“It was a strange song indeed; it was out of myself and contained the notion of reverence.” Leonard Cohen On Joan of Arc


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[Joan of Arc] was a strange song indeed; it was out of myself and contained the notion of reverence. When I recorded that song I will admit to having a strong religious feeling. I don’t think it’ll happen again.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Regrets (1973) by Alastair Pirrie. Beat Patrol: December 30, 2008. [Originally written for the New Musical Express: March 10, 1973.] Originally posted Nov 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Joan Of Arc: “A song about the total gift of total giving & the total consummation of the spirit”

Interviewer: I had an impassioned argument with a woman who said that Joan Of Arc was a sexist song.

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It might be but I think it is on the side of women. But more accurately I think it is just a song about the total gift of total giving and the total consummation of the spirit in that kind of experience. It takes in the whole shot to be man and woman.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Pacifica Interview with Kathleen Kendall. WBAI Radio, New York City: December 4, 1974. Note: Originally posted Dec 15, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Classic 1988 Leonard Cohen Interview: How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns

Shure_mikrofon_55S-700This is an extraordinary interview that includes this quotation that I consider the touchstone of Leonard Cohen’s perspective:

That’s what it’s all about. It says that none of this – you’re not going to be able to work this thing out – you’re not going to be able to set – this realm does not admit to revolution – there’s no solution to this mess. The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say ‘Look, I don’t understand a fucking thing at all – Hallelujah! That’s the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.

The following description is from Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988 at the RTE site:

From the RTÉ archives: Kildare-born novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist and former RTÉ radio producer John MacKenna made two feature programmes in the RTÉ Radio Centre with Leonard Cohen in 1988, entitled ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’. Together, they offer a remarkable insight to Cohen’s life and work. Below, you can listen to them both in full. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Note: A transcript of this broadcast is available at Transcript: 1988 RTE (LeonardCohenFiles)

The first programme ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’ is entitled ‘Isaac to Joan of Arc’ in which Cohen discusses his interest in and attitude to heroic figures in history. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Programme 2 is entitled ‘If I Have Been Untrue’  and considers songs about people in the street. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post “Shure mikrofon 55S” by Holger.EllgaardOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: Joan Of Arc, Featuring Hattie Webb – Portland

joan

It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – Joan Of Arc, Featuring Hattie Webb
Portland: Nov 11, 2012
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