Alexandra Leaving

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
KjeXXXer
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby KjeXXXer » Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:07 am

I'd agree with that last statement there.
Now you've got the gist of what my lettuce meant.
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earthquakefish
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby earthquakefish » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:13 am

Alexandara Leaving is perhaps my favourite LC song.

This refers to the reflection it leaves upon me and my interpretation of the song.

I was swept away from underneath by this girl that radiated beyond any previous encounter, yet she was involved with her lover of the past few years and was set to fly away to a remote island in less than a month from my eyes setting upon her, with her lover. Yet, she questioned going after meeting me despite she was going to perhaps one of the most untouched regions of the world for free and she wants to become an anthropologist.

My morals, or perhaps my own cowardice, didn't allow me to follow this further as much as my heart despaired this; this still resonants within me. (There was reasons, of course) I let her go, when I question if I should have? The following lyrics are a representation of her departure to me and could not of been spoken more poetically,

Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The god of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.

and

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.

and

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked –
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

These lyrics are quite profound to me and my heart is still asphyxiated by this and how the lyrics resonant this message is beyond my imagination.

Perhaps, this is my interpretation and poetry can be interpreted in many different ways, but given my circumstances this song delivered a message I could've never imagined of summoning within an hour, yet done beautifully within four minutes.
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linda_lakeside
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:51 pm

All this talk of being 'swept away', leaves me with the musical question: How do you feel about Undertow? I think it's a fine song in all ways, and should be given equal status, even if it doesn't have quite the same meaning for you. It wasn't on TNS either, which makes it even nicer.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:46 am

Hi EQF ~+









Hi EQF ~

Your description of your encounter and departure with this woman is enchanting. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you've experienced the layering and magic of Leonard's lyrics. The essence of your interpretation is how I've always interpreted the song. I'm glad Leonard's songs was there for you. His songs have been there for me in similar ways from the first time I've heard them.


Hi Linda ~

Are you one of the Ten New Songs naysayers, perchance? Or commenting in the reverse that such a wonderful song wasn't included on it? I'm swept up and carried away by Undertow, too.



~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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linda_lakeside
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby linda_lakeside » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:21 am

Hi Lizzy,

TNS isn't one of my favourite LC albums, as I've said a couple of thousand 8) :oops: times before. However, I think Undertow and Alexandra Leaving share a similar 'feeling' even though Lorca had nothing to do with the former, as far as I know. TNS was not a favourite CD, but Alexandra Leaving was a good song. I don't want to bone-pick over which CD/LP had the best songs (how many times has THAT been done). I was merely trying to draw a parallel. But, as always, to each their own.

I would like to see the original post by, 'whomever' in order that I might put all this into the context of the thread. So, I have to 'assume' (oh, such a handy word, when one is in need of it), that whomever it was that posted and erased (or was erased, I'll never know), have a happy holiday. Neither your life nor mine, nor the lives of anyone else here depend on whether we like Alexandra Leaving or Undertow. The important and the most evident aspect of Leonard's writing is that we love it for our own reasons. We love it when we need to. Different songs for different occasions. But hey! Who the hell am I to get all preachy? I don't even know what was said.

Play a favourite LC tune on Christmas Eve. Therein lies the spirit of Leonard.

Linda.

Happy Holidays Lizzy, I don't know if I'll ever find you in this world of 'new software' again. And to you also, Mystery Guest. One by one, the guest come in...
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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linda_lakeside
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby linda_lakeside » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:26 am

Now that I've been able to view the entire page - I don't know what that big blank space in your post represents, Lizzy. And, at that this point, it doesn't matter.

Happy Holiday....
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:48 pm

Geez-o-Pete, I don't know either, Linda :shock: . I was in a hurry all day yesterday, so maybe I started and then picked up again, not knowing I'd started?? But, what's with the plus sign!?! Strange. When I've tried to create space at the bottom, so everything's not all scrunched up together, I haven't been able to do it to save my life. Figures, eh? I know when I'm scrolling to read, the text will sometimes disappear and I have to back up and do it again, to get it all.

