You'll see your woman hanging upside down

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
lazariuk
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by lazariuk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:54 am

iris wigle-cutforth wrote:The important word here is "your", so, any man who envisions his gal upsidedown with her face hiden by her gown must mean he wants a divorce???
you will have to ask yourself why you got the "important word" wrong.
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lazariuk
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Re: You'll see a woman hanging upside down

Post by lazariuk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:28 am

In case anyone missed the point. It is not "your woman" it is "a woman"
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Re: You'll see a woman hanging upside down

Post by lazariuk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:33 am

Here is a crazy thought. re:
You'll see a woman hanging upside down
If the order is overturned then men who were once the head and above the women and times have changed.

Maybe it is the man that has to hang upside down in order to see her and in a dignified way she is standing straight and her features are covered as they should be.

just a thought
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tomsakic
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Re: You'll see a woman hanging upside down

Post by tomsakic » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:53 pm

lazariuk wrote:In case anyone missed the point. It is not "your woman" it is "a woman"
Indeed, Jack, that's what the lyrics suggest; I checked now on The Files. But, I have heard this song many times on bootlegs, and I am sure that Leonard does sing it like "You'll see your woman hanging upside down, her features covered by her fallen gown". (Along with the "Give me back the Ozone layer with that little hole we can't repair" line.) Funny thing, if somebody asked me for the lyrics, I'd always quote it like "your woman".

Still, although "your woman" means some kind of relation to the happening and the depicted mood, "a woman" doesn't change the point so much I believe. It's not your woman now, it's every woman (or any woman?) represented in one (a woman). Where's deeper "Horror! Horror"" (Kurtz), in your woman or in every/any woman (hanging upside down)? ...
lazariuk
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Re: You'll see a woman hanging upside down

Post by lazariuk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:01 pm

In the song he is speaking to a brother, not brothers. Maybe he is only speaking to one person.
Tom Sakic wrote: Where's deeper "Horror! Horror"" (Kurtz), in your woman or in every/any woman (hanging upside down)? ...
I have wondered about that guy in "Closing time" with a patch on one eye.
Odin was hanging upside down in "the tree" looking toward the roots and he lost an eye.
The Hanging Man by Sylvia Platt

By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me.
I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet.

The nights snapped out of sight like a lizard's eyelid :
A world of bald white days in a shadeless socket.

A vulturous boredom pinned me in this tree.
If he were I, he would do what I did.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by confetti » Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:40 pm

I am accused of being too literal and direct quite often, but I see the song as just saying the future is bleak, nothing but murder. Abortions, copycat killing,(trying to sound like charlie manson) racist killings,(white man dancing) but loves the only engine of survival. Love is the only way we can survive or make things better in the future.

I am pretty sure that the KKK hanged women upside down, maybe wrong but from somewhere deep in my thoughts the image of a black woman hanging upside down on a tree comes to mind, and I don't see a wedding dress but a floral patterned dress.

I think that is the beauty of allegorical poetry though, that it means so many things to so many people, and at a different stage in my life may mean something different to me as well.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by jill » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:55 pm

I agree with confetti. I think the lyric is about lynching.




"Strange Fruit" sung by Billie Holiday is about the lynching of an African American woman strung upside down from a rope around her ankles. There are photos/post cards taken of victims of lynchings showing white Americans grinning beneath naked mutilated bodies of black men or woman hanging upside down. ( L.C. "and the white man dancing" )

Also consider Michael Richard's racist remark at a comedy club: that "50 years ago you would have been hung upside down ....."

Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

When I first heard the phrase
"lousy little poets trying to sound like Charlie Manson" I thought it was L.C. reaction to the Heavy Metal scene at the time, especially the Satanic Death Metal. I might be far off base, but that was my first impression.

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Re: You'll see a woman hanging upside down

Post by tomsakic » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:15 pm

Tom Sakic wrote:
lazariuk wrote:In case anyone missed the point. It is not "your woman" it is "a woman"
Indeed, Jack, that's what the lyrics suggest; I checked now on The Files. But, I have heard this song many times on bootlegs, and I am sure that Leonard does sing it like "You'll see your woman hanging upside down, her features covered by her fallen gown". (Along with the "Give me back the Ozone layer with that little hole we can't repair" line.) Funny thing, if somebody asked me for the lyrics, I'd always quote it like "your woman".

