Last year`s man

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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Last year`s man

Post by kjetil » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:42 pm

Hello there. I have been singing this song and played guitar to it, by my self. Just for fun. My this is a great song. You can actually see a table wih a harp on it. I must admitt that some of Cohens lyrics are difficult for me to understand. This song I think is about an artist who suffers a great depression after having some sucsess. But there is more to it, isn`t there? Feel free to comment if you like.

Kjetil. :)
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Re: Last year`s man

Post by Steven » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:18 pm

Hi Kjetil,

Yes, it is a great song. Join the ranks of many of us who have been engaged
in different ways with it. :) As the lyrics are poetry, it can present itself
differently to different people at different times. As such, there
might not be one correct answer for your question. Reading the lyrics
today (I've heard the song hundreds of times), a current take is: an
artist struck by his own insufficiency ("hand" hasn't moved -- the
writing hand?) and what that represents in terms of potential
unfulfilled. The biblical metaphors are powerful. The contrast between
broad, grandiose sweeps of the biblical/historical metaphors with the humility
(or maybe really bad feelings he may have had at the time) are enormous,
poingnant and striking. This particular take is also mindful of the song
as a representation for the artist possibly feeling really overwhelmed, which might
make for subject material (we have the song), but at the peril of the
artist's own well-being (feeling miserable and all that goes with that). Feel free to
completely dismiss all of this and have fun engaging with the song in your own way.
Happy strumming and singing to you.
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Re: Last year`s man

Post by Stranger » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:03 pm

This is a general question, not just about LYM: where can I find analyses of LC's songs? The front page has a link to Analysis, but just a few analyses are posted there. I would really very much like to read poets'/song writers'/ artists' thoughts and analyses about, well, all his songs.
" ........... if one can describe as serious the confused comedy of our lives". Graham Greene, "The Comedians".
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Re: Last year`s man

Post by alb123 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:00 pm

I post this URL with hesitation, as I have read some rather bizarre, infantile and insane interpretations of songs. Not necessarily Leonard Cohen songs, but nonetheless....I think it may have to do with being a website directed towards the masses unlike this site that is going to have a membership consisting solely of Leonard Cohen fans.

Take what you will from the site. I have found a few snippets of insight into tracks, of various artists, though I still hold reservations on the whole...
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
Las Vegas, NV - Dec 11, 2010 (Final Show of Leonard's 3 year World Tour) INCREDIBLE!
Boston, MA - Dec 15, 2012 (Best L.C. concert I've been to!)
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Re: Last year`s man

Post by yaniv297 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:43 pm

I really love this song. I won't pretend to understand all the lyrics, but I think the phrase "last year's man" is really powerful. It's somebody - maybe an artist - who was "the man" of last year - done great things, made great achievements. but last year passed, the rain falls down on his works (they got old, are overshadows by newer stuff), and he can't create anything as good as the old ones. that's what i think of that phrase, anyway, i might be wrong.

I also really love the line "Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain".
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