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Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song

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Barbara 25 Nov 11 - 12:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Nov 11 - 01:55 PM
Elmore 25 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM
Barbara 25 Nov 11 - 02:10 PM
michaelr 25 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Nov 11 - 02:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Nov 11 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Gerry 25 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM
Jim McLean 26 Nov 11 - 11:35 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,pamela 25 Jan 12 - 11:15 AM
bobad 25 Jan 12 - 11:23 AM
Arkie 25 Jan 12 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,mg 25 Jan 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,mg 25 Jan 12 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,FancyNancyMTL 16 Feb 12 - 10:48 PM
Acme 17 Feb 12 - 12:11 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 12 - 12:42 AM
Acme 18 Feb 12 - 02:00 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 12 - 02:52 AM
Jim McLean 18 Feb 12 - 07:53 AM
Acme 18 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM
mg 18 Feb 12 - 12:01 PM
Acme 18 Feb 12 - 12:27 PM
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Subject: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:11 AM

Someone just put this song up on FB, and I think it's lovely.

It also seems to me that both the words and the tune are influenced by (or derived from) Stephen Foster's Old Black Joe.

Here's a link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/23/leonard-cohen-show-me-the-place_n_1110210.html. Give it a listen and see what you think.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 01:55 PM

A great new poem by Cohen, but I fail to see the connection with "Old Black Joe."

I want to hear k. d. lang sing it. She did a superb rendition of "Hallelujah."


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Elmore
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM

Thanks for that. My wife and I have vastly different musical interests, but we both love L. Cohen. Looking forward to the new album.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:10 PM

What made it click for me was the line "My head is bending low" in both songs. Fairly unusual phrase. I do know that LC songs have a lot of symbols from other sources, but then it struck me that the Cohen tune is closely related to the verse tune in the Foster song. Different chords and some of the passing notes in OBJ are missing in the Cohen. And Show Me the Place talks about being a slave and that's what OBJ is about. That and longing for release.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM

These days it's a fine line between Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:48 PM

Lyr. Add: SHOW ME THE PLACE
Leonard Cohen

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I've forgotten I don't know
Show me the place for my head is bending low
Show me the place where you want your slave to go.
2
Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began.
3
The troubles came, I saved what I could save
A thread of light, a particle, a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains, so I loved you like a slave.
4
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I've forgotten, I don't know
Show me the place for my head is bending low
Show me the place where you want your slave to go.
5
The troubles came, I saved what I could save
A thread of light, a particle, a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave.

One comment was that the "lyrics are Eucharistic for me."

To me, Cohen's words seem to have multiple meanings; explanations are not simple.

http://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/leonard-cohen-prays-in-music

"for my head is bending low" was a comment I frequently heard from my grandmother when things piled up, and also heard from my wife's relatives (Southern). Perhaps the Foster song was the origin of the phrase, but the expression may be older.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 03:08 PM

"And now low bends my wretched head,
And those I lov'd are gone;
My friends, my family, all are fled,
And I am left alone."

A verse from Part III, Night Scenes of Other Times, Joanna Baillie, from Poems, 1790. A poet whose work is sadly neglected.

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mgamer/Etexts/baillie.poem

Cohen undoubtedly knows Foster's "Old Black Joe" but I don't know if it was one of the inspirations for his new song.

Barbara, my brain is inactive today- what is the melody that is interspersed in Cohen's rendition? I should know it.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM

"A thread of light, a particle, a wave" Leonard Cohen does quantum mechanics?


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 11:35 AM

The melody, or what there is of it, is very like Bonny George Campbell.
Here is Billy Connolly singing an anglicised version of this old Scottish Ballad.

Bonny George Campbell


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM

Thanks, Jim. An old tune I should have recognized. I think I knew it under another name.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST,pamela
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:15 AM

can't get the song out of my mind...play it over and over each day.

i just wish i understood what lc is saying. what is the "meaning?"

is it life that he needs help with..help move that stone?

a love he once shared? other?

just gorgeous lyric and melody...i guess i will just make it my own...


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: bobad
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:23 AM

Sounds like a paean to a dominatrix to me.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Arkie
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:40 AM

Isn't there hints of Hebrew and Christian symbols?


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 03:10 PM

I saw the dominatrix thing too. But it reminds me of Easter Sunday with stones rolled away and word becoming flesh and dwelling amongst us etc. And thenthe light for Easter. Don't know about Hebrew symbols, but they were overlapping of course. mg


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 03:19 PM

Absolutely yes to Old Black Joe especially when the women sing.

And suffering did not being or end with slavery US but it surely was there. mg


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST,FancyNancyMTL
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 10:48 PM

I can't say I know anything about Cohen's intended meaning,only he could lift the veil on that, but at first blush, (I really love this song), I see many scripture references...

"slave" reference: (this is just one of many referring to being a "slave to the Lord, rather than slave to man...) Rom 1:1 LITV Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

"Roll away the stone"-(again, several scriptures regarding this, this is just one) Matt 28:2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

"where the word became man"- John 1:14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

"suffering began"- Jesