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Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker' now on YouTube and Spotify etc

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:57 pm
by yopietro
Bennyboy wrote:
yopietro wrote:
Tamaraz wrote:oh my goodness, oh my goodness.....I LOVE THIS SONG.....

ok Im going to say something, and I know some wont agree, and I know I could be very wrong, and I also know Im biased - so Im saying all of that upfront - but it would not surprise me one bit if Leonard Cohen had a late life conversion to roman catholic or eastern orthodox....his interest in, understanding of, and writing about the gospels and Jesus - its so deep and he clearly has a passion for it. Now - it could simply be he has a passion for it and not a "belief" per se - I accept that - but Im just saying - if it happened - it wouldn't surprise me! :)
Only Leonard could speak for himself, but I highly doubt he has had any kind of religious conversion. Leonard has always affirmed that he is a Jew. Of course that doesn't preclude him in his life from using Christian imagery or from a devoted practice to the tenets of zen buddhism. Being Jewish doesn't not mean that one can't have a deep appreciation for the story of Jesus (or for the Buddha for that matter).
I think it's called spread betting.
Or buffet style spirituality. Ignore the defrosted crabcakes and the limp discoloured sweet potatoes. Go for the lemon chicken and the asparagus.

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker' now on YouTube and Spotify etc

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:02 pm
by Bennyboy
yopietro wrote:
Or buffet style spirituality. Ignore the defrosted crabcakes and the limp discoloured sweet potatoes. Go for the lemon chicken and the asparagus.
Ha, nice.

Reminds me of the classic Simpsons episode:

Brother Faith: "When I was your age, I was a hellraiser, too. My slingshot was my cross. But I saw the light, and changed my wicked ways."
Bart: "I think I'll go for the life of sin, followed by a presto-change-o deathbed repentance."
Brother Faith: "Wow, that's a good angle... But that's not God's angle."

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker' now on YouTube and Spotify etc

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:06 pm
by Tamaraz
Yep - as I said, I know I could be totally wrong - and I know that Leonard Cohen has always been involved with and inspired by his Jewish heritage/faith...(love how he incorporates the Old Testament as well into his songs!) And also that he is into Zen Buddhism...but still, I'm just saying "if" it happened, it wouldn't surprise me....

Anyway - I love all the spiritual imagery in his songs...and You Want It don't know how Im going to wait for the whole new album, I kinda want it now! :)

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker' now on YouTube and Spotify etc

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:14 am
by Herbsttag
My oh my. Gorgeous vocals and I'm loving the production. It sounds very elegant and it showcases his beautiful voice and lyrics. Very excited for the new album. This song makes me think that I'll like the album more than Popular Problems, though I love that one too.

You Want it Darker

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:10 pm
by Atarongo
We had a chat about the lyrics. I want to write this as if I write to Leonard personally, directly.
To me your new song makes the following sense:
You are talking, as if you had understood that Christ has never manifested yet and you are now addressing him, the great promise-maker and non-deliverer as the Antichrist, who he is and has ever been.

Antichrist and Christ are mutually exclusive. They will not co-exist. As long as one is manifest the other is not. They are like the un-transformed and the transformed state of consciousness. We never yet had Christ. We only ever had Antichrist. The moment Christ appears, Christ manifests. Christ is like the slowly building dream, an undercurrent in consciousness, yet anyone, who participates in building this dream has experienced the certainty that it will gain dominance, since even the immature seed already bears the signature of sustainability, of "eternal" life, of peace etc. Antichrist plays out and uses all the shining, alluring and seductive attributes of Christ from the level of selfish pursuit. In other words, hell was created before heaven. The lotus grows from the mud.
Jesus Anti/Christ is a real person, not a theory. The Antichrist is set in the spiral into the the quest for power as a goal unto itself and We, the people, the lovers, who wait in vain, better kill the flame ourselves for the Antichrists hunger for darkness is obviously insatiable. Actually for me this is the deepest and most poignant part of the entire song. We refuse to live with Antichrist and this is the only thing that will get us out of his stranglehold. We prefer to die. We extinguish the flame ourselves, and leave him alone in the darkness, instead of continuously and in vain giving him the candles of hope, faith, love, patience and endurance. - But Leonard, it still sounds like you haven't quite let go of the fantasy yet. :-) The lure of "The Lord" with the magnified stuff, being ready an' all!!! This sounds like the Antichrist live on stage in your own head. hehe.

