Lines that get you every time

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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mutti
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by mutti » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:47 am

Take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things
my hands have done;
let me see your beauty broken down,
like you would do
for one you love.

Mutti ;-)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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somewhat_nifty
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by somewhat_nifty » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:24 am

'You held on to me like I was a crucifix
as we went kneeling through the dark'

'Do not dress in those rags for me, I know you are not poor,
And don't love me quite so fiercely now, when you know that you are not sure'

'Your eyes are wild and your knuckles are red and you're speaking far too low
No, I can't make out what your master said before he made you go'.

'Between the newsreel and your tiny pain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.'

'Then she dances so graceful
and your heart's hard and hateful
and she's naked
but that's just a tease.
And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and she comes to you
light as the breeze.'

It's weird but no other songwriter (yet) has made me feel quite the way he does with those lines... Completely agree with Lilifyre about the difference between sad and depressing. For me, the beauty in Leonard's lyrics prevent me from ever finding it depressing.
I'm chained to the old masquerade...
2008: London O2 14th Nov, RAH 18th Nov; 2009: NY RCMH 16th May, Weybridge MBW 11th July, Barcelona 21st Sept; 2010: Sligo 31st July, Lille 25th Sept, Las Vegas 11th Dec; 2012: Wembley Arena 8th Sept, Dublin 11th Sept 2013: London O2 21st June, London O2 14th Sept
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mutti
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by mutti » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:27 pm

she's a hundred but she's wearing
something tight

Mutti ;-)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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hydriot
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by hydriot » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:11 am

somewhat_nifty wrote:And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and she comes to you
light as the breeze.'
When I listen to this verse, I hear 'lust' not 'love'. It fits the rhyming scheme as well.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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somewhat_nifty
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by somewhat_nifty » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

hydriot wrote:
somewhat_nifty wrote:And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and she comes to you
light as the breeze.'
When I listen to this verse, I hear 'lust' not 'love'. It fits the rhyming scheme as well.
Me too actually, I always thought that was what it was until I checked, and I think it fits with the lyrics better, but according to Stranger Music it's 'love'. Once I was aware of it I could hear Leonard singing it as well. But I still think 'lust' is better!
I'm chained to the old masquerade...
2008: London O2 14th Nov, RAH 18th Nov; 2009: NY RCMH 16th May, Weybridge MBW 11th July, Barcelona 21st Sept; 2010: Sligo 31st July, Lille 25th Sept, Las Vegas 11th Dec; 2012: Wembley Arena 8th Sept, Dublin 11th Sept 2013: London O2 21st June, London O2 14th Sept
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Hartmut
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by Hartmut » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:48 pm

The narrator says "love" – but because of the rhyming scheme we know that he actually means "lust".
holydove
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by holydove » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:41 pm

Hope you don't mind me jumping in, but I think he actually means what he says - "love" - and lust would be included in the kind of love he is talking about, but many other things with which we "tyrannize" (his word) ourselves are also included with the use of the word "love", such as all the emotional & psychological mazes & prisons which we create within that phenomenon which we call love. I think the use of the word "love" makes it a much bigger & more poignant statement; & I think he gives it a really brilliant twist with that word (as only LC, in his beautiful & inimitable way, can), because most of us think of love as something very positive, but here he feels the need to turn away from it, because it has become as tyrannical & monstrous as his hatred. That's my take on it, anyway. . .
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Hartmut
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by Hartmut » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:51 pm

but I think he actually means what he says - "love"
Quite possible.

But anyway, it's a neat trick: using one word, and through the rhyming scheme implying an additional one.
holydove
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by holydove » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:18 pm

Hartmut, I agree - it is a very cool trick (that ever clever little devil - brilliant as usual)! Thank you for pointing it out. . .
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somewhat_nifty
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by somewhat_nifty » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:09 am

Very true, I think both meanings are meant, and they can often be one and the same.
I'm chained to the old masquerade...
2008: London O2 14th Nov, RAH 18th Nov; 2009: NY RCMH 16th May, Weybridge MBW 11th July, Barcelona 21st Sept; 2010: Sligo 31st July, Lille 25th Sept, Las Vegas 11th Dec; 2012: Wembley Arena 8th Sept, Dublin 11th Sept 2013: London O2 21st June, London O2 14th Sept
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by LisaLCFan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:27 am

When you've fallen on the highway
and you're lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you're doing
of course you'll say you can't complain...

This line always makes me laugh, and yet, it also makes me sad.
hannah
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by hannah » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:15 am

Ring the bell that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the Light gets in.
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burningviolin
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Location: Ireland.

Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by burningviolin » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:47 pm

Its the same line as in my signature at the moment.

"Well I've been where you're hanging I think I can see how you're pinned."

Love that one.
2009 Liverpool 14/07/09, Dublin 20/07/09, Belfast 26/07/09, Lisbon 30/7/09, Barcelona 21/09/09.
2010 Sligo (x2), Lille 25/09/10 Las Vegas 11/12/2010
2012 Wembley 8/9/12, RHK 11/9/12
O2 London 2013 O2 Dublin 2013
"I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned."
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by TipperaryAnn » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:02 am

Great thread, Dan K., as there are so many lovely Leonard lines to choose from, and it's not as painful as trying to choose favourite song, album, etc.! :razz:

I love the sound of:
It's coming like the tidal flood beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious, in amorous array.

The sadness of:
Nancy wore green stockings, and she slept with everyone.

And for love of life and refusal to surrender :
The band is playing Old Lang Syne but the heart will not retreat.
Forget your perfect offering -
There is a crack in everything...
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TineDoes
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Re: Lines that get you every time

Post by TineDoes » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:15 pm

Many of the lines that get me every time have already been quoted, thank you. Here are another few


'So set your restless heart at ease
Take a lesson from these Autumn leaves
They waste no time waiting for the snow
.......
It's light enough, light enough
To let it go
Light enough to let it go'


These both sad an soothing lines:
'Fare thee well my nightingale
I lived but to be near you
Tho' you are singing somewhere still
I can no longer hear you'

Question: Is there a thread that discusses word use in LC lyrics?
For example as some one quoted from Take this Waltz ' earlier in this thread: "With the photographs there and the moss'
But that person always thinks of 'moths'. I always here LC sing 'moths'.

Tineke
"There’s no forsaking what you love ...."

Rotterdam 2008; Antwerpen, Dublin 2009; Gent 2x, Lille , Las Vegas 2x 2010, Gent, Amsterdam, Dublin 2x 2012, Antwerp, Berlin, Rotterdam 2013
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