Leonard is also singing YOUR WOMAN in album/studio version on CD, whatever the lyrics printed in the booklet say.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by linda_lakeside » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:16 pm

Me as well...just tonight I was looking for an image for my photoblog to go with the line 'your woman hanging upside down'. Not 'a' woman. This changes everything. I'll have to have a listen with the headphones. I think it's because Leonard doesn't always repeat the same lines the same way. I'm glad I saw this. Rather,his enunciation isn't what it once was. Which is fine by me.

On Strange Fruit, I was never of the impression that it was a woman being lynched. There was some discrepancy as to whether Billie actually witnessed a lynching or not. Even if she wrote it from an imagined standpoint, I've never heard a reference to a woman. Coincidentally, that's one I just posted to my blog a few weeks ago, and I must have listened to it 30 times. She always says 'black bodies' - no gender mentioned. There may have been coverage in the papers using stock footage - again,another headphone session.

I never took Leonard's meaning to be a racial lynching or a 'lynching'' as such, but more of a 'horror scene' like 'I've seen the Future, brother, and it is murder'. The wedding gown is symbolic to a lot of writers, but I don't know about the 'divorce' angle here. It's a pretty dramatic and horrific image. Although, the wedding dress is an item that repeats itself in his work over and over.. Gee. I guess I better start at page one, not the last few posts....
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by friscogrl » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:30 pm

It is definetly "your" I am listening to it whilst I type. I always picutred the gown as a simple white linen type gown and as someone mentioned earlier here I think it may refer to senseless murder, like the "Manson" murders. Now i am listening to "Democracy" It just does not get any better than this!
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linda_lakeside
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by linda_lakeside » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:07 pm

We may 'picture' or 'imagine' a song in a certain way, but that's not necessarily what Leonard meant. A few people 'see' a white gown, or wedding gown, but that's our own take - not necessarily Leonard's intent. I really think the entire song is one of apocalyptic nightmare 'love's the only engine of survival' is like a warning.

Lizzy's right also, that Leonard, even on the tape of the induction, admits to having little 'nostalgia' or memory of the past. Like the poem he wrote so long ago (Marissa??) - 'come looking for me, I'm almost 30' (paraphrase), then later claiming he had no memory of what she looked like. Yet, at the time of writing, one would think he'd never forget her. The Future is certainly one interesting song, just packed with imagery and symbolism.

As an aside, I think that this tour has really done some good things for the forum. All these new people have breathed real life back into the forum. Old topics seem new again. There are many, many threads going. Love, indeed, is the only engine of survival.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
iris wigle-cutforth
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by iris wigle-cutforth » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:15 am

Now...there was the Peter Gabriel song with Melanie and Gab singing upsidedown which basically means everything will turn out all right. Or was that Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush or Kate Nash? either way it spells Estelle Parsons. Is it always a man thing thinking of a woman upsidedown? Is a man more in control upsideup? ACDC? Hmmm? Leo is so deep
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by iris wigle-cutforth » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:17 am

Leo wrote a poem about Marissa. So did Kate Nash...well...Marisella...same difference. You gave a lot of thought to your answer. I guess that is what I should do next time. I must read Marissa and compare.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by iris wigle-cutforth » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:08 am

So many interesting thoughts like she (Mother of Jesus) is hiding her face to genitilia distortion but the body is beautiful. God said so, "look it is good" perfect and Adam and Eve were nude. I am glad he said "your" woman is hung upsidedown. It makes one think of vengeance not necessarily the belittlement of a woman. By the way, Sharon Tate didn't have her stomache slit at the home she was renting which was turned into a Kingdom Hall. It was at the morgue...well...according to Mrs. Chapman. No I am in the vomiting room. Move on. I can't find Marissa. I found Waiting for Maryanne, singing for Maryanne who seems to have changed her name again. Hmmm? A Marnie thing?
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Post by anneporter » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:24 pm

.....
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