Sunday, May 3, 2009

Leonard Cohen All The Way From China

As I speak, the Author of the title of this blog is down the street, on stage, letting it all hang out... and I'm not there to grovel.

Leonard Cohen is in town. I belong to the Leonard Cohen cult.

Some people prefer the Tom Waits cult. Or the Johnny Cash cult. Or the Kurt Cobain cult. Or the Lou Reed cult. Or the Tupac cult. Someday there will be a Randy Travis cult. (o you laugh now... but he who laughs first laughs laughs)

I first learned of Leonard when I belonged to the Jesus cult. I also had recently joined the Nina Simone cult. I'm still a card-carrying member of the Nina Simone cult. The Jesus cult is doing just fine without me.

So my Jesus posse at the time cultishly listened to Jeff Buckley, and being that Jesus people always like to find semi-secular songs that have a semi-christian message to them, we added Cohen's "Hallelujah" to our basement jamming repertoire. Go figure.

At the same time Nina's version of "Suzanne" entered my consciousness. And the rest is herstory.

After I left the Jesus cult, I couldn't get enough of Leonard Cohen as a writer. The friend with whom I briefly started a band (whatever came of 'the zen molesters'?) lent me his copy of "Beautiful Losers" and I never gave it back. He never gave me a copy of the songs we recorded.

I read "Strange Music" in place of my Bible. I burned "Suzanne" onto every mix I made for ever lover, friend, sibling who would take a mix from me.

And you know that she's half crazy/but that's why you want to be there.

I posted lyrics to "Hallelujah" above my toilet.

She's touched your perfect body with her mind.

I sometimes forget it's there, but guys who have to stand and take a piss see it. Leonard Cohen would be proud to know that someone occassionally reads his lyrics while taking a piss...

There was a time you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show it to me, do you?
I remember when I moved in you,
and the holy dove was moving too,
and every breath we drew was Hallelujah!

Jesus .... Eat Your Heart Out!


Hels said...

MOKB blog wrote: "The original MOKB Covers Project post of Hallelujah has been dead for many moons, but it is still one of the most commented on, linked up and talked about posts we've put together here at MOKB".

Most people receive 2,3 or 4 comments per posting. On Leonard Cohen, MOKB received hundreds. I have never seen anything like it.

Is there a second generation of Cohen fans? The adult children of 1960s and 1970s fans?

After your blogcatalog question, I closed the office door at lunchtime and played some of the songs again. Loudly :)


A Vecchioni said...

Can't argue with Leonard Cohen. He's one on the best lyricists in a long time...Bird on a Wire, Famous Blue Raincoat, Teachers, The Strangers Song...he's turned out some remarkable songs. Even the melodies are first rate.

Darla said...

hummm.... what attracted me to your blog was the name. i was hoping there would be a LC reference. i love LC! seen him 3 times this year. i am sorry you did not get to go see him. he is absolutely the best.

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