André Bastos Silva on the “Humor Gold” in Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel Lyrics

Does humor belong in music?

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The fact is that even in the most deep, tragic and serious music there is a lot of humor. I can remember Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel lyrics. This is a song about a hotel where Leonard got emotionally engaged with Janis Joplin. The most memorable line of that song is ‘You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you’d make an exception’ which for me is humor gold. This is poetry at its core but reaches us in the form of music with all the associated emotions it brings. And it’s such a sad song. Going to listen to it right now.quotedown2

André Bastos Silva

From 7 Questions for… The Rite of Trio (A Jazz Noise: 10 May 2017). Photo by Historystuff2 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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