Songs For Rebecca – The Lost Leonard Cohen Album: The Songs

Songs For Rebecca – The Lost Leonard Cohen Album

This is the third and final post in the Songs For Rebecca – The Lost Leonard Cohen Album series.1 Previous posts include a discussion of the name of the project, i.e., Songs For Rebecca, was previously published at Leonard Cohen’s Abandoned Album – Songs For Rebecca: Who’s Rebecca? and Collaborator John Lissauer On The Project, How It Began, & How It Ended. This post examines and offers live performances of the tracks recorded for this project.

The Songs Of Songs For Rebecca

Determining which songs were destined for Songs For Rebecca is not an easy task. Lists vary from one source to another, some songs were written specifically for the project, some were revisions of previously recorded songs, the names of some songs changed when they were re-worked later…

William Ruhlmann, writing in The Stranger Music of Leonard Cohen (Goldmine, February 19, 1993) describes the tracks recorded for Songs For Rebecca – and offers support for “The Lost Leonard Cohen Album” part of the title of this series:

After the album’s [the album was New Skin For The Old Ceremony] release, Cohen and Lissauer began work on a new album that has never been released. “We did, I’d say, a side and a half,” Cohen recalls, “I mean, six or seven songs together. I don’t know why I squelched that. It just didn’t have the… It had some great tunes on it, and I finally used one of them, “Came So Far From Beauty,’ on a record [1979’s Recent Songs]. But there were lots of tunes. There was ‘Guerrero,’ that nobody’s ever heard or seen, but we did it on the tour and recorded it. There was an early song called ‘Anthem,’ no relation to this ‘Anthem’ [on The Future]. I can’t find the thing, I can’t find the tapes of it.”

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  1. A more precise title might be “Songs For Rebecca – The Abandoned Leonard Cohen Album” – but “Lost Album” is more dramatic and, as it turns out, accurate as well. But, more about that later in this post. []

“Many people rush to embrace the description and I just don’t like the company” Leonard Cohen On The Title Of Poet


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It’s due to the process of cultural advertising which has the same effect as commercial advertising. Certain words [in this case, ‘poet’] become devalued and, not only that, but many people rush to embrace the description and I just don’t like the company.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Harry Rasky’s The Song Of Leonard Cohen, filmed in 1979. Originally posted May 21, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I would never assume that title [poet] until it’s been awarded me by a very good and long performance.” Leonard Cohen 1961

spicebox-bk

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I think the term ‘poet’ is a very exalted term and should be applied to a man at the end of his work. When he looks back over the body of his work and he’s written poetry then let the verdict be that he’s a poet. But I would never assume that title until it’s been awarded me by a very good and long performance.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From June 16, 1961 CBC interview with Leonard Cohen. Image atop post is the back cover of The Spice Box Of Earth (1973). Photo by Sophie Baker. Originally posted May 21, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection: Copenhagen – August 25, 2012

This I bought for me in a wheel-chair, and one place for my assistant. I had a dream I would suddenly go up from that chair – by the singing of my idol Leonard Cohen – and dance and chant: A MIRACLE!

It did not happen – I was in hospital on the day of the concert. So – here is an unused ticket. – To a Danish Rosegarden, in Copenhagen.

Life is not always like you planned —

Sidsel Bryde

DrHGuy Note: I am especially taken with Sidsel’s story because it resonates with an experience of my own: Cry (If You Want To): Souvenirs Of The Holly Cole Concert Julie & I Didn’t Attend

Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection

Sidsel’s tickets along with her accompanying memory are an early contribution to the Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection. The concept is that such a collection would prove valuable and enlightening. Toward that end, we’re inviting readers to send in scans or photos of their Leonard Cohen concert tickets to Please enter “Leonard Cohen Tickets” in the Subject Line. We also invite you to add a brief note if the tickets or the show itself holds special meaning.

The goal is to put together a collection for posting and possibly publication.

Be aware that any tickets and information you send may be posted at Cohencentric.com or published elsewhere. Each ticket will include a credit; if you do not wish your real name used, please indicate an acceptable alias. The credits will not include other identifying data, such as email or postal addresses.

“This is my adventure. My greatest need is to be interesting to myself.” Leonard Cohen

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Sometimes I feel that my life is a sell-out and that I’m the greatest comedian of my generation. But I have to keep going. I can’t remain fifteen and a virgin. So now I’m thirty-six and greedy. I’m willing to be this. I was once never able to stay in the same room with four people. Only a girl who adored me. I feel better now. The more vulgar I get, the more concerned with others I get. I’m trying to cure myself and the only way to cure myself is to take over the world. This is my adventure. My greatest need is to be interesting to myself. Suffering has led me to wherever I am. Suffering has made me rebel against my own weakness.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Wants the Unconditional Leadership of the World by Susan Lumsden (Weekend Magazine: Sept 12, 1970). Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174

 

“[Hydra in the early 1960s] was full of creative and eccentric people. There was a young poet from Canada there whose name was Leonard Cohen. He used to borrow my guitar and sing union songs because he wasn’t really writing songs back then. I would sing in bars for free drinks.” Julie Felix


Once more with Julie Felix: at 80, the folk star playing after all these years by Vanessa Thorpe (Th Guardian: May 19, 2018)

Julie Felix & Leonard Cohen ‘Hey,That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ 1968

“When you have those moments where you inform yourself of something that wasn’t immediately apparent, that’s when it becomes interesting.” Leonard Cohen On Songwriting

In many ways, [your 1992 album] The Future picked up on what was in the air and became almost prophetic.

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I think that sensibility is nothing you can summon, but it really arises if you keep uncovering the song and trying to get beneath the slogan – either the emotional slogan or the political slogan. So much of the work that I hear, there’s nothing wrong with it, but much of it has the feel of a slogan or an agenda that’s already been written. It’s a perfectly good slogan, and there are interesting variations on it. But if you’re interested in forming yourself through your work, which I think is more interesting, then you have to keep uncovering and discarding those slogans until you get something. When you have those moments where you inform yourself of something that wasn’t immediately apparent, that’s when it becomes interesting.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead (and other things I learned from famous people) by Neil Strauss (The Truth About Lies: July 9, 2011)