Leonard Cohen: New Album for Old Ideas

November 27th, 2011   by   Andrew

Leonard Cohen has a new album.

It’s time to be enchanted all over again!

Show Me The Place by leonardcohen

Not too much on the album page, but there is a nice picture. Here is a link to Leonard’s home page.

Returning to Leonard Cohen

May 14th, 2010   by   Andrew

Last night I was eating my rice and salmon and flipping through channels when I stumbled upon Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen. It is a kind of documentary/interview with the man in the grand ol’ time of the mid-60s. (45 minutes of black and white! And not just for effect!)


It’s funny, you know, but we used to stumble upon stuff all the time, but now when we do it there is an official sanctioning in place because of interwebbing. We used to dig things, if you dig, but again that’s the old form, daddy-o. Today, we digg.

I’m just saying that we haven’t changed the meaning so much. We are just starting to change the ritual.

Anyway, I was really happy to get this little reminder from the old tech tv (does it even get capitalized anymore?) because I didn’t really know what to do for Friday’s post. That’s how I remembered  Leonard is always there for me.

Some time ago I posted Curing, a mash-up of some my ideas over a Cohen song. Today I present for your view and commentary, another mash-up. And as I asked before, what song do you figure this is inspired by?


By Andrew Gilchrist, with cred to Cohen

And you want to travel with him
you want to travel blind
and you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body
with his mind
-  Leonard Cohen

I was born like this, I had no choice.
- Leonard Cohen

I hear you now, a strong voice from the tower,
I sit in the alley, patient head bowed lower.
Desperation, longing, I want to understand,
The practice is over and you excuse the band.

Says one man from his lonely tall tower,
You see a drowning man but I can see a sailor.
But down the track there stands another tower,
Where a woman and a memory can make of you a singer.

The angels tied you down to a table you say,
Or was it at the crossroads of a Holy Roman Causeway?
You see there is something I feel I need to know:
How do you speak so sweetly from your window?

That Sistine sailing ship called Bounty, State or Splendour,
Has saved a man or two from the drowning water.
This Sistine oil tanker with righteousness in tow,
Stains like a bug smeared on the reflection of a window.

Tower of the Broken G-d and Tower of Song,
What did you get from suffering so long?
I guess you already know, anyone could have told you,
It can get pretty lonely if you’ve got that kind of view.

She is still, she is longing, holding up that mirror,
Telling you it’s taller than any vaulted tower,
You can see the bridges burning deep in the reflection,
And the poor keep selling off the license to their station.

Can you build a bridge that makes a cross over the water,
High enough to let pass any sailing ship or tanker?
Could anyone direct such a traffic jam from above,
The water and the mirror, the causeway and the tower?
Did you see this coming like lovers too close together?
Can you see the crossroads being built by love?

Then you ached and your hair turned grey.
Have you travelled too long on your Holy Roman Causeway?
You see there is something I feel I need to know:
Is this why your voice sounds so sweet from your window?

This Sistine sailing ship can glorify the water,
That Sistine oil tanker can make a mess of the mirror.
On reflection that bridge better be built on something strong,
To hold the traffic of a causeway and a mighty tower of song.

Sail on, sail on, sail on…
- Leonard Cohen

When you’ve fallen on the highway
and you’re lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you’re feeling
of course you say you can’t complain-
- Leonard Cohen


All blessings! Have a good weekend!

Originality and Obstinance?

February 26th, 2010   by   Andrew

In honour of one of the most recent comments posted on this site, I thought I would wear my SINNER shirt today.

I got this from the nakedpastor, a wonderful site from a Maritimer that is trying to strip to the essential. He’s an incredibly creative artist and commentator on the workings of church and faith (and blessed humanity…).

One thing that has drawn me back to his site time and time again is his goal of having no other agenda but love. I think he’s sincere in this pursuit, but it has brought him his own portions (and maybe an extra helping) of criticism and flack. He’s quite aware of the narrow path and the dangerous barbs of hypocrisy, considering he is a community leader in a church. But, I think it says something about the world as well the individual when even attempts at having no agenda can draw hasty evaluations.

WordPress (through someone else’s blog) has served up a wonderful opportunity for vocab-growth. Check out this word:

polysemy: a word’s (or piece of art’s) capacity to carry two or more distinct meanings.

I had to look this one up (thank you search engines!).  But I’m glad I did. I think it’s this very thing about language that should make us pause and hold back judgment when it comes to so many religious ‘truths’ and insightful visions (or dare I say inciteful visions?).

Here is where I got the word polysemy. And I strongly encourage you to check out the blog entry because it is a discussion about art, and in particular about a piece of art that I feel needs to be discussed a great deal. Here’s a shot of the piece from Eugenio Merino entitled Stairway to Heaven:

Stairway to Heaven

I don’t think the artist was trying to suggest any kind of hierarchy, but again for more detail go over to the ‘laurachiesa’ blog and join the conversation.

As for me, well I think I will let another artist have the final word once more, someone who’s struggles and wrestling matches I have greatly admired over the years.

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant …..

Leonard Cohen, The Future

Curing (A thank-you to Leonard Cohen)

January 27th, 2010   by   Andrew

From the looks of things, I’m a little late for Leonard’s 75th. But, however late respect comes along, it is still respect.

I wrote this several years ago, abandoned it, but always begrudged just leaving it.

Cookies and kudos to anyone that can recognize which song to ‘sing this over’.


by Andrew Gilchrist

So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
I knelt there like one who believes
– Leonard Cohen, Light as a Breeze

I can’t pretend I’m not.
– Leonard Cohen, Ain’t No Cure For Love

I’m tired of the discipline
So I go see if the doctor’s in
I’m lying with another prayer
The doctor asks how I’ve been
I breathe and try to imitate the wind
And then look up blushing through my hair

I lay there on the table
Until the nurse asks if I’m able
To please turn and cough, if I’d care
And it all felt like some fable
I could forget the doctor, Clark Gable
And come kneeling with another prayer

O blessing in waiting
Lie and wait in this chair
For something from heaven
Or something right here.

But she found in me another ache
I couldn’t tell what was at stake
The old doctor books are locked under the stair
How might I fix a broken spine?
I’ve spilt too much to respect your wine
Or shoot the breeze with theologies that seem fair?

Pretending sick I return
Bending over from a burn
I come kneeling for another prayer
The doctor sends me to the river
There’s a lesson there he says to consider
If I find it please come back and share

I find the nurse beside the water
There’s a lesson there nature’s taught her
And she laughs at  my windswept hair
She smooths it down with her brush
To her it really isn’t much
A revelation makes me stop and stare

O blessing in waiting
Lie and wait in this chair
For something from heaven
Or something right here.

Wine and dance might make me bitter
But it’ll keep me warm this winter
And to think that I thought myself a player
My senses put down this crutch
The pilgrim doesn’t need to rush
Just be prepared to be bound in prayer

So many doctors now on the transit
I want to pay them  a call, a visit
They ask, “Blood and soul, how goes the career?”
The therapy seems to do the trick
So give it time, just wait a bit
And I’ll come kneeling with another prayer

the doctors are working day and night,
– Leonard Cohen, Ain’t No Cure For Love

And like a blessing come from heaven
For something like a second
I was cured and my heart
was at ease.
– Leonard Cohen, Light As A Breeze

All the love.

All the blessings.

(I’m totally going to send this to Victoria. I can just imagine what she is going to think, with my L.C. adoration….)