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Leonard Cohen-I’m Your Man Concert Documentary

Leonard Cohen-I’m Your Man



Leonard Cohen has been the man for me since college. Like a lot of young literature majors we’re drawn to the image of Leonard Cohen living in New York city as a poet, a writer, having deep, complicated relationships that require him to write a finely crafted song. Each one is a shining diamond from his deep mine of wisdom and perfect pain. Mostly it was probably from not having any real complications or pain of our own.

Most people probably have outgrown Leonard Cohen, but I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older each song has burned a little brighter. Perhaps as my relationships have grown more complicated, and my experience wider, I appreciate him even more. I had Famous Blue Raincoat on infinite repeat through out college. I knew all of the words to Everybody Knows at one time.

I watched I’m Your Man Nick Cave, of whom I’ve always been a huge fan, didn’t leave me very impressed. His version of I’m Your Man seemed to be thrown off by the overly loud backup singers. Nor did Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Everybody Knows. Incidentally I like a few Rufus tunes, but his was actually the worst Leonard Cohen cover to which I’ve ever been subjected. Rufus’ campy drag queen delivery hit every phrase wrong and made the song seem insipid and dumb.

Bono and the Edge from U2 make an appearance and a performance. Bono’s comments while sometimes ego maniacal are purely complimentary and made me see the song Hallelujah completely different. You will have to watch the movie to see what he said.

Antony, of Antony and the Johnson’s also did a great cover of If it Be Your Will. He did a rip roaring version of this song. His voice is really unusual, it has that sort of vibrato/tremolo character to it that makes it sound a bit like the folk singer who did all the songs for the animated version of the Hobbit. *think “The gre-aaaa–aaaa-tttt adventu——rrrreee.” He is unusual and uncomfortable to watch, but great to hear.

However that said, Teddy Thompson’s cover of Tonight Will be Fine is possibly the best cover I’ve heard of a Leonard Cohen song (maybe John Cale’s and Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah is a three-way tie with this song). Unfortunately the recording that I liked the best was Teddy’s rehearsal from the special features of the DVD. I hope to find it somewhere someday.

This song says so many things about the elastic and circular nature of love between married people that it actually frightens me a little.

Tonight Will Be Fine

Sometimes I find I get to thinking of the past.
We swore to each other then that our love would surely last.
You kept right on loving, I went on a fast,
now I am too thin and your love is too vast.
But I know from your eyes
and I know from your smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.

I choose the rooms that I live in with care,
the windows are small and the walls almost bare,
there’s only one bed and there’s only one prayer;
I listen all night for your step on the stair.

But I know from your eyes
and I know from your smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.

Oh sometimes I see her undressing for me,
she’s the soft naked lady love meant her to be
and she’s moving her body so brave and so free.
If I’ve got to remember that’s a fine memory.

And I know from her eyes
and I know from her smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.

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