Leonard Cohen wrote the perfect anthem for our times

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/11/leonard-cohen-wrote-the-perfec.html


I had to click through to find out WHICH of his many “perfect anthems” you meant!


The Partisan gives me chills down my spine every time I hear it.
(I highly recommend the 16 Horsepower & Bertrand Cantat version)

But I hope we’ll never get to that again…


Right? When I first saw the post title, I thought of this one.


I hope I may be excused for posting this again:

Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there’s a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong


I’m not sure that this is going to reflect well on him, or on me, but I am compelled to say that – in spite of having never seen this clip before – what happened there @ 5 minutes is one of my lasting impressions of him.

P.S. Pretty sure this is from the same episode, this time with Sonny Rollins. Also, I think it’s 2/4 of Was (Not Was) sharing the backup vocal duties:


My choir sung his Hallelujah during the music service at my church last spring.

I can barely sing the quoted string / without choking up and unwanted sting / of tears in my eyes. Hallelujah.


I was trying to remember where I first heard this song. Had to look it up. King of Kong.


I remember that as if it was yesterday. I had just moved to Manhattan and found out that the best arthouse movie theater was a couple of blocks down the street. Pump Up the Volume was the first movie I saw there.

After seeing the movie, I went up Broadway to buy the soundtrack from Tower Records. I then crossed the street and went back to my dorm. I put in the CD and discover that the version they put on the CD was by Concrete Blonde, not Leonard Cohen’s.

Disappointed… until I heard the Pixies’ slowed down version of Wave of Mutilation.


2016 has been unrelentingly awful.


“Everybody knows” all of these things are true?

or “Everybody knows” but the conventional wisdom is, in fact, wrong, the way it is in the last stanza?

That or Anthem.


That’s still my favorite version of it. Performed by Concrete Blonde (at least on the soundtrack).


I started listening to this a couple days ago. I was trying to process my feelings about the election and when I was finally able to find the words, they were: “a sinking feeling, like my father or my dog just died.”

It’s too bad he’s not alive to collect the licensing fees. I suspect that we’re going to be hearing a lot of this song.

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On Fleek, to be sure. This is what I’ve been using in the same way:

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Both - that way you’re never wrong!

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I thought of this one:


I don’t think any of his lyrics are as all-on-the-surface as they’d have to be for it to be just a cynical lament—that would be as off as all the sappier versions of “Hallelujah.” I hear it as largely a rejection of easy cynicism, but one that still acknowledges that sometimes your dog has just died.


This song was the first on my mind when I heard Leonard had died. And “why didn’t I have this looped on November 9th.”

Yesterday everyone asked me why I was so down. I mentioned Leonard Cohen died and only one of them didn’t say “Who?” It was almost as lonely a feeling as going to bed on November 8.

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu


Just for the record, the lyrics were co-written by Cohen and Sharon Robinson (and I read somewhere that she initiated it, based on fragments from his notebooks).

Everybody knows that it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows…

RIP Leonard, and say hello to Marianne