February 10, 2009

Leonard Cohen//Chelsea Hotel #2

Alright, it’s not fair, I know, but yesterday got me on a Leonard Cohen kick.

Here’s my favorite song from the man whose songs I took too long to start enjoying.

I like this song because it captures a very specific moment and crystallizes it into verse. The fact that that moment involves an affair with Janis Joplin in an older, more romantic version of New York definitely doesn’t hurt. This method of lyric writing speaks deeply to me—music and memory, emotion, nostalgia.

Often too dark to be a mainstream commercial success, Lou Reed said Cohen was in the “highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

Chelsea Hotel #2.mp3

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel.
You were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men,
But for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
You fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
We are ugly but we have the music."


Anonymous said...

Dress rehearsal rag, and Famous Blue raincoat might be too sad, borderline suicidal. Yet, these songs help in times of trouble

g said...

I like these songs because while they're sad, they're also very honest and thought-provoking.