lundi 16 juin 2014

Notes on Cohen #6: Going Home

Habitually, I am a fan of mid-period Leonard.  It may not be cool, but I kind of love 80s/90s production values - blame my age.  It's probably why I also love Pop Tarts.  I even have a tattoo of the cover of 'The Future' - Cohen's much-neglected 1992 album, which is my personal favourite.  Listen to it - it's nihilistic, cheesy and very, very funny.  It's great.

But for some reason, mid-period Cohen doesn't fit here in Hydra.  I haven't listened to any of it in my perpetual self-referential soundtrack.  Of course, I have been listening to the old songs, 'the classics', the ones he wrote here.  Even though they are not always my first preference at home.

More surprisingly, some of his newest songs (or, here, 'Old Ideas') fit in perfectly here, too.  Not to be too morbid about it - although I'm sure the great man himself would be proud - they sound like a bookend.

They have the benefit of an extra 50 years or so of self-awareness, recrimination and humour.  If they sound elegiac, then just remember that a lot of them always did.

Like most sane-thinking people, I am fundamentally against referring to oneself in the third person.  It's a sign of psychosis (or total dickheadness), right?  However, if there's one instance in which such a thing could be forgiven, it's surely here:

I love to speak with Leonard.
He's a sportsman, and a shepherd.
He's a lazy bastard living in a suit.

But he does say what I tell him,
Even when it isn't welcome.
He just doesn't have the freedom to refuse.

At the risk of descending into total dickheadness myself at this point, I believe that Leonard has just summed up the writer's life sentence, right there.

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