Master Song

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
holydove
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Re: Master Song

Postby holydove » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:13 pm

Remote1, thank you; I can't speak for anyone else, but it does help me!
holydove
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Re: Master Song

Postby holydove » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:33 pm

Just want to add, I just went to the Diamonds in the Lines site, & there is a quote where Leonard said: "I'd like to sing a song which is called the Master Song, and it's about the Trinity. . . Leave that for the scholars: It's about three people"

Dare we venture into a discussion about the Trinity anaology?! Maybe we should heed Leonard's instruction to leave that for the scholars (of course, some of you out there, unlike me, may be scholars); but one can't help wondering, can one?? (Which person is God, which the Son, & which the Holy Ghost??) I, for one, would need some time to think about that. . .
Lilifyre
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Re: Master Song

Postby Lilifyre » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:44 pm

holydove wrote:Just want to add, I just went to the Diamonds in the Lines site, & there is a quote where Leonard said: "I'd like to sing a song which is called the Master Song, and it's about the Trinity. . . Leave that for the scholars: It's about three people"

Dare we venture into a discussion about the Trinity anaology?! Maybe we should heed Leonard's instruction to leave that for the scholars (of course, some of you out there, unlike me, may be scholars); but one can't help wondering, can one?? (Which person is God, which the Son, & which the Holy Ghost??) I, for one, would need some time to think about that. . .
Holydove, perhaps what Leonard was trying to say is that like the concept of the Trinity, the 3 are one and the same. By "leaving it for the scholars" he could be saying that this is a topic that can be will always spark questions, but in the end, "It's about three people."

Lili
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
holydove
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Re: Master Song

Postby holydove » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:19 pm

Hi Lilifyre! Which topic is he saying will always spark questions, the trinity or the song?
GinaDCG
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Re: Master Song

Postby GinaDCG » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:45 pm

Lilifyre wrote:
holydove wrote:Just want to add, I just went to the Diamonds in the Lines site, & there is a quote where Leonard said: "I'd like to sing a song which is called the Master Song, and it's about the Trinity. . . Leave that for the scholars: It's about three people"

By "leaving it for the scholars" he could be saying that this is a topic that can be will always spark questions, but in the end, "It's about three people."

Lili
The first time I really paid attention to the words I thought of a reference to Judaism and it's off-shoot, Christianity ("Your Master") to which Europeans converted and then began to abuse the members of that parent religion. So, instead of "THE Trinity" from Christianity, I see a historical collision of 2 monotheistic faiths. The references to "while I was sick in bed" (the Roman diaspora) "wine and bread" (Christian eucharist) "you met him at some temple" (Europe's pagan religions) "apple core" (Judaism and Christianity's doctrine of original sin.)

My 2 cents.
Lilifyre
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Re: Master Song

Postby Lilifyre » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:10 am

holydove wrote:Hi Lilifyre! Which topic is he saying will always spark questions, the trinity or the song?

Holydove, my simple answer would be "Yes". Each of those topics will always spark questions. So often Leonard puts for a question and leaves it unanswered, or "leaves it to the scholars" to come up with the answer that satisfies the individual. I was, however, referring to your question of "(Which person is God, which the Son, & which the Holy Ghost??)" in my own conclusion that they are one and the same. Anything further is for the "scholars" to work out. I feel this is just another time where there is no right or wrong answer. The question is what is important, not the answer. Whether it is about 3 human beings or 3 concepts of deity, either way it causes the listener to think and that's the intent. I've found this in many of Leonard's songs. He poses a relatively simple question, one that could have different answers depending upon the experiences and "reality" of the listener. When asked about such things, in the reviews and interviews I've read/heard, he is vague and non-committal. He means for the listener to answer for her/himself.

Lili
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
Lilifyre
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:29 am
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA

Re: Master Song

Postby Lilifyre » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:22 am

Gina wrote: The first time I really paid attention to the words I thought of a reference to Judaism and it's off-shoot, Christianity ("Your Master") to which Europeans converted and then began to abuse the members of that parent religion. So, instead of "THE Trinity" from Christianity, I see a historical collision of 2 monotheistic faiths. The references to "while I was sick in bed" (the Roman diaspora) "wine and bread" (Christian eucharist) "you met him at some temple" (Europe's pagan religions) "apple core" (Judaism and Christianity's doctrine of original sin.)
Very interesting point of view. I would only point out a couple of things (which may not matter to you and that's ok...you view these words from your own "reality" as I stated in my previous post). The "wine and bread" is not exclusive to the Christian eucharist. It is the basis of the Jewish Kiddush....sanctification of any holiday meal....particularly in the order of wine (Kiddush) and then bread (Motzi). The "temple" could also refer to THE Temple in Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Deity for the Jews, as well as a Pagan "temple". The "apple core" I can see as the common root of both Judaism and Christianity, but the concept of "original sin" is particular only to Christianity and does not exist in Judaism.