Well, I was thinking you were one of the non-TNSers, but after so long, I tend to forget. I remember Partisan going on about it in that way, but then it seems he became more accepting somewhere along the way, but maybe not. Heck, who knows... anyway, you've been so in and out, and TNS hasn't really been discussed in a while, so the memory fades and all that.

Thanks for the Happy Holidays wish. Merry Christmas to you, too, Linda :D .


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Lost Love Found
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Optimism, not sadness

Postby Lost Love Found » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:02 pm

Hello. I have recently discovered Leonard, and this fascinating forum. In regards to this song, which is one of my favorites, I think that these lyrics reveal a truer meaning.

"And you who had the honor of her evening, And by the honor had your own restored."

This is a song about being able to love again after a broken heart. The narrator is a man who has been deeply hurt by love, never feeling it could come his way again. He has found it again, with Alexandra. Even though their union was temporary, Alexandra has left him with the knowledge that he has not lost the ability to love again.

After losing a love, one feels that they can never love again. The pain runs too deep. Hope is lost. Yet, inevitably, there is someone out there who can restore that the broken heart. Hope is found.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and I apologize that I haven't set up a profile.
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anneporter
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby anneporter » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:25 pm

Dear Lost love Found,

Thank you for posting. Your post brought this thread, and thus the little Alexandra Leaving affinity group, to my awareness.

My love for this song is deepening all the time
Last week, I had it on repeat in my car for 4 or 5 days. At first, it was because I was learning to sing it, but after I learned all the words, I still wanted to hear it over and over.

The most beautiful version of this song is by Jenny Gear, a young woman in St. John's who performs every year at Feast of Cohen. Her voice and way of singing is incredibly rich, with a depth of passion. I was hoping her version of Alexandra Leaving would be on the Feast of Cohen CD that came out in December 2007, but, inexplicably, it wasn't. I heard her sing it at concert in Carbonear, Newfoundland last summer. CBC radio recorded it. This discussion is reminding me to try to find a copy, for me, but also for my 78-year-old mother, who loves Jenny and that song as much as I do.

Jenny can be heard singing Here It Is on the Feast of Cohen CD, or singing a collection of her favourite songs by contemporary Newfoundland songwriters on Jenny Gear and The Whiskey Kittens.

Enough chatter. I have to go listen to Alexandra Leaving now. I haven't heard it in at least 2 days.. .

Anne
Last edited by anneporter on Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
newfoundland--understand?
imaginary friend
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby imaginary friend » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:06 pm

Alexandra Leaving is wonderful. For me 'Alexandra' refers to anything of great value that is slipping away. It could be a lover, or a grandchild growing up and away (as Hydriot suggested), or even an abstract value, like integrity. Regardless, there is that moment when you know that you've lost it, even though you want to deny that it's slipped away. And that you played a part in losing it.
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby gazza » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:16 am

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd add my two cents worth.

I'm a recent convert to LC, having recently heard him on an infomercial on late night tv. I was immediately drawn to the melancholy in his voice. I guess this is, at least in part, why I like this song so much.

Alot of people seem to view this song as being about recovering from a great loss . I think its about more than that.

My own sense is that its about a man coming to the realisation that his relationship is failing, that the love which was once there is slipping away (Suddenly the night has grown colder, the god of love preparing to depart, Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder).

LC implores him not to ignore this, not to assume that merely because his lover remains with him that everything is still alright; not to close his eyes to the reality of his circumstance (It's not a trick, your senses all deceiving; A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust ... Even though she sleeps on your satin, Even though she wakes you with a kiss; Do not say the moment was imagined, do not stoop to strategies like this).

