The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132656 Message #3002901
Posted By: GUEST,Lanfranc on holiday and cookieless
08-Oct-10 - 06:55 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Sisters of Mercy (Leonard Cohen)
Subject: RE: leonard cohen sisters of mercy
Like most of us at the time, Leonard Cohen first came to my notice when I heard "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" on Judy Collins' album "In My Life" (IMHO one of the greatest albums of all time - Cohen, Dylan, Brecht, Brel, Newman, Lennon & McCartney, Donovan ... on one album, all brilliantly performed!). This was before it became de rigeur to be a songwriter performing your own material if you wanted to be successful singing anything other than traditional songs in a folk club, coffee bar or whatever.
When Cohen's first album came out in '67, I added "Sisters of Mercy", "So Long Marianne" and virtually every song on it to my repertoire (though I never could work out the guitar part to "Stranger Song"!).
Forty-odd years on, I still sing Cohen's songs (and others by Dylan, Ochs, Paxton, Joni Mitchell et al) that few others perform these days. My efforts are usually well received, though I am sometimes accused of being something of a dinosaur.
Adding your own interpretation to a song written by someone else is not highly regarded in some circles, but not everyone has it in them to be a songwriter. I have written several songs, but all too often, I think of a theme for a new song and then discard it because Cohen (or Brel, or Dylan or Ochs or whoever) has written something much better already.
Perhaps I just know too many good songs - and it'a amazing how many of them were written by Leonard Cohen!