Showing posts with label Leonard Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leonard Cohen. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Irish child sings a moving Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen's celebrated hymn gets better and better.
The singer is Kayla Rogers, 10, of Donaghadee (Northern Ireland).

 Kayla's interpretation [HERE] is simply breathtaking.

Her school, Killard House [HERE], is for children with deficiencies.
Kayla has run into problems of concentration on her work, and
her concert performance was intended as a therapeutic activity.

Man of the Year — my vote

Sunday, December 4, 2016

More Leonard Cohen... for eternity

                                                                       DIEGO TUSON/AFP

Click here for Suzanne,
Bird on the Wire and

WARNING: If you don't read French, then so much the better...
because the text in Le Monde contains some utter nonsense. Ignore it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Adam Cohen speaks of his father

Ma sœur et moi venons juste d’enterrer notre père à Montréal avec seulement la présence de la famille proche et de quelques amis. Il a été porté en terre dans un cercueil en pin sans fioritures près de son père et de sa mère, exactement comme il l’avait demandé.

Alors que j’écris cela, je pense à mon père, à son mélange unique d’autodérision, de dignité, d’élégance et de charisme naturel, à sa distinction à l’ancienne et à l’œuvre qu’il a forgée de sa main.

Il y a tellement de choses pour lesquelles je pourrais le remercier. Je le remercie pour ce confort dont il nous a pourvus et cette sagesse qu’il nous a transmise, pour ces  conversations marathons, pour sa vivacité d’esprit et son humour. Je le remercie pour m’avoir appris à aimer Montréal et la Grèce et pour la musique, celle qui m’a séduit alors que j’étais un petit garçon, celle qu’il m’a encouragé à composer et celle que j’ai eu le privilège de faire avec lui. Merci pour tous vos messages, vos témoignages de sympathie et l’amour que vous portez à mon père.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Plot of earth in Montreal

Cohen family plot at the Shaar Hashomayim
Cemetery on Friday in Montreal. 
(Giovanni Capriotti / for the Toronto Star)

Cohen at home, Los Angeles. September 24, 2016.
No more touring ahead. Cohen now concentrates
upon his family, friends and the work at hand. 
[photo by Graeme Mitchell for The New Yorker]

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cohen song that's hard to understand

Leonard Cohen, 1976, in France
                                                           [photo Istvan Bajzat/Alliances]

The Cohen song Hallelujah was started in 1980, but wasn’t finally written until 1984. Naive listeners might fail to understand that it’s a highly erotic song.

An explicitly sensual version was brought out by Jeff Buckley.
Switch to YouTube to access the original Buckley's performance.

It's a song inspired by the singer's sexual relationship with a lady.

Two angels and a holy man

The holy man has just left us in painful solitude.

Many years ago, in a Paris concert hall, I had the privilege of seeing
blonde Julie Christensen and dark Pearla Batella
accompanying Leonard Cohen.
They appeared to me as a pair of female angels surrounding a holy man.

Leonard Cohen on Chelsea Hotel

Like a bird in the sky

Leonard Cohen [1934-2016]

We were waiting to say farewell, dear Leonard.
We knew you were ready to leave.
You left us so elegantly, in your usual style, with no more
than a few words... for those who had already gone.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Blog gem : If it be Your will

Browsing through old blog posts, I often come upon an unexpected gem. It’s a post entitled Freedom of speech, published on May 10, 2011. It contains a link to an article by a great man, Christopher Hitchens, still alive at that time. (He died seven months later.)

Then Hitchens pointed us to another great man: Leonard Cohen. Click here for the post.

Friday, September 23, 2016

You Want It Darker

Last Wednesday, on Leonard Cohen's 82nd birthday, he announced the forthcoming arrival of a new album, You Want It Darker, produced by his son Adam Cohen, 44. The title song is superb.

Click here for the words (with French translation)

Monday, August 8, 2016

So long, Marianne

The Swedish lady Marianne Ihlen, muse of Leonard Cohen, passed away peacefully on 29 July 2016 at the age of 81.

Marianne and Cohen fell in love in the 1960s in Greece, and they remained friends forever. Click here for an article on her death.

Know that I am so close behind you that, if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. [Cohen's words to Marianne]

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jeanne d'Arc

Jeanne d'Arc. In English, Joan of Arc. Her family surname was d'Arc. And her given name was Jeanne (pronounced jun in French, like fun, so much nicer than Joan). She was born six centuries ago, on 6 January 1412, in Domrémy (Lorraine). As a pious rural maiden, Jeanne d'Arc was horrified by the wounds inflicted upon the brethren of her village by the Anglo-Burgundian forces.

While minding her sheep and spinning wool, Jeanne heard the celestial voice of Saint Michael the Archangel exhorting her to create a rebellion aimed at kicking the English out of France.

It was a long combat, during which Jeanne behaved with the military force of a male. A successful combat. But Jeanne paid with her life.

And the tragedy of Jeanne d'Arc is expressed in a quiet noble style by Leonard Cohen and lovely Julie Christensen.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Freedom of speech

To encounter a dramatic new sense of these three simple words, "freedom of speech", click this photo of Christopher Hitchens (suffering from cancer) and read his splendid article entitled Unspoken Truths.

Hitchens spoke of the awesome song If it be your will by Leonard Cohen. You can cut the publicity at the start.

I can understand why many Hitchens well-wishers find inspiration in this beautiful song (prayer) by Cohen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Devil in the clubhouse

A few years ago, I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite singers, the Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, had apparently been fleeced financially by a female associate while he was playing around at being a Buddhist monk in a California retreat. [I say "apparently", and I refrain from quoting names, because there still seems to be some wrangling going on in this sordid domain.] For me, it's difficult to imagine that anyone would set out deliberately to injure, by betrayal, such a fine individual. But I guess I'm naive. Maybe Cohen, too.

I have similar sad feelings when I learn that the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is suing an employee named Josh Timonen for reasons that include fraud and embezzlement.

Click the photo to access a website that provides details on this affair.

The main reason I mention this unexpected matter is to explain why I decided to remove the red A (for atheism) banner from my blog. Apart from displaying that A banner, I've never had any contacts with the foundation or the people who appear to gravitate around Richard Dawkins. I'm in no way a member of the Dawkins "club". Personally, I would be far happier if my scientific hero were a more reserved and inconspicuous individual, avoiding the limelight. In my humble opinion, he should limit himself to what he's really good at: writing or maybe documentary movies. I can't understand why he wanted to start his foundation, create a website, get into public debates with idiots, etc. I have the impression that it's through this flamboyant worldly dimension of his existence that Dawkins has ended up getting screwed, apparently, by one of his closest friends: in fact, a highly-paid collaborator.