Now we get to the murky bits. I hear you complaining about having to take responsibility for life and death. You all, well surely, fantasized about being One with Christ, but when it comes to identifying culprits and removing obnoxious and poisonous stuff from the body of humankind, you start to complain about "prisoners" and being surprised that you may need to "kill" and "maim" - if interpreted spiritually. -
If interpreted on the political level, it is even lamer, trying to pin your own duty to develop consciousness and conscience once again on "Him", as if there could be a doubt that murder and physical harm would never be the path of Christ and always signify the presence of the Antichrist. In my perception this is dork-material. Really. But that is also typical for the Antichrist. He is not "all evil and grandiose". On one level he is simply a dork.

The story of Jesus, the brother, the man, the God, the reality of the Antichrist and the potential for Christ are very, very real. Jesus really lived and had many incarnations since. He, as well as the rest of the "sacred family" have been in the limelight of the all-seeing eye forever. The wheel of Hezekiel is the secret, "advanced", timeless technology that strings it all together. It is the embarrassing reality of the Antichrist that has so far been the greatest obstacle to getting Judgement Day underway, for no-one fears and dreads it more than the Man Himself.

I am still not totally convinced that he will flunk it. After all he is a man. And that is a hell of a lot better than this divine illusion he has been indulging in.

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker' (now on YouTube and Spotify etc)

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:09 pm
by jarkko
Great reading: ... 3-54851053

(Use the link to Times of Israel to see the photos)
'He is realizing that there is more road behind him than there is ahead'
Montreal cantor helps Leonard Cohen on road back to his Jewish roots
With back-up singers including Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim men’s choir, the soon-to-be-released ‘You Want It Darker’ is 82-year-old songster’s most Jewish — and some say best — work


What critics and fans are calling Leonard Cohen‘s darkest song yet has turned out to be a bright spot in a Montreal cantor’s career.

“You Want It Darker” — the first track released this week from the 82-year-old Cohen’s new album of the same name — features the voice of Cantor Gideon Zelermyer of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the oldest and largest traditional Ashkenazi congregation in Canada.

While the 40-year-old Zelermyer told The Times of Israel he was astounded to have been personally asked by the legendary poet and singer-songwriter to sing on the album, the collaboration did not come totally out of the blue. Cohen and the cantor have been corresponding for the past eight or nine years, mainly exchanging birthday and holiday greetings. The epistolary relationship began after Cohen’s aunt sent him some of the cantor’s CDs with Shaar Hashomayim’s professional all-male choir’s music. Cohen sent Zelermyer his compliments.

“He always signs his notes to me, ‘Fraternally, Eliezer’ — Eliezer being his Hebrew name,” the cantor shared.

According to Zelermyer, Cohen was clearly looking to literally return to his own Jewish roots with this album. While in the past the Montreal-born Cohen has backed up his gravelly vocals with female voices, this time he wanted the sonorities of the male cantors and choirs he heard in his youth to match his new lyrics, drawn from traditional Jewish liturgy such as the Kaddish and Selichot prayers.

“‘You Want It Darker’ has the word ‘Hineni’ [‘I am here’ — Abraham’s words to God at the binding of Isaac, a motif seen before in Cohen’s work] in it. The first place Leonard heard a cantor sing ‘Hineni’ or ‘Who By Fire,’ or a choir sing ‘Halleluyah,’ was at Shaar Hashomayim,” Zelermyer said.

Cohen’s family has long been involved at the synagogue, and some of its members still attend services there. His grandfather and great-grandfather served as presidents of the congregation, which was established in 1846. Cohen himself had his bar mitzvah ceremony there, and a photo of him with his 1949 Hebrew school class still hangs in the synagogue’s building in Westmount, Quebec. After his father died, Cohen recited Kaddish for him at Shaar Hashomayim.