Again, questions beget questions and that is the key, IMHO. The answers are ours to find. My answers may be different than yours. That's what makes such things interesting.

Lili
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
John Etherington
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Re: Master Song

Postby John Etherington » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:25 am

All of this is very interesting, but remember what I mentioned earlier...the original poem of "Master Song" from "Parasites of Heaven" uses the line "you met him at some nightclub". However, it's not inconceivable that "Master Song" could have the other suggested meanings, because "God is Alive, Magic is Afoot" (from the same era) enscapulated the interplay of religion and magic.
GinaDCG
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Re: Master Song

Postby GinaDCG » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:52 pm

Lilifyre wrote:
.you view these words from your own "reality" as I stated in my previous post). The "wine and bread" is not exclusive to the Christian eucharist. It is the basis of the Jewish Kiddush....sanctification of any holiday meal....particularly in the order of wine (Kiddush) and then bread (Motzi). The "temple" could also refer to THE Temple in Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Deity for the Jews, as well as a Pagan "temple". The "apple core" I can see as the common root of both Judaism and Christianity, but the concept of "original sin" is particular only to Christianity and does not exist in Judaism.
Lili

Thank you. No, I'm not Jewish and my knowledge is severely limited. So original sin is not a Jewish concept? Interesting. Since Genesis is common to both traditions I had always assumed the interpretations of Genesis story were similar. Something to ponder and explore. Hummmmmm.

Again, thanks.
holydove
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Re: Master Song

Postby holydove » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:10 pm

Gina, I think the concept of "original sin", even if it's not actually called by that name (maybe it's referred to as "the fall"), is in Judaism; as you said, it is the story in the Old Testament, where Eve & Adam eat the apple from the Tree Of Knowledge, & are kicked out of the Garden - Leonard even sings about it in "Passing Through": I saw Adam leave the garden/with an apple in his hand". . .

John, I agree - I still think the song, at its heart, is about 3 PEOPLE (as Leonard has, as we now know, explicity stated - lol), & the dynamics of their (rather eccentric) relationships. . .
Lilifyre
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Re: Master Song

Postby Lilifyre » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:58 pm

Gina and Holydove, the whole concept of "original sin" is an invention of Paul and has no equivalent within Judaism. There is no "fall from grace" within Judaism. The story in Genesis merely points out, according to Jewish thinking, that humanity has the power of choice...good and evil. Judaism does not see humans as "damned" at birth because of the actions of an ancestor. Kabalah explains that humans are given 2 "inclinations"....the ability to do good and the ability to do bad...in more or less equal measure. The whole concept of humans being "hopeless sinners" is foreign to Jewish thought. In other words, humans need no "savior" because they are not lost in the first place. Very different interpretation than the Christian way of looking at it. If anything, the message of Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden implies a maturity on the part of humanity, equivalent to a child leaving the parent's home to make his/her way in the world. It's not even viewed as a punishment in Judaism but as a natural progression in life.

Lili
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
holydove
Posts: 1540
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Master Song

Postby holydove » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:00 pm

Lilifyre, thank you for the explanation. Just one question: if there is no need for a savior, how would you explain the idea of the Messiah (which may not exist in Kabbalah, but does exist in Judaism)? Judaism does not see Jesus as the Messiah, but aren't they still waiting for the Messiah?
Lilifyre
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Re: Master Song

Postby Lilifyre » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:28 pm

holydove wrote:Lilifyre, thank you for the explanation. Just one question: if there is no need for a savior, how would you explain the idea of the Messiah (which may not exist in Kabbalah, but does exist in Judaism)? Judaism does not see Jesus as the Messiah, but aren't they still waiting for the Messiah?
Messiah has a totally different meaning in Judaism than it does in Christianity. Messiah is literally, "anointed one", not savior. It's more closely related to "King" in Judaism. There have been many messiahs in Judaism, including Moses. He is to be a leader of the people and is to usher in a time of peace and prosperity. The Messiah is not meant to be divine in any way.

For a more thorough explanation from a Jewish perspective I would check out: http://www.aish.com/
Search the site for whatever topic you choose, such as "Messiah". This will give you the halachic explanation. Liberal Jews might give a broader interpretation of many of the topics, but they would not totally disagree with what is presented at this site.

Lili
Lili
"Well, that's my story
I admit it's broken and it's bleak
But all the twisted pieces fit
A 1000 kisses deep."
John Etherington
Posts: 2546
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: Master Song

Postby John Etherington » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:44 pm

I'm pulling this thread up again for reference, as I've never worked out how to cross-reference a thread!
John Etherington
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Re: Master Song

Postby John Etherington » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:19 am

Once again I'm pulling this thread up for reference since there is a new thread on this song.

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