You'll see your woman hanging upside down

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

Post by iris wigle-cutforth » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:27 pm

You'll see your woman hanging upside down....hmmm....he doesn't confide who the woman pictures. Possibly an old news item. Audrey Hepburn was hung upsidedown in Montreal 1967 by friends of Erin Brocovich. I suppose some people think that is a funny thing to do. And Audrey and Sharon Tate (1) did movies like The Thomas Crown can see the scar on Sharon Tate 1's face. Life is strange...Audrey was Sharon Tate 2, understudy for Faye Dunnaway. I don't get the X11 over a picture comment about the poem. Unless the artist was thinking of the Seven World Powers or Seven being heavenly justice. Well, that is tricky. Why? Because one of the women belonging to the Seventh World Power was a nun betrowed to Jesus. Daughter of Satan it is said because the 7th World Power (all Powers) belong to Satan. I mean wouldn't both Jesus and Satan be a little upset if one was to hang a nun upsidedown? let alone any other woman? Sinead O'Connor did the wedding dress in red after Bobby Darin died and placed both him and Sandra Dee on a old record. They were husband and wife composers you know...putting out hundreds of songs and she never found the body. I want to puke.
imaginary friend
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by imaginary friend » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:22 pm

Hi Anne,

Sorry I didn't post this earlier while your illustration was still up. Wanted to view/think about it before commenting. That was the white man dancing, yes? Underneath the woman's fallen skirt, nice Cohen touch ;-) Pre- and post-monastery Leonard faces were very effective, as was switching the Hanged Man to a Woman. Once you crossed Leonard with Tarot, Sisters of Mercy lyrics started playing in my head ('...I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned...')

Tarot symbols are fascinating, aren't they? Archetypal expressions rather than psychic tools. I hope you make the time to put the LC Tarot deck together, your work is lively and competent (I work in graphics, so have seen more than a few illos) :)
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by anneporter » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:25 pm

Thank you, imaginary friend, for giving some thought to my Tarot card. I agree with you about Tarot being archetypal rather than psychic. Hence my assertion that Cohen's "upside down" line is a Tarot image, arising out of the collective unconscious, regardless of whether this was or was not his conscious intention.

As for finding time to complete the deck, since I started the Tarot project, the time is finding me.

I haven't come up with a Sisters of Mercy card yet... any ideas about which Tarot card might fit?

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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by Steven » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:24 pm

Alright Everyone,

Here's another possible meaning. Leonard may have been appropriating the belief
among some, that St. Peter was crucified upside down in congruence with his
desire to indicate his feelilngs of unworthiness to share the positioning on the
cross (metaphorical and actual) with Jesus -- here, with the woman hanging upside
down. Perhaps the woman is a martyr archetype with no larger personal pretensions.
I don't know, but think the possibility interesting enough to present.
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by Esme » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:51 pm

It was Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.
Also, Billie Holliday didn't write Strange Fruit. The lyrics are from a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-school teacher from the Bronx. See
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Re: You'll see your woman hanging upside down

Post by rosered51 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:51 pm

I, too, think this is a much simpler image than the very scholarly interpretation and some of the previous posts. A woman hanging upside down, with her gown covering her face and her genitals exposed or vulnerable, has been robbed of her dignity and humanity. She is also no longer "your woman," but rather belongs to anyone who cares to take her. It's simply another apocalyptic vision, a chaotic, fearful image.

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