Excerpted from The Best Music Moments of ‘Transparent’ by Wondering Sound Staff Contributor (Wondering Sound: Nov 3, 2014)
Leonard Cohen, “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” (Episode 9)
In a ranking of best-named songs to fit plot points, this is easily the most brilliant. In Episode 9 (Looking Up), Shelly’s second husband Ed (Lawrence Pressman) is in a coma and Shelly is in agony waiting for him to die, as her kids are all too selfish to realize she needs help and is lonely, and Maura is the only one there to comfort her. While the Pfeffermans are in the kitchen plotting to off him with Percoset (save for Ali, who’s disgusted and the only one who’s shown any concern for Ed), we see Ed pull himself out of his bed and plunge toward the front door to escape. Then we cut to a scene early in Ed and Shelly’s relationship, where he tells a joke involving Alzheimer’s and the clap, and he says with a smile, “I’m just here to make you happy.” Ed raises his glass with a toast of “l’chaim” (“to life” in Hebrew), and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” by Leonard Cohen plays through the credits. It’s a sweet ode to Ed, who, while unable to speak in the present day, has always come across as endearing (when he escaped early in the show, he returned with a caricature and cotton candy), even though Shelly wrote him off as a pain in her ass. “Yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new/ in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,” Cohen sings, “But let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie/ your eyes are soft with sorrow/ Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.” — L.L.
Leonard Cohen – Hey That`s No Way To Say Goodbye