

They lay down beside me

I made my confession to them

They touched both my eyes

And I touched the dew on their hem

If your life is a leaf

That the seasons tear off and condemn

They will bind you with love

That is graceful and green as a stem

 

When I left they were sleeping

I hope you run into them soon

Don’t turn on the lights

You can read their address by the moon

And you won’t make me jealous

If I hear that they sweetened your night

We weren’t lovers like that

And besides it would still be all right

 

We weren’t lovers like that

And besides it would still be all right

 

 

Leonard Cohen: Gift and How to speak Poetry

Leonard Cohen: Gift

You tell me that silence

is nearer to peace than poems

but if for my gift

I brought you silence

(for I know silence)

you would say

    This is not silence

    this is another poem

and you would hand it back to me

leonard-cohen-1960s the_spice_box_of_earth_front

from The Spice-Box of Earth / La caja de especias de la tierra (1961)

Me dices que el silencio

está más cerca de la paz

que los poemas,

pero si, como regalo,

te ofreciera silencio

(porque conozco el silencio),

entonces me dirías:

 Esto no es silencio,

     esto es otro poema.

y me lo devolverías immediatamente

Leonard Cohen: How to speak Poetry

From Death of a Lady’s Man (1978)

Take the word butterfly. To use this word it is not necessary to make the voice weigh less than an ounce or equip it with small dusty wings. It is not necessary to invent a sunny day or a field of daffodils. It is not necessary to be in love, or to be in love with butterflies. The word butterfly is not a real butterfly. There is the word and there is the butterfly. If you confuse these two items people have the right to laugh at you. Do not make so much of the word. Are you trying to suggest that you love butterflies more perfectly than anyone else, or really understand their nature? The word butterfly is merely data. It is not an opportunity for you to hover, soar, befriend flowers, symbolize beauty and frailty, or in any way impersonate a butterfly. Do not act out words. Never act out words. Never try to leave the floor when you talk about flying. Never close your eyes and jerk your head to one side when you talk about death. Do not fix your burning eyes on me when you speak about love. If you want to impress me when you speak about love put your hand in your pocket or under your dress and play with yourself. If ambition and the hunger for applause have driven you to speak about love you should learn how to do it without disgracing yourself or the material.

What is the expression which the age demands? The age demands no expression whatever. We have seen photographs of bereaved Asian mothers. We are not interested in the agony of your fumbled organs. There is nothing you can show on your face that can match the horror of this time. Do not even try. You will only hold yourself up to the scorn of those who have felt things deeply. We have seen newsreels of humans in the extremities of pain and dislocation. Everyone knows you are eating well and are even being paid to stand up there. You are playing to people who have experienced a catastrophe. This should make you very quiet.  Speak the words, convey the data, step aside. Everyone knows you are in pain. You cannot tell the audience everything you know about love in every line of love you speak. Step aside and they will know what you know because you know it already. You have nothing to teach them. You are not more beautiful than they are. You are not wiser. Do not shout at them. Do not force a dry entry. That is bad sex. If you show the lines of your genitals, then deliver what you promise. And remember that people do not really want an acrobat in bed. What is our need? To be close to the natural man, to be close to the natural woman. Do not pretend that you are a beloved singer with a vast loyal audience which has followed the ups and downs of your life to this very moment. The bombs, flame-throwers, and all the shit have destroyed more than just the trees and villages. They have also destroyed the stage. Did you think that your profession would escape the general destruction? There is no more stage. There are no more footlights. You are among the people. Then be modest. Speak the words, convey the data, step aside. Be by yourself. Be in your own room. Do not put yourself on.

This is an interior landscape. It is inside. It is private. Respect the privacy of the material. These pieces were written in silence. The courage of the play is to speak them. The discipline of the play is not to violate them. Let the audience feel your love of privacy even though there is no privacy. Be good whores. The poem is not a slogan. It cannot advertise you. It cannot promote your reputation for sensitivity. You are not a stud. You are not a killer lady. All this junk about the gangsters of love. You are students of discipline. Do not act out the words. The words die when you act them out, they wither, and we are left with nothing but your ambition.

Speak the words with the exact precision with which you would check out a laundry list. Do not become emotional about the lace blouse. Do not get a hard-on when you say panties. Do not get all shivery just because of the towel. The sheets should not provoke a dreamy expression about the eyes. There is no need to weep into the handkerchief. The socks are not there to remind you of strange and distant voyages. It is just your laundry. It is just your clothes. Don’t peep through them. Just wear them.

The poem is nothing but information. It is the Constitution of the inner country. If you declaim it and blow it up with noble intentions then you are no better than the politicians whom you despise. You are just someone waving a flag and making the cheapest kind of appeal to a kind of emotional patriotism. Think of the words as science, not as art. They are a report. You are speaking before a meeting of the Explorers’ Club of the National Geographic Society. These people know all the risks of mountain climbing. They honour you by taking this for granted. If you rub their faces in it that is an insult to their hospitality. Tell them about the height of the mountain, the equipment you used, be specific about the surfaces and the time it took to scale it. Do not work the audience for gasps ans sighs. If you are worthy of gasps and sighs it will not be from your appreciation of the event but from theirs. It will be in the statistics and not the trembling of the voice or the cutting of the air with your hands. It will be in the data and the quiet organization of your presence.

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty.

mjer

ROSENVINGE: HALLELUJAH

Christina versionando “her way” Leonard Cohen.

LEONARD COHEN IN BARCELONA: OLD IDEAS TOUR 3 OCTOBER 2012 PALAU SANT JORDI

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring…

You can add up the parts
But you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring…

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

ANTHEM

SÓC EL TEU HOME

Leonard Cohen: Sóc el teu home

 

Si vols un amant

faré tot el que em demanis
I si vols un altre tipus d’amor
portaré una màscara per tu
Si vols un company
pren la meva mà
O si vols colpejar-me amb ràbia
jo sóc aquí…
Sóc el teu home

Si vols un boxejador

pujaré al ring per tu
I si vols un metge
t’examinaré cada centímetre
Si desitjes un conductor
ja pots pujar
O si vols portar-me de passeig
ja saps que pots comptar amb mi…
Sóc el teu home

Ah, la lluna és molt brillant
La cadena tiba massa fort
La bèstia no s’anirà a dormir
He passat per sobre de les promeses

que et vaig fer i no podré complir

Però un home mai farà tornar una dona
pregant-li de genolls
M’arrossegaria cap a tu
i cauria als teus peus
i udolaria a la teva bellesa
igual que un gos en zel
i esgarraparia el teu cor
i esquinçaria els teus llençols
et diria si us plau, si us plau…
Sóc el teu home

I si has de dormir
un moment en el camí

jo conduiré per tu
I si vols fer el carrer tota sola
desapareixeré per tu
Si el que vols és un pare per al teu fill
o només vols caminar amb mi una estona
per la sorra
sóc el teu home

Si vols un amant
faré tot el que em demanis
o si vols una altra mena d’amor…