Posted by: Andrew G | May 14, 2010

Returning to Leonard Cohen

Last night I was eating my rice and salmon and flipping through channels when I stumbled upon Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen. It is a kind of documentary/interview with the man in the grand ol’ time of the mid-60s. (45 minutes of black and white! And not just for effect!)


It’s funny, you know, but we used to stumble upon stuff all the time, but now when we do it there is an official sanctioning in place because of interwebbing. We used to dig things, if you dig, but again that’s the old form, daddy-o. Today, we digg.

I’m just saying that we haven’t changed the meaning so much. We are just starting to change the ritual.

Anyway, I was really happy to get this little reminder from the old tech tv (does it even get capitalized anymore?) because I didn’t really know what to do for Friday’s post. That’s how I remembered  Leonard is always there for me.

Some time ago I posted Curing, a mash-up of some my ideas over a Cohen song. Today I present for your view and commentary, another mash-up. And as I asked before, what song do you figure this is inspired by?


By Andrew Gilchrist, with cred to Cohen

And you want to travel with him
you want to travel blind
and you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body
with his mind
–  Leonard Cohen

I was born like this, I had no choice.
– Leonard Cohen

I hear you now, a strong voice from the tower,
I sit in the alley, patient head bowed lower.
Desperation, longing, I want to understand,
The practice is over and you excuse the band.

Says one man from his lonely tall tower,
You see a drowning man but I can see a sailor.
But down the track there stands another tower,
Where a woman and a memory can make of you a singer.

The angels tied you down to a table you say,
Or was it at the crossroads of a Holy Roman Causeway?
You see there is something I feel I need to know:
How do you speak so sweetly from your window?

That Cistine sailing ship called Bounty, State or Splendour,
Has saved a man or two from the drowning water.
This Cistine oil tanker with righteousness in tow,
Stains like a bug smeared on the reflection of a window.

Tower of the Broken G-d and Tower of Song,
What did you get from suffering so long?
I guess you already know, anyone could have told you,
It can get pretty lonely if you’ve got that kind of view.

She is still, she is longing, holding up that mirror,
Telling you it’s taller than any vaulted tower,
You can see the bridges burning deep in the reflection,
And the poor keep selling off the license to their station.

Can you build a bridge that makes a cross over the water,
High enough to let pass any sailing ship or tanker?
Could anyone direct such a traffic jam from above,
The water and the mirror, the causeway and the tower?
Did you see this coming like lovers too close together?
Can you see the crossroads being built by love?

Then you ached and your hair turned grey.
Have you travelled too long on your Holy Roman Causeway?
You see there is something I feel I need to know:
Is this why your voice sounds so sweet from your window?

This Cistine sailing ship can glorify the water,
That Cistine oil tanker can make a mess of the mirror.
On reflection that bridge better be built on something strong,
To hold the traffic of a causeway and a mighty tower of song.

Sail on, sail on, sail on…
Leonard Cohen

When you’ve fallen on the highway
and you’re lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you’re feeling
of course you say you can’t complain-
Leonard Cohen


All blessings! Have a good weekend!



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