Leonard Cohen Lyrics

Words by Larry "Ratso" Sloman

"What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a
remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that
possibility is. I think that it has something to do with
the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the
exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A
saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world
would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint
dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is
something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man More...

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Review about Leonard Cohen songs
A Lesson for All Poets (Review of Reviews) | Reviewer: Tobie Shapiro
    ------ About the song Suzanne performed by Leonard Cohen

I came upon this site because I was looking up the lyrics to the song. My memory failed me on a few lines. It's a lovely simple poem and engaging because it is presented as heavily symbolic so it is forever open to endless interpretation by anyone who requires point by point translation in order to be satisfied. (YOW! the proof is abundant here!) Please forgive me for this, but it fascinated me to read interpretations of positive Christian evangelical proselytizing without even a nod to the fact that Leonard Cohen is Jewish. Whether he is a practicing, observant Jew or not, his orientation when using Jesus as allegory is not the same as it would be for a person raised as a Christian. This is not at all to say that any one of these interpretations is wrong. In a personal interpretation pretty much everything you find is absolutely correct. But it may have nothing to do with what the poet thought when the poem was being written. That is one of the beauties of these lyrics, as I said before. In reading these lyrics and every one of the "reviews" I have personally learned quite a bit! I sincerely thank Leonard Cohen and all of these reviewers for curing me forever of agonizing over whether or not others are going to understand my own lyrics and music as I intended them to be understood, as that's not what it's all about. (It's not about the Hokey Pokey either). All these interpretations are fitting and valuable for the reviewers, and no one can take it from them.

Excement | Reviewer: David
    ------ About the song Suzanne performed by Leonard Cohen

love is an unatainable gift, as the promises embodied in the mythology of Jesus. When we embrace the truth of our situation the heavens open, the heart opens, ...ironically! ...the song explores the acceptance of our situation, a sensing of truth, worship of what's sacred in the truest sense and brought down to Earth in the ordinary of Leonards timely experiences!

Hallelujah has no translation. | Reviewer: Anonymous
    ------ About the song Hallelujah performed by Leonard Cohen

These 'interpretaions' are antithetical to understanding, which has no need to translate into other words or melodic keys, and all such attempts are not about he song, but about the interpreter and their need to impose their own, dismally told, even more dismally understood, experience of the song.

For the gods' (& goddesses') sakes, just STFU and listen... together. Let it tell it's own story without anyone having to own it with by replacing it with their failed thoughts.

Why I love this song | Reviewer: Michael
    ------ About the song Hallelujah performed by Leonard Cohen

Very interesting comments / interpretations. All valid, I suppose. Simply put, I love to sing and play this song. It is the ONE song in my playlist that everyone sings along to and adds their own harmony to the group. All sing with passion in their voices and I have often seen tears in the eyes of people who join in. One of the most beautiful songs I know, more powerful than many of the songs of praise I've heard.

Perfectly written | Reviewer: Cathy
    ------ About the song Suzanne performed by Leonard Cohen

I know that Leonard Cohen wrote this poem leaving it open to interpretation, and for that it is a tremendous success; he wrote it masterfully in all aspects and tied it all together perfectly so that any serious interpretation would work. I couldn't get enough of the song and always wondered what the jumps from Suzanne to Jesus and back again could mean. I'm not sure Leonard Cohen even knew- he was just going with the flow and created a masterpiece that won't crack. Mystery for some is liberally taken as poetic license, but clarity is needed for others or the beauty is lost in the midst of going "huh?" because they think in prose. Some poetry just doesn't make any sense unless the intent of the poet is revealed. Leaving the poem open to interpretation provides clarity on a personal level, with the mystery there at the same time. It has an allure like no other as a song because the melody alone is so amazingly beautiful; it's like hanging onto a wispy cloud as you drift out to sea.

perfect poetry | Reviewer: Steve
    ------ About the song Suzanne performed by Leonard Cohen

I agree: Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/4/09

"this is simply what poetry is supposed to be. so simple and at the same time so complex you just want to swim in it...."

But it is as well, a unique and beautifull - metaphor -account for, why the gret flood came to the earth. Nobody had such a vision, and Suzanne, a real person was, who gave the inspiration for it.

Not To Late | Reviewer: Stephen Elwood
    ------ About the song Hallelujah performed by Leonard Cohen

I've read the posts from what appears to be some very intelligent and informed fans. This will not be an intellectual review but my feelings from the heart.
I am almost 62 years of age and a singer and musician all of my life. I have written a few songs but do not consider myself a song writer. It has taken me all of this time to discover Leonard Cohen, and I discovered him through Hallelujah. My wife and I watch some of the talent/singing shows on TV and one night she was watching without me and told me the next day that she heard one of the contestants do a really good job on a song that she had not heard before. We both must have been living under a rock because this song (Hallelujah) has been out since the mid-1980's and even been a soundtrack in a few movies. I'm glad that I still have time left on this planet because I have discovered Leonard Cohen and I believe that he is a genius/brilliant song writer. He may not have an appealing beautiful vocal, but he delivers all of his songs with such raw and honest emotion that it makes him a great singer. Much like Dylan, Tom Wait and the like. I have learned this song so that I can do my own interpretation for the small audiences that I entertain. In writing down and interpreting in my head some of the verses, tears have been flowing. This ALWAYS happens to me when knowing that I've picked the right song to sing when it is outside of the normal music in my repertoire. Righteous, religious, lustful, happy, angry, loving, and not feeling loved all represent the emotion in this song and reflects my life as I'm sure it does for many of us. Thank you Leonard for this song and all of your other songs that I now have a passion to hear. I wish that sing and do my interpretation of your beautiful song for you. I'm sure that will not happen, so in my mind I will have to believe that I would get your nod of approval. Thank You! Hallelujah!!!

Eye opener, epiphany inducing song | Reviewer: Solami Z
    ------ About the song PASSING THROUGH performed by Leonard Cohen

I must say im impressed by the messages his songs convey; the abundant amout of wisdom, liberation about the word of God in relation to our current situations in life. Im saddened by the fact that i was introduced to this phenomenal man's music 4days ago, i can only imagine how learned,wise i would be by now had i been exposed a while back. His music is especially for those who are ready to grow.

personal opinion | Reviewer: sophia
    ------ About the song Hallelujah performed by Leonard Cohen

the song is literally filled with irony, he starts the first verse with the well known story of David having been a man after Gods's heart, because of his ceaseless praise to God in his music, and the writer went on to describe the steps in the Hallelujah "the fourth the fifth".
Then He goes on to narrate David's lust for bethsheba and the fall of sampson, having compared the two heroes for falling for same purpose "lust".
The fourth verse has to do with his lost relationship with the prescence of God and the the Holy spirit...he goes on to narrate how they used to move together (God moved in him, speaked through him) so the verse was directed at himself as though he were another person.
and the rest of the verses was for the author of the song, i love this song so much because of its irony and it talks so much about our imperfection but atlast we stand before the lord of songs, only to praise him with a worthy hallelujah... Revelation revealed it.

Hellelujah In Maori | Reviewer: Anonymous
    ------ About the song Hallelujah performed by Leonard Cohen

Here in New Zealand we are privelleged to see on Maori Television the annual Kapa Haka contest between all the Maori tribes in NZ besides Haka the tribes perform Poi and choral work . Ive just seen a brilliant performance of Leonards song (Hellelujah) Although many Maori are Christian their history with the religion is very unique - their principal interst is in the old rather than the new testament .Check out Maori Television New Zealand - unique and fantastic entertainment Kia Ora Brent

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