Hey, fusional and Tchocolatl, I'm all with you!
• It is "where there used to be a street".
• About "lyre", my "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English" says:
"kind of harp with strings fixed in a U-shaped frame, used by the ancient Greeks."
"Lyric" is an other, older way of saying: "He did a soem, a pong, a eomn." (And I like the word "3D poem"...)
• About the "Arabic-like background singing" in "Nevermind": it is not only Arabic-like, it is
Arabic. She sings "Oh ya salam".
"Oh" is the international interjection.
"ya" means that the speaker is addressing someone.
"salam" means "peace".
So, literally, it would translate somewhat like "Oh, Mr. Peace, sir, ..."
But my Hans Wehr - J M. Cowan "Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic" says about "ya salam":
"exclamation of dismay, esp. after s.th. calamitous has happened: good Lord! good heavens! oh dear!"
(Although "esp." does not mean "exclusively". I heard the expression used when things finally went right, too. May I suggest: "Almost like the blues"?)
Now a voice far more authorised than mine says (http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/kultur/pop- ... y/23256758
"eine Frauenstimme singt irgendwie orientalisch" (a woman's voice sings somehow orientally)
Well, a Tagesanzeiger journalist somehow put words one after the other...
• At perhaps half a dozen listens to "Popular Problems" I'm delighted indeed that Leonard Cohen doesn't need the money and can go as non-commercial as ever he pleases.
If he retires at the age of 105, following his zen-teacher's example, I'm sure that he'll do a lot more shaking me out of my laziness...