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Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:55 pm
by Citizen_Kane
Hi all,

Forum member WiTS remarked that the new track 'The Hills' presumably is the poem 'Book Of Longing', which was set to music by Philip Glass on a track named 'I Can't Make The Hills' on the 'Book Of Longing' CD. (The first line of the poem 'Book Of Longing' reads: "I can't make the hills, the system is shot").

Worth mentioning: not only a recording of Philip Glass featuring Leonard's recital was released, Leonard himself also had previously premiered his own (demo) recordings of both 'Book Of Longing' as well as another song on the new album: 'Puppets'. On 24 June 2006 Leonard premiered two new songs - 'Book Of Longing' and 'Puppets' - in a radio interview for KCRW. Someone uploaded them on YouTube a while ago, you can find them here:

Book Of Longing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_LvBbYOuQA

Puppets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIMnOG6FDls

Assuming both 'The Hills' and 'Puppets' on the new album are reworks of the KCRW interview's 'Book Of Longing' and 'Puppets' respectively, I am curious how far these songs have progressed in 13 years(!) since their premiere.

Kind regards,

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:30 pm
by peter danielsen
I also would like to applaud the recording, the voice and the music sounds great.
Peter

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:07 am
by yopietro
When Javier Más comes with in, playing the arpeggiated guitar fingerstyle that Leonard used on his early albums, it's tremendous. How wonderful to hear Cohen's voice against those guitar strings again.

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:38 pm
by gerhardschlatter
Hi everywhere,
maybe you can help me. I just finished the translation of all LC songs into german, when i was surprised by this posthumous album. Now I have the problem finding the lyrics of "It's torn". The web is empty, in "The Flame" I found under "Full employment" the lines:

"I see you in windows
that open so wide
there‘s nothing beyond them
and nothing inside
You take off your sandals
you shake out your hair,
your beauty dismantled
and worn everywhere
The stories been written.
The letters been sealed
You gave me a lily,
but now it‘s a field"


On the Lithograph of the following side of "The Flame" you can read handwritten:

" You kick off your sandals
you shake out your hair,
it‘s torn where you‘re dancing
and worn everywhere

It‘s torn on the right
and it‘s torn on the left
and its torn in the center
which few can accept

Come gather the peaces
all scattered and lost
the lie in what‘s holy
the light in what‘s not"


Does someone know, which lyrics LC is singing on the new album?
Cause I don't want to wait till late november to finish my book!

Thanks a lot and greetings.
Gerhard

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:29 am
by panjandrum
It's nice that the lyrics are "except that the goal fell short of the reach." Leonard sometimes, heartbreakingly, questioned his own talent ("Needless to say, I am one of the fakes, and this is my story"). The first time I listened to this I expected that so strongly that I swear I heard "except that the goal exceeded the reach". (Then again, I also frequently hear "a lifetime in your thighs" instead of the correct "a lifetime in your eyes" - Leonard's ability to surprise with the unexpected like that is so delightful.)

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:56 pm
by musicmania
I spoke with Robert Kory about that specific line on Saturday night, saying it broke my heart if that's how Leonard felt, and he assured me that wasn't the case.

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:11 pm
by LisaLCFan
musicmania wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:56 pm
I spoke with Robert Kory about that specific line on Saturday night, saying it broke my heart if that's how Leonard felt, and he assured me that wasn't the case.

Do you mean the line: "except that the goal falls short of the reach"? If so, I think you may be misunderstanding it, if you see it as something heartbreaking. Do note that the preceding line is, "nothing to teach, except...", which to me suggests that Leonard is trying to tell us something profound, sharing a little piece of wisdom that he himself finally figured out. The way I interpret it is that, instead of constantly striving for something more, as if what we have and what we've learned, etc., is never enough -- which can make one miserable, never being satisfied with anything in life -- perhaps we need to take a better look at what is around us, and maybe we'll find that what we've been seeking and striving for has been there all along, within our reach, not beyond it.

It is the antithesis to Browning's "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?", which seems to me to set up a person for a dismal and unfulfilled life, because if one is always reaching for what they don't have (or what they think they don't have), then they'll never learn to be happy with what they do have, they'll never be able to see and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the things that surround them, if they are always looking beyond for something else.

I think that is what Leonard is saying in that line, so I am not sure why that would be distressing. Also, it is not "fell short of the reach" (as someone above misquoted), it is "falls short" -- so he is not, in my interpretation, making a statement specifically about his own goals, rather, he is making a statement about goals in general, being something from which we can all learn.

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:13 pm
by yopietro
No one to follow and nothing to teach
Except that the goal falls short of the reach


Oops. Well I edited this whole post because I had misread the line as "the reach falling short of the goal." What happens when I try to put thoughts together the morning after a night out. I will have to put some effort into a Take 2...

