“It really is about love and about affirming the existence of love” Leonard Cohen on being asked if he is “singing to God”

Does seeking this connection [“with something beyond your body, mind, and the frailty of the whole dismal situation”] mean that, in essence, Cohen is singing to God?

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You could put it that way, but – though this may be blasphemy – it transcends God as we might imagine we know God, transcends theology. In the end, it really is about love and about affirming the existence of love.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Songs Of Longing – The Joe Jackson Interview. The Irish Times: November 3, 1995. Accessed 05 April 2014 from LeonardCohenFiles

Note: Originally posted Apr 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Recommended Reading: Leonard Cohen’s Defense Of Wounded Love By Titus Techera

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Leonard Cohen’s Defense of Wounded Love by Titus Techera (National Review: July 14, 2016) is a thorough, dense analysis of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. It’s not a quick read but investing  the effort necessary to comprehend the ideas proffered is rewarded. I’ve excerpted one section as an example of the quality of this piece.

Baby, I’ve been here before:
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor,
I used to live alone before I knew you,
and I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch,
but listen, love — love is not some kind of victory march,
no, it’s a cold and it’s a very lonely Hallelujah!

This is the first direct address to a beloved. Again, the condition for addressing one’s beloved is the distinction between private and public, between secrets and authority, between the banal and the sublime. Love implies a kind of reciprocity that experience rarely confirms — poetry makes up the difference. We knew failed love makes men incredulous, but now we’re beginning a new half of the poem with a completed shift: It is the addressee who flies the flag; it is the singer or poet who disbelieves. The defeated lover alone can say, Love is not war and there is no victory march, therefore. There is more truth in the loneliness of the failed lover than in the enthusiasm of the successful one. The song of love gives succor to the wounded — not wings to the proud. Maybe beautiful songs compensate for ugly experiences. But that does not account for the source of beautiful songs.

Now, let’s briefly take the architectural imagery seriously: This is politics. The first half-stanza is about the house of the lonely: We all live there, vulnerable to love — openness to love precedes any actual experience, including failure. That awareness fends off the grandeur of the second half: Addressing the beloved as love itself, the lover blames love’s pageantry, what is called idealism. Like the reverse demonization suggested by the Pilgrims, it makes for tyranny. The pride of love triumphant is a perpetual threat. Eroticism might lead to a rebellion against the order of God; and not just in the Sixties. The cold, lonely song of praise is man’s authentic relation to God, devoid of political ambitions.

Leonard Cohen All-Stars: Top 10 Cohencentric Posts So Far In 2016

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New Leonard Cohen Song “You Want It Darker” In Peaky Blinders Garners 4 Of Top 10 Positions – But Not #1

Cohencentric commemorates today’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game with the lineup of our top 10 posts ranked in descending order of page views so far in 2016.1

10. Photo: Leonard Cohen & Friend With Ice Cream – 7 Years Ago

Photo: Leonard Cohen & Friend With Ice Cream – 7 Years Ago

9. Stellar Video: Born In Chains By Leonard Cohen With Sharon Robinson & The Webb Sisters – Las Vegas 2010

Stellar Video: Born In Chains By Leonard Cohen With Sharon Robinson & The Webb Sisters – Las Vegas 2010

8. The Nevermind Variations: Mysterious Changes In True Detective’s Theme Song By Leonard Cohen

The Nevermind Variations: Mysterious Changes In True Detective’s Theme Song By Leonard Cohen

7. Peaky Blinders Season 3, Including New Leonard Cohen Song, On Netflix May 31

Peaky Blinders Season 3, Including New Leonard Cohen Song, On Netflix May 31


Continue Reading →

  1. Note: Some of these posts were published before 2016 but only views garnered since Jan 1, 2016 are counted for this listing. []

Sign That The Apocalypse Is Upon Us – Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” Attributed To Alexandra Burke

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Alexandra Burke’s “Hallelujah”

This morning, while innocently following routine links referring to Leonard Cohen, DrHGuy found himself confronted by this entry at The X Factor Buzz:

Why hasn’t Alexandra Burke written more songs after “Hallelujah?”  That was such a great song for a first attempt. Where is she?1

Not unlike Jesus, DrHGuy wept.

fedoradividerNote to younger readers: “The Apocalypse is upon us” is an allusion to the end of days and second coming of Christ prophesied in the Book of Revelation; it is not the name of the latest song ostensibly written by Ms. Burke.))

Credit Due Department: Photo by Matt Brockwell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia

Note: Originally posted Apr 13, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. DrHGuy, unable to tolerate the combined impact of the content of this entry and the misspelling of “Hallelujah” and the errant punctuation and capitalization, has corrected these grammatical errors he is desperately trying to make himself believe are typos. []

Rufus Wainwright Leads Choir Of 1500 In Singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

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From the YouTube description:

It was a magical evening. 1500 hundred singers came to Luminato Festival at the Hearn Generating Station in Toronto. Daveed + Nobu (AKA DaBu) taught them back up parts to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, then Rufus Wainwright joined them on stage to sing lead. It was an EPIC NIGHT! to remember.

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Credit Due Department: Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who alerted me to this video.

Pro-Shot Video: Leonard Cohen’s Measured Masterpiece – “Hallelujah” Barcelona 1993

hall-baI did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Featuring Bob Metzger

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Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Barcelona: May 15 1993
Video from a1000kissesdeep

The backup singers on the 1993 tour were Julie Christensen & Perla Batalla. The band musicians were Bob Metzger (yep, the same Bob Metzger who played in the 2008-2010 World Tour): guitar and steel pedal guitar, Jorge Calderón: bass, Bill Ginn: keyboards, Paul Ostermayer: keyboards, saxophone. Bob Furgo: violin, keyboards, Steve Meador: drums.1

Note: Originally posted Sept 1, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. Is This What You Wanted by Jim Devlin, p 71 []