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 CULTURE & COMMUNICATION 
CULTURE & COMMUNICATION / “I tried in my way to be freeˮ: Leonard Cohen in memoriam
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 11/11/2016
Original: “J’ai essayé à ma façon d’être libreˮ : Leonard Cohen in memoriam

“I tried in my way to be freeˮ: Leonard Cohen in memoriam

Fausto Giudice Фаусто Джудиче فاوستو جيوديشي

 

With the Nobel Prize awarded to Bob Dylan, our generation had a brief moment of happiness, considering that it was a recognition - albeit belated - of the commitments of the babyboomers' marching wing against the imperialist wars - those in Indochina - and injustice. With the disappearance of Leonard Cohen, it is a part of our youth that dies.

The little Quebecer, who became a Buddhist monk while continuing to be an observant Jew, has always lived in several dimensions - at least four: poetry, love, spirituality and humor - and never had the ambition to become either a star or a flag-bearer, which he has become unwillingly. When, a few years ago, he was able to recover the $ 9.5 million that his dishonest former business manager owed him, he did not even know the address of the bank ...

These verses sum up better than I could do the philosophy of Leonard:

Like a bird on the wire/Like a drunk in a midnight choir/I have tried in my way to be free

I’ve had choices since the day that I was born,/There were voices that told me right from wrong/If I had listened, no, I wouldn’t be here today,/Living and dying with the choices I’ve made.

Leonard, your unique voice will resonate in us until the end, in our peregrinations from  Chelsea Hotel to Chelsea Hotel.

You should listen 'again) to his entire repertoire, not just Suzanne. I chose two of his songs: The Partisan (1969), presented by Joe Dassin explaining how Leonard, with this song, became an icon for the hippies, and Bird on a wire (1972), in an excerpt from the BBC4 documentary, "After The Concert".

The Partisan/Le partisan

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands étaient chez moi
ils m'ont dit "Résigne-toi"
mais je n'ai pas pu
j'ai repris mon arme

J'ai changé cent fois de nom
j'ai perdu femme et enfants
mais j'ai tant d'amis
j'ai la France entière

Un vieil homme dans un grenier
pour la nuit nous a cachés
les Allemands l'ont pris
il est mort sans surprise

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.
 

Like A Bird On The Wire

Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

Like a baby, stillborn,
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

Like a baby, stillborn,
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir

I have tried in my way to be free.

►Read Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker

 From Paris to Coachella: six  memorable concerts





Courtesy of Tlaxcala
Source: http://tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=19265
Publication date of original article: 11/11/2016
URL of this page : http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=19266

 

Tags: Leonard Cohen
 

 
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