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working with leonard cohen

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:10 pm
by Geoffrey
you've probably all seen this already :-( :
uncut.jpg

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:17 pm
by Geoffrey
in the jennifer warnes' interview 'working with leonard' that was given in connection with the release of her CD called 'another place, another time', she said many positive things about leonard, but some negative things also sneaked in. for example:

"there are several songs in his repertoire that have its gloating tone." the word gloat is defined in the dictionary thus: dwell on one's own success or another's misfortune with smugness or malignant pleasure. i wondered afterwards which songs she meant. she also said: "he wasn't sophisticated musically. he learned jewish and catholic and folk music as a kid. none of those are complicated. leonard would hate me for saying this, but he wasn't a great arranger", adding "we brought something to a piece of music that he couldn't do." personally, i don't think leonard would hate her for saying any of that, he never hated anyone - he would either have agreed or forgiven her. she also said that she changed the lyrics when she sang 'famous blue raincoat' because the ones that leonard wrote were "disrespectful". there are other things, such as "there are a lot of allusions to love being an open door in leonard's life and music. it offended my sense of morality", plus a couple of times when he got drunk and was "looking kind of spacey. well, i don't know what anyone thinks of all of this, if she has some valid points, or if it is possible to speak ill of someone no longer around and still maintain one's 'sense of morality'. as for me, i'm just observing and digesting what i see in a magazine.

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:45 am
by Hartmut
Thanks. Interesting. And a bit surprising.

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:41 pm
by Mabeanie1
Thanks for posting Geoffrey. My husband subscribes to Uncut so we have the article floating around somewhere though I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

I appreciate your comments and analysis very much. I get fed up with all the "Leonard was perfect" type comments around, particularly on Facebook. He wasn't. He had failings just like the rest of us and I find him all the more endearing for that.

Wendy

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:41 pm
by Jean Fournell
Once I had tried to listen to "Famous Blue Raincoat" by Jennifer Warnes, and switched it off after maybe a minute.
Now I had a look at her "mended" lyrics.
Yes, I suppose Leonard Cohen would forgive her. That's about all anybody can reasonably try to do here anyway.

And merriam-webster.com says that "spacey" is like "spaced (out)": "dazed or stupefied by or as if by a narcotic substance".
So there's a drunk person looking kind of drunk.
Eezœn't eet ! (Which is a French sarcasm, invariable, and means exactly what it says.)


The matins rung, the Hall is filling now.
Jane's blessing hails them all, both good and evil.
The jealous winter soul is writing down
whatever private hell he must believe in.

Deaf to the bells, he wonders whether John,
the friar in the desert, knows the hour;
recounts the flake; the rose; the lock so strong,
frail witness of the noble with no power.

He surely is a master of the word.
His murderous threat is barely to be heard
in what is phrased like an attempted pardon.

Johanna's here, Louise of the White Hands:
Marlene who 'cross the Unbridgeable stands
while Mark is planting the obsidian garden.

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:25 pm
by vlcoats
Jean Fournell wrote: He surely is a master of the word.
His murderous threat is barely to be heard
in what is phrased like an attempted pardon.
Good one Jean!

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:54 pm
by LisaLCFan
I have absolutely no interest in Jennifer Warnes and couldn't care less what she has to say about anything or anyone (if she happens to read this, well, no offence, my dear, but I simply don't give a damn!). I have also never had the slightest inclination to listen to her recordings, but I am vaguely curious now as to how she changed the lyrics to Famous Blue Raincoat. I don't care enough to waste time looking it up myself, but if anyone wishes to enlighten me, that would be fine!

I will simply add that if a person doesn't like Leonard's lyrics, then maybe they should simply sing something else, rather than changing the words to suit their own purposes? I always feel that it is somewhat insulting to a musical artist to change something about their works when performing them, because it seems to presume superiority on the part of the performer, which, in many cases, is really not warranted.

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:33 pm
by Geoffrey
LisaLCFan wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:54 pm
I have absolutely no interest in Jennifer Warnes and couldn't care less what she has to say about anything or anyone (if she happens to read this, well, no offence, my dear, but I simply don't give a damn!). I have also never had the slightest inclination to listen to her recordings, but I am vaguely curious now as to how she changed the lyrics to Famous Blue Raincoat. I don't care enough to waste time looking it up myself, but if anyone wishes to enlighten me, that would be fine!

I will simply add that if a person doesn't like Leonard's lyrics, then maybe they should simply sing something else, rather than changing the words to suit their own purposes? I always feel that it is somewhat insulting to a musical artist to change something about their works when performing them, because it seems to presume superiority on the part of the performer, which, in many cases, is really not warranted.
thank you for the extra comments that have arrived, jolly interesting - and i must say that although i try to have a neutral opinion, i do tend to agree with what lisa wrote :-)

in the interview, a gentleman called roscoe beck says that leonard made the lyric changes for ms warnes. one can presume it was either because of her insistence, or because he understood how offended she was by them, her having high morals and all. it can be presumed he would not have changed them from his own initiative. at the risk of being crucified for ignoring copyright issues, i enclose a small interview segment so that one may interpret it as one wishes.
interview.jpg

Re: working with leonard cohen

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:03 pm
by musicmania
Interesting discussion, nice to see!

Of course Leonard wasn't perfect, but is there a sense of bitterness to what Jennifer was saying? Did she voice these opinions when he was still alive? Not the ones about the lyric changes, but the other ones? Of course she is entitled to her opinion, but I prefer when one is upfront with an opinion, and not when it appears there is some sort of an agenda, when the person one is referring to isn't around to respond. Not that I'm surmising if Leonard would actually reply.
She obviously didn't have an offended sense of morality when she was releasing a cover album of Leonard's work.
Personally I think FBR has beautiful lyrics. It's one of my favourite LC songs.