Zelermyer, an American who studied in Israel and has lived in Montreal for 15 years, told The Times of Israel that he met Cohen in person only once, at Cohen’s uncle’s funeral some years ago.

They did not meet while working on “You Like It Darker,” as Cohen recorded the album in Los Angeles, while Zelermeyer and the Shaar Hashomayim’s choir recorded their part in a Montreal studio under the supervision of Cohen’s son Adam, who served as the project’s producer.

Following Cohen’s request to Zelermyer for a moody, dark atmosphere for the backup vocals for the song, Shaar Shomayim choir director Roi Azoulay and the choristers put together a musical arrangement based on the lead vocals and basic melodic chords provided them by Cohen. Zelermyer offered a dramatic cantorial improvisation, which ended up being placed at the end of the final version of the song.

Zelermyer and the choir also appear on another of the new album’s tracks, “It Seemed the Better Way.” This, too, is a rather dark track, on which the Shaar Hashomayim musical team matched a violin motif to the traditional Priestly Blessing.

“It’s an homage to Leonard’s being a kohen. He often holds his hands out Spock-like to the audience at his concerts,” Zelermyer said, making reference to the Star Trek appropriation of the traditional Jewish benediction.

“You Want It Darker,” in which Cohen addresses God directly, takes him and his listeners to a very dark place. The chorus goes as follows:

If you are the dealer
I’m out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Zelermyer, who is proud of Shaar Hashomayim’s rich and long musical history and of the way cantorial music can provide spiritual uplift, said he nonetheless completely understood where Cohen is coming from with this title track, and indeed the entire album. The timing of the album’s release in this season is obvious to him.

“We are about to enter the period of the Jewish year with the darkest, most fatalistic liturgy,” said Zelermyer about the High Holidays.

“We all go through dark times. Leonard is facing old age and the end of his career. Perhaps he is having health problems, but I won’t speculate about that. He is realizing that there is more road behind him than there is ahead.”

The cantor also understands Cohen’s sentiments in the song given the current state of the world.

“The song is about God wanting it darker, but it also says that we are responsible for what happens, for killing the flame,” Zelermyer asserted.

There is no talk yet about any further collaboration between Cohen and the cantor, who enjoys stepping off the from the bimah from time to time to record movie soundtracks, and to perform in venues such as the United Nations or with mainstream musical bodies such as Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.

However, in the meantime, Zelermyer is enjoying the widespread attention this project has generated.

“I’m in Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Maclean’s — it’s amazing. I was just interviewed for the radio. I never expected this would be so big. The song has received a universal positive response,” he said.

Zelermyer believes that with “You Want It Darker,” Cohen, who may have just recorded his final album, is making a clear statement that he is a son of Montreal and of Shaar Hashomayim.

The cantor couldn’t be prouder to have have done his part to amplify the message.
Thanks to Pentti Lentäjäinen for the link

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:41 pm
by jarkko ... t-shining/
Posted here with permission
THINKING ON LEONARD COHEN on his birthday and the eve of Rosh HaShanah 5777.
by Inna Rogatchi
Posted 25/9/2016

On his 82nd birthday, which was September 21st 2016, Leonard Cohen released a single You Want it Darker - - the title song of his new album with the same title, and the same message, seemingly.

The song is performed together with cantor Gideon Zelermyer and Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir in Montreal.

The effect of this Leonard’s deed - the song, its release, its performance, its lyrics, the way of performing it - is huge and reverberating.

After this very special single’s release, everyone is picking up the things which are closer to one's heart: music critics are jumping on 'mesmerising' side of the song and performance; Leonard's ever faithful fans embracing it as it is, and cannot help themselves but to think on the recent pass away of Marianne; wide Jewish public is attentive to the strongest possible connection to the core of Jewishness in this addressing to the Creator by the one of his very best sons.

I personally am completely taken by the Leonard's smashing honesty and his immense courage. We know that those are his qualities, but this time, it is not about qualities. It is about the Heart of the Matter. And he did it in the best way imaginable.

As in our famous Rose of Thirteen Petals, a Kabbalah-based concept of complex and inter-depending view of the world and the place of a person in the layers of realities, both Leonard’s honesty and his bravery in the You Want It Darker-deed are far from being one-dimensional. It never is the case for Leonard, anyway, but in the things that straightforward as honesty and courage, more than one dimension is a luxury, and here, with multi-dimensional layers of it created and carried on by Leonard, we have a super-indulgence of human spirit and its strength.

I admire and salute our dearest Leonard for his human bravery, for his intellectual honesty, for his artistic finery and simplicity of the richest kind. I also am overtaken by his courage in bringing utterly innermost things to the stage open to the world – as the only real, exemplary kohen, the member of the priestly family in Jewish tradition, is able to do. And many in this world are learning from our dear Leonard in many things beyond music.

The thinking of his heart is absolutely honest, and it shines in all its darkness now when Leonard has come to the hardest thing to do for anyone; when a person comes – mentally, to start with - to the ultimate edge between the two worlds, this one and the World to Come. We all have our way to deal with it. Or we have not. To make it public - and beautiful - is given to very handful of us, the beacons for the rest of us. It is not just a blessing of the best of our priests. It is the act of courage in all its disarming sincerity. It is ultimate mercy of a big person.

Also, the honesty of the Leonard's quest on the balance while coming to that very thin edge in between the two worlds: "You Want It Darker - We Killed the Lights" is the exemplary of the sharpness of the mind and the honesty of the admission.

The essence of the Judaism doctrine lays in comprehension of human responsibility for our thoughts, intentions and actions. Leonard brings it out on his 82nd birthday with no-nonsense sharpness. But being who he is, with his unique heart, the Master puts the sharp truth into the beauty of the voices of the Jewish choir and his cantor whose music gets the Leonard's words up. And Up.

The Leonard Cohen's 82th birthday song You Want It Darker is a great lesson on Light. After listening your sounding lesson, every word of it, I just want to tell you, dear Friend: You Want It Darker – We’ve Got It Shining.

Thank you, dearest Leonard. You are Our Man for generations to come.

Inna Rogatchi (C). Heart Talk. Homage to Leonard Cohen.
Horizon Beyond Horizon series. Fine Art Photography.
(C) Inna Rogatchi, September 23, 2016.

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:33 pm
by Goldin
First cover of You Want It Darker, by Anita Lester (Sep 23)! ... 723931034/

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:46 pm
by Goldin
Solomun Remix Of Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker ... nd-palais/

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:38 pm
by Bennyboy
Goldin wrote:Solomun Remix Of Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker ... nd-palais/
Only 1 minute of it but it sounds better than that other remix we got.

Wonder if an official remix will be released, as was floated a while back?

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:59 pm
by swisschris
The full Paul Kalkbrenner remix of "You want it darker" has now been released:

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:22 pm
by Mistygris
sorry, don't like the remix - prefer the original ;-)

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:19 pm
by merton

I've been gone so long I could hardly remember my password. So much happiness and sadness - Leonard Cohen's birthday and the new album and the death of Marianne. To all those who keep the forum going for people like me to join in on occasion many thanks.
I haven't heard anything from the album -waiting until the 21st.
Below is a reflection on the song which I came across today: ... -darkness/

Long may you run Leonard and deepest gratitude.
All the best,

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:59 am
by jarkko
This contribution with a summary of links comes from David in Canada:
Cantor Gideon Zelermyer on collaborating with Leonard Cohen ... -1.3801764

View Video Of Cantor Gideon Zelermyer Singing His Contribution To Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker Album ... ker-album/ ... -it-darker ... ard-cohen/ ... wish-ever/


Cohen includes the word "crucify" in the song: ... wish-ever/

The first line of the second verse continues in this vein: “Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name,” a virtual word-for-word translation of the Kaddish, the hymn of praise to God that appears throughout Jewish liturgy.

Similar to: ... ersion=NIV

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..."

Re: Title song 'You Want It Darker'

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:05 pm
by Alexandr12
Great song