Saturday, August 30, 2008

There's a Blaze of Light In Every Word-

Remember Leonard Cohen? I didn't think much of him in the 70s when we used to smoke dope at Maxine's and eat toasted cheese and cucumber sandwiches and just chill after our KFC shift during our school days . . .he was just old and 'chill' I never thought much about his lyrics and certainly didn't think much of him as a singer. Tonight I watched a tribute to him and an amazing array of artists singing his songs and I'm not sure if it's age or what but all of a sudden his voice, his lyrics are pretty damn cool. LOTS of people have sung this song . . my favourite, without a doubt is Halleluja.

I thought it was actually about a relationship with heroin, maybe that's because I always associate it with addiction for a few reasons - maybe it's a love song - maybe it's about being trapped and frustrated - maybe it's about the emasculation of a lover or maybe it's just about love - apparently it's biblical, old testament stuff and a deeply moving love song.

The meaning of the song is left intentionally vague. King David in the Old Testament, both wrote Psalms (with the frequent repetition of the word “Hallelujah”) and engaged in an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, whom he saw bathing on her roof. But from there Cohen moves to a host of themes touching on spirituality, sex, sin, regret, repentance, and longing. I can identify with this song on so many levels.

The late Jeff Buckley did it justice, KD Lang's dulcit tones also warmed the heart but tonight it was Rufus Wainwright . . a rising star . . He is the son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, brother of Martha Wainwright, and half-brother of Lucy Wainwright Roche. So the gene pool is strong.

I used to love Kate and Ann McGarrigle's "Dancer with Bruised Knees". Clever cookies those Canucks.

So as I slip into the mystic, here's a little rendition of a most beautiful song . What do you think it's about?


14 comments:

Moon said...

Oh, I just thought it was great in Shrek ... I must concentrate more deeply on the meanings !

Grannymar said...

I often read blog posts about singers or yesteryear and today and wonder what all the fuss is about. The bold Leonard is the exception. He can invade my turntable anytime! :D Doesn't matter what the lyrics are, I'll be jelly on the floor at the end of the first line.

Nick said...

I think it's about a frustrated lover whose love has gone sour because his girlfriend doesn't love him any more and has pushed him away. Not sure about the cold and broken Hallelujah bit - surely it should be Woe is me?

Ces said...

Oh I love this song when KJ Lang sang it -I became a KD lang convert. I always get wrapped up in the lyrics of songs. I am such a sentimental fool. There are songs that don't have lyrics and one in particular reminds me of my young self in 1963, dancing with Father...oh SNAP! I think this song should be followed by Shirley Bassey's "Get the Party Started" while I prepare for the hurricane landfall. On second thought I may need the "Hallelujah".

kj said...

baino, whatever it's about, the song touches a deep lonely true part of me, and i thank you for sharing this version today. i'm always humbled by kd lang's verson but this one is equally and hauntingly beautiful.

some of leonard cohen's music always struck me as weird, but "suzanne" has always been one of my favorite songs of all time.

have a good weekend!@!

Jay said...

I love Leonard Cohen - but didn't discover him when he was first on the scene, not till the seventies, maybe early eighties. Now, I find his lyrics poetic (no surprise since he was a poet first) and haunting. And his voice is incredibly captivating.

My favourite at the moment is Closing Time. I think most of his songs are about relationships, some personal, like So Long, Marianne, and Suzanne, some more general or obscure, like The Sisters of Mercy.

Hallelujah seems to me to be about a personal relationship which he likens to the story of David. I think maybe he was chastised by his lover for blasphemy, but he's saying that the very act of love is spiritual to him so what does it matter what he actually says?

laughingwolf said...

ol cohen is still a poet, bless his aging soul....

Maria said...

Hi Baino, nice that you visited my place. I, must confess I, too, have not been to Prague or Paris, only to London and Rome, but I also want to do it sometimes...
When your daugher comes to Vienna, she could say hallo to us and we could show her the places where the young people meet.

Have a nice time! Maria

Baino said...

Thanks Maria I'll definitely visit again.

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Baino I enjoyed the show last night, especially Nick Cave and yeah I've got Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah on my playlist loop. What about the version by the Choir of Hard Knocks, brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it*!*

Excellent Adventures said...

Wow, you and this song need to get a room! I must admit it is beautiful. Makes me sad though...

Baino said...

*Tsup* Bimbimbie (someone has to do it now that Anon is gawwwwwwn). Yeh was good wasn't it, he actually looks better than ever the older he gets. Damn men and their distinguished grey. I watched the Choir of Hard Knocks, immense program, loved it. No w Nick Cave is a horse of a different colour yet again. . .love his stuff!

Hello baby girl . .c'mon, it's a lovely song . .added to my funeral song list (it's gonna be a long funeral) Log in, I'm online!

Jay said...

I just went and ordered two Leonard Cohen CDs on Play.com and it's all your fault! LOL!

I also updated my Billy Connolly thread, if you're interested.

Baino said...

Now Jay, that's hardly treadmill music! Thanks for satiating the curiosity re the jaggedy edge balaclava!