Our hero has seen this coming for sometime. Because of this, he could have done something about his relationship, to rescue it; but either could not or would not do so. The failure of his relationship is thus his own doing. He now needs to accept the fate of his relationship, and should soak up as much of what is left of it as possible. He must also accept that he is the cause of the failure, and should not attempt to attribute blame to something else (As someone long prepared for this to happen, Go firmly to the window; drink it in ... As someone long prepared for this occasion, In full command of every plan you wrecked; Do not say the moment was imagined, Do not choose a coward's explanation, That hides behind the cause and the effect).

There is also a sense that history is repeating itself; that our hero has lost a lover once before. And that his currently lover helped him in some way to overcome the pain of losing that earlier relationship. (And you who had the honor of her evening, And by that honor had your own restored).

But our hero hasn't learned from his past mistakes (whatever these might be; perhaps a failure to demonstrate his love more convincingly). As a result, we see that his current lover is also leaving him. (Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving; Alexandra leaving with her Lord ... Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving, Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost).

Whenever I hear this song, I get a sense of conflict - between feelings of denial, inevitability and hope. I picture a man who deeply loves a woman and doesn't want to lose her. He sees her slipping away from him, but for some reason simply can't or won't do anything about it. And so he resorts to self-denial, but in the process exacerbates the problem. But there is still a glimmer of hope, that maybe, just maybe, he can still do something about his relationship before Alexandra is lost to him forever.
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LEONKA
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby LEONKA » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:32 pm

Yesterday on You Tube I have it heard, this is another of the great song from Leonard.
Thank you, Leonard. 8) ;-)
GinaDCG
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby GinaDCG » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:38 pm

Yeah, I've got a zen buddhist slant on it as well. To me, the song is asking the one who has lost Alexandra to accept the loss for what it is -- an integral part of the arc of this relationship, to be valued as much as the meeting and the time and experiences he shared with her. The song further asks the rejected lover to accept responsibility "in full command/ of every plan you've wrecked," and not take a "coward's explanation" by crafting a narrative that will lesson the truth of her leaving, or the truth of the situation. From the same album: "May everyone live/ may everyone die./ Hello my love,/ and my love goodbye."

We all construct narratives around the events of our own lives; and it is a temptation to all of us to slant the narrative so that we always turn ourseleves into the hero, or the noble victim, of every event. Flattering, but not always truthful. And not always allied with the side of truth and growth. "Do not choose the coward's explanation/ That hides behind/ The cause and the effect."
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby Jokapaikanapina » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:38 pm

If I have to name a favourite off Ten New Songs, this might be the song. The lyrics are great, but even apart from them, just the quality of the sound is very soothing.
movingon
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Postby movingon » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:06 pm

I am new to LC music- late starter. I was curious to find out about what others thought the meaning of this song lyric was because it holds such a personal meaning for myself. This LC CD was given to me by an acquaintance who had no idea what was happening in my personal life at the time.

Strangely this song helped me make the final decision to leave my marriage, a marriage that at times was wonderful, but was awfully blemished by emotional and sexual manipulation, control and abuse. I identified with Alexandra, my ex-husband had my evening, or what should have been the best time in my life, my youth. Early on we had some wonderful times together. When I stood in the church on our wedding day, in front of the crucifix I really did believe it was forever. But that love was destroyed, even though I desperately did not want it to be so; and yes I would still sleep in his bed, wake him with a kiss, constantly forgiving and trying to convince myself it would be all ok. However things got worse and worse and I knew in my head that it was time to leave but was struggling in my heart because I had made that commitment of marriage in front of God in the church. When I heard the song I realized or at least had hope that I may be judged by the church and even some members of my family who did not understand the full story, but God would actually help carry me out of that mess. When we were breaking up my ex- husband of course claimed that he still cared for me and loved me and how could I do this to him and I had been lying by not been up front about things earlier etc etc. In a way its true I do need to be more assertive but that is hard to do in an abusive situation. In any case it was his abusive and controlling behaviors which was the prep work in seeing me leave and the love come to an end. I was leaving but the love was already gone, can not be gotten back.

So that what’s the songs about to me, I don’t know if that’s what is meant to about, but I am thankful I discovered it.

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