Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today's song/Anthem - Leonard Cohen

Perfect, perfect song and performance, and the women sound like an angel chorus. 



Anthem

So, ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I seem to hear them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
and the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every single government -
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
on your bitter broken drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

31 comments:

  1. Beautiful! thank you for this.

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    1. I'm really happy you liked it. Oh, it is just so wonderful. (Carole, I presume?)

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  2. First, unforgettable words. Second, how is it that I have never listened to this man before? Where have I been? Not waiting anymore to give a perfect offering. Thank you so much, Nan!

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    1. You must be too young! :<) He's been part of my listening life since I was in my twenties. You may know his songs more than his versions. Do a search and you'll be amazed at all he has written. I'm so very fond of his voice, too.

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    2. No, Nan, not too young. Maybe I'm too old and too square! But I've found him now. Thank you.

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    3. Ha ha! It doesn't matter when you find a singer. In the past few years, Mr. Sinatra has been my find. :<)

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  3. This is probably my favorite Leonard Cohen. I knew of him for years but only in the last five years or so did I listen to any of his music. I quickly became a huge fan.

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    1. I think that too when I hear it, but then I think of others and I can't really say. :<) So pleased you are also a fan.

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  4. Another great artist from Canada- thinking of Gordon Lightfoot,Joni Mitchell...I love Leonard Cohen. This was such a treat. Thanks so much.
    Couldn't begin to think of my favorite song, but perhaps "Sisters of Mercy" is near the top. "Blue Raincoat" maybe? Such a beautiful writer.
    And so gracious with his fellow artists on stage with him. The talent on that stage- wow!
    I have Sylvie Simmon's book about him on reserve at the library - had heard her interview either on NPR or our local WXPN [out of U.of PA] and it sounds very good. It's called "I'm Your Man."
    Guess you can tell I'm a fan :)
    Mary

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    1. You forgot the Barenaked Ladies! :<)
      The first song I loved was 'Hey, that's no way to say goodbye' and then Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah may be the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. I never tire of it as often as it is used in movies and tv shows.
      I was also most impressed with the mutual respect and admiration the people onstage had for one another, and of course his respect for his audience. I'd love to have been there.
      I think there's a film of that name too.

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    2. Oh yes! Those two slipped my mind. I wore out my Judy Collin's Wildflowers album with That's no way to say good-bye. It was my senior year in college and the end of a love affair- that song just hit me---still does. And the great Hallelujah - leave me in awe every time.
      L.C. is the poet song writer of our generation- and then there's Mr.Dylan, too.
      Thanks for this wonderful post - so interesting to see everyone's comments. And your gracious replies.
      Mary

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    3. I was very pleased to see all the comments. Often the 'today's song' posts get very few replies. :<)))
      The Wildflowers album is the first place I heard a LC song, too. I would add Van Morrison to the poet/songwriter list.
      There are those who call them the holy trinity.

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  5. Hi Nan: Thanks for posting this beautiful piece. I have never really been a fan, but lately I have come to really appreciate his beautiful words and music. My very favourite Leonard Cohen piece is "Take This Waltz", but this one comes a close second. Donna - Stratford.

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    1. There is a lot I haven't heard and Take this Waltz is one. I will find it and listen.
      I like Madeleine Peyroux' version of Dance Me To The End of Love.

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  6. Do you know the first time we were exposed to Leonard Cohen was in Canada? He was having a concert performance and we met a girl from Cuba who had come all the way up north to Vancouver to see him. She said it was going to be his last performance. I promptly started listening to his songs and fell in love with his music. Thank you for posting this, Nan.

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    1. Wow! That's such a great story. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me.

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  7. Anon above wasn't me, another reader /fan. I too love L.C., thank you for printing out all the words too, he is a superb poet. I love his story too, becoming a Zen monk for a few years and so on. He's a gift to the world........Hallelujah!!

    Carole

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    1. Lots of people with that name. :<)))
      I knew you'd like him. I don't know a lot of his history. Must do some reading. And aren't you the witty one. I was just writing above that I never, ever tire of Jeff Buckley's version. Some odd words but oh, that music and that voice.

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    1. I like the new avatar pic of you. I clicked and saw it on google circles. I presume that's why your whole name comes up now. And yes it is truly magnificent. The perfect adjective.

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  9. One of my favorite songs. I used to use the chorus from this as my signature line on email.

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    1. That's how I first heard of it! Not your signature line but someone's way back when I was first online in the nineties. Great words.

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  10. What can I say tat other people haven't already said? Isn't he just the bestest!

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    1. I think it is thrilling that he is so beloved!

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  11. He became a Zen monk at one time Nan. I agree about the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah, I love it but I love L.C's too, and the early ones we know so well. I have just ordered the biography, ostensibly as a Christmas present for someone but, ho hum, it may have to be read before giving it away!!

    Carole

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    1. No reason why it can't be a Christmas present to yourself! You'll probably like it better than anyone you might give it to. ;<))

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  12. True, I'll see, but thanks again for the post, a lovely reminder.

    C.

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  13. Don't ask me why...but I had an absolute fan crush on both Leonard Cohen and Rod McKuen. Maybe it was the voice...which is probably why I also idolized Tom Waits.

    All excellent writers...and I know I'm gonna take some heat over McKuen...some put him in the same category as those Keane paintings of the waifs with the big eyes. Even Woody Allen took a poke at those in Sleeper.

    I'm just a hopeles romantic...but I never did like those Keane paintings... :)

    - J.

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    1. I liked ol' Rod too. I still think he wrote good stuff. You know how we were talking about Concrete Blonde on your blog? Well, Johnette Napolitano has the woman's equivalent to those gravelly voices, don't you think?!

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    2. She's getting there...just a few more Marlboros... :)

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    3. What is it about Marlboros? How and when did they get so popular? Was it a rebellious jab at the dead Marlboro man? All I know is it seems to be the brand of choice for twenty-and thirty-somethings. Amazing. You'd think all the 'hipsters' would smoke American Spirits. :<)

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