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:25 pm
by musicmania
Lisa, I like your interpretation. It reminds me (not that I need reminding) of how layered Leonard's writing is, with many meanings, and messages.
I've been an emotional wreck the last while, so that probably clouded my judgement, and misguided me!

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:31 pm
by LisaLCFan
musicmania wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:25 pm
Lisa, I like your interpretation. It reminds me (not that I need reminding) of how layered Leonard's writing is, with many meanings, and messages.
I've been an emotional wreck the last while, so that probably clouded my judgement, and misguided me!

Well, indeed -- that is the beauty and depth of Leonard's poetry, the fact that different people can draw from it something quite different. My interpretation is certainly not the only possible one, it just happens to be the one that made sense to me when I read Leonard's lines!

Of course, as you have suggested, it can often be the case that much of ourselves is reflected in what we read and hear, such that we may project our own thoughts and feelings into how we interpret the words of others, thus arriving at rather different conclusions.

I am sorry to hear that you've been having a hard time, but hope that you can find some solace and peace, if not in Leonard's words, then elsewhere. Please take care!

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:45 pm
by musicmania
LisaLCFan wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:31 pm
I am sorry to hear that you've been having a hard time, but hope that you can find some solace and peace, if not in Leonard's words, then elsewhere. Please take care!
Thank you Lisa. Nothing gives me more solace than the memories, words, and wisdom that Leonard gives me, every day.

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:00 am
by Citizen_Kane
WiTS wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:41 am
1 Happens to the Heart 4:33
Poem from The Flame, p3

2 Moving On 3:11
Poem from The Flame, p80

3 The Night of Santiago 4:15
from Book of Longing by Philip Glass, CD2 track 4

4 Thanks for the Dance 4:13
Poem from The Flame, p83; The Flame, p103 same as the track 10 from Anjani's album Blue Alert

5 It's Torn 2:57
Source unknown but definitely by Leonard Cohen

6 The Goal 1:12
Poem from Book of Longing, p153

7 Puppets 2:39
Poem from Book of Longing, p160

8 The Hills 4:17
might be the poem The Book of Longing from Book of Longing, p1
CD 1 Track 1 from Book of Longing by Philip Glass, is called I Can't Make the Hills

9 Listen to the Hummingbird 2:00
Poem from The Flame, p65

Also, The Goal was released by Anjani in 2014 on her album I Came To Love

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:58 am
by B4real
MarieM wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:45 am

In addition to recording parts of The Hills, Bilerman also helped set up Adam's home studio in L.A., a converted garage, where much of the new record was produced.

Adam had flown him down to California for Cohen's memorial service in December 2016. That was where The Hills was played publicly for the first time, as a musical backdrop to a video montage Adam had made to honour his father's life.

"It took me about five seconds to realize, 'Oh my God that's the song that we did,'" said Bilerman, "I just immediately started bawling."
If that video of The Hills spoken about above is the same one included in the Montreal Tribute Concert in Nov 2017 there are some familiar and some alternate verses. A couple of different ones are the last verse and the last line. The former is a lithograph and also a drawing with verse in Book of Longing on page 172. In the same book the latter is also the title only of a poem called The Luckiest Man in the World. This ending verse and line in the link below could also simply be an add on and nothing to do with the main part.

listen at approx 1hr 20mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSmvvUNTtTc

self-portrait-back-in-Montreal.jpg

The words to this image are also recited by LC in the recent ©2018 Leonard Cohen (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd Book of Longing audio release as is Puppets and The Faithless Wife - the latter could have some crossover to another song here, The Night of Santiago :)

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:09 pm
by panjandrum
yopietro wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:13 pm
No one to follow and nothing to teach
Except that the goal falls short of the reach


Oops. Well I edited this whole post because I had misread the line as "the reach falling short of the goal." What happens when I try to put thoughts together the morning after a night out. I will have to put some effort into a Take 2...
Yep, take a look a few posts up. Did exactly the same thing. Leonard has expressed both sides of this coin, and I think the overall tone of the song definitely led us to hear "except that the goal exceeded the reach" (or something synonymous with that). But it's actually the opposite. It's more along the lines of "let me tell you friends, I prefer my stuff to theirs."

It's a classic Leonard move though; making you expect one thing and then giving you something else.

Re: "Thanks for the dance" - the new album

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:33 am
by B4real
Just an observation that the long standing (I think 10 year) record for the number of people online at the same time here on the forum has recently been broken twice. You would think people wanting to know info about this new album is the reason. I wonder if that number will soon be broken again ;-)
Anyway, it’s great to know that Leonard is still so much in people’s minds today :D