Poetic Snippets From Songs

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Steven
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Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Steven » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:31 am

When thinking of Leonard Cohen lyrics, which ones come readily to mind as particularly
poetic?

Here's one: "But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend" -- Last
Year's Man.
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peter danielsen
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by peter danielsen » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:41 pm

what about these:

"It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. "'


Ah we're lonely, we're romantic
and the cider's laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit's crying, "Where's the beef?"
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief "
...I ..... .... ....... made . ..... ...... by ....... music .. ..... .. ......
Steven
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Steven » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:51 pm

Thanks, Peter. :) For some reason, the "Democracy" lyrics always came across as components of a strong, strident song, but without me appreciating the poetry -- till now. The "Closing Time" lyrics and the entire song, I've read as poetry at a reading.
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mnkyface
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by mnkyface » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:09 pm

Climb on your tears
and be silent
like a rose
on its ladder of thorns

The Window
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Womanfromaroom
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Womanfromaroom » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:28 pm

As a strong poetic image:
The lake - a lady's mirror
Story of Isaak
"You thought that it could never happen / to all the people that you became"...
Love Calls You By Your Name
AvidCohenFan
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by AvidCohenFan » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:02 pm

Steven wrote:
Here's one: "But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend"
I've never really got that one for some reason. He talking about the windows and how they're the only unbroken bits of the ceiling or something?

So I'm not completely off topic, here's my contrib.:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you
Steven
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Steven » Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:39 am

Hi AvidCohenFan,

Thanks to you and the other contributors to this thead. Here's my take on the
"skylight" containing quote: The skylight represents an illuminated,
vastness of potential set against the "drum" (his voice or means of expression).
That the drum won't be mended, acknowledges a feeling that there will
be a falling short from what is possible. Other takes could have equal or
greater validity.

The lyrics you posted from "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" are very expressive
and contextualize the specialness that people can mistakenly take to be unique to themselves.
Ola
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Ola » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:59 am

It's not an easy task since the lyrics are inseparable , nevertheless mine are:

the one you mention Steven is one of my favourites

And the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend - it's like a zen coan

another one

I stepped into an avalanche,
It covered up my soul;


from Diamonds in the Mine

The river is swollen up with rusty cans
and the trees are burning in your promised land


Our Lady of Solitude

And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
I knew her, I knew her
Face to face


Joan of Arc

She said, Im tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before,
A wedding dress or something white
To wear upon my swollen appetite

.
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Diane
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Diane » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:01 pm

Last Year's Man, and that line, is also one of my favourites

The skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend.

To me, the skylight is the illuminated part of the sky where the sun shines through on a cloudy day. And it's like skin for a drum I'll never mend because it is the gap in the skin - the hole in it. The rain couldn't fall down, amen, on the works of last year's man, if the skin was unbroken, and neither could the sun shine on what is current - that's the meaning I get from it.

My favourite lines in that song:

The wilderness is gathering
all its children back again.


or just:

The wilderness is gathering


I like it because it lends a dramatic vision something like a storm with swirling dust and dark clouds moving across a vast landscape. And because it reminds me that the wilderness will eventually gather up everything that tries to stay outside of it.
Gerry
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Gerry » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:43 pm

My favourite has to be the whole third verse of 'Suzanne'. I think it is one of the most beautiful verses in music and i always look forward to hearing it as soon as the song begins.
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror.

I love those five lines.
Steven
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Steven » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:11 pm

Diane,

"The wilderness is gathering
all its children back again."

There is a gospel song recorded by the late, great Johnny Cash called "Are all The
Children In" (there is no question mark on the title as it appears on the CD:
"Johnny Cash The Gospel Collection." -- The above lines you quoted are reminiscent of
the song. In the gospel song, a mother's words of inquiry about the whereabouts
of her children are later used as words relating to a caring, ultimate spiritual concern.
By contrast, though, the wilderness, in the Leonard Cohen song, might be an anti-safe place to Cash's singing of being "in" (home).
anunitu
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by anunitu » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:33 pm

From dress rehearsal rag.


You can still find a job,
go out and talk to a friend.
On the back of every magazine
there are those coupons you can send.
Why don't you join the Rosicrucians,
they can give you back your hope,
you can find your love with diagrams
on a plain brown envelope.
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Yorkshire Lad
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by Yorkshire Lad » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:51 am

for the romantics it has to be " even in your arms I know I'll never get it right , even when you bend to give me comfort in the night "
from coming back to you
manchester, london,manchester , a mountain in Wales ,hills in Haiger
Be content with a mistake or two. Perfection holds no compromise. It's a prison for perfect people .Where the flag of insanity flies
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abby
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by abby » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:19 pm

your love is some dust in an old man's cuff
who is tapping his foot to a tune

I showed my heart to the doctor: he said I just have to quit.
Then he wrote himself a prescription,
and your name was mentioned in it.

the stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold

I am cold and rainy,
I am dirty as a glass roof in a train station.

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?

rags of light
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friscogrl
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Re: Poetic Snippets From Songs

Post by friscogrl » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:37 am

One of my favorites:
And come forth from the cloud of unknowing and kiss the cheek of the moon.
-The Window

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