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Posts Tagged ‘Hallelujah’

I never knew who Leonard Cohen was until well after college and beyond, into the time after I became a massage therapist (the late ’80s). I have a strange memory of the song “Bird on a Wire” from my younger years. I definitely knew the song “Suzanne,” because I went to camp as a kid and the wanna-be hippie counselors were probably singing it on their hippie guitars around campfires. Or maybe I heard Judy Collins singing it on the radio, or both.

I had a massage client in Kent (Brady Lake, no less), and he used to give me cassette tapes, back in the day, of all sorts of music I hadn’t previously known. He turned me on to Leonard Cohen and I introduced him to Robyn Hitchcock and Tom Waits. He gave me Marianne Faithful and Ken Nordine and really every Leonard Cohen song that you couldn’t find any more on vinyl and that would never be released on CD (or so I thought in the early ’90s).

I think the song I’ve most listened to is “Famous Blue Raincoat.” I like how it’s in a minor key–it’s so fucking depressing–and then he switches to a major chord for the Jane came by with a lock of your hair line. For a tiny moment, he gives a respite. But not for long, plunging us into the depths again.

and you treated my woman to a flake of your life

Sweet Jesus, can you believe that line?

This is the one that I listened to over and over when he was new to me:

This whole post was inspired by my recent listening to “Hallelujah” for about the last 4 months.

When my kids were younger, we forbade them from using the word “awesome” because of its disgraceful misuse by the youth of today (well, by now, the youth of yesterday), but we finally caved because we are NOT word Nazis, dammit!

This is an awesome song, as bad as that adjective sounds when applied to anything of substance. It’s beautiful and rich and complex and deep and meaningful and I am in awe of it. I love it and I think I can sing it, too, but I have to read along because my capacity for actually remembering new lyrics has greatly diminished of late. Perhaps, too, I could use a good guitarist. Maybe someone cute, even beautiful and sexy, younger than me, but not too young. I would like the challenge of singing with a man playing a guitar, but I’d probably prefer a woman because, ultimately, things would be less subject to any confusion, you dig?

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In college, I began as a nursing major, which lasted one year. The great benefit of having been in the School of Nursing was getting all of my science requirements out of the way; in addition, I clepped out of English 101 so that when I switched to “undecided,” I was able to take a slew of Art and Liberal Arts classes. I switched in my junior year to a double French/English major, and finally, just majored in English.

I took four philosophy classes, mostly because I liked the professor, a dynamic, intelligent, charismatic Greek man, Dr. Nenos Georgopolis. 4 classes with the same teacher; how crazy was I?

In any case, when I took Aesthetics, I wondered if beauty, you know, Beauty, was something that made one cry. Beauty defined as what makes me cry.

Of course, my professor dismissed my question, not in a condescending way, but in the way a professor of philosophy must. That is, that everything has an intellectual explanation and can be teased out into its reasons. I think we were reading Kant, but that means little to nothing to me now. I can’t remember any of what I might have read, only some of the people and the interactions in the classroom and the passion of my teacher.

I finally know that while not everything that makes me cry is beautiful, almost everything that makes me cry is beautiful. 29 fucking years after that class to figure this out?

I look for it everywhere and maybe I could give myself a break and stop worrying about my failings as a parent or whether my children have been instilled with good (enough) habits. I am not looking for rationalizations for being irresponsible, but if I could stop wasting mental energy on things I haven’t done or things I think I should be doing, ah, what a different life I could live.

Beauty, all my all.

I know that my current undying love for all things Tweedy might be a bit sickening to the lot of my readers, but I keep finding yummy stuff on youtube. It’s slowly dawning on me that my blog writing is basically just for me, another masturbatory activity, but for those of you who like to watch, I hope you keep showing up and telling me your stories.

Otherwise, fair warning to bow out about now if you haven’t already on yet another l-o-n-g post.

Here’s another couple for good songs, good solid songs and good solid singing and guitar playing. Tweedy, who ranks with the best of them, who is obviously in it for the long haul and isn’t just fucking around, who I think knows he’s been ignited with whatever it is that keeps pouring the light of beauty in and out of himself.

2 videos and then the lyrics to the second song, which are simple but lovely and interesting

This makes me sort of wish I could play the guitar:

I’m the Man Who Loves You

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can be is a busy sea
Of spinning wheels and hands that feel for
Stones to throw and feet that run but
Come back home
It made no difference
Ever known, it made no difference
Ever known to me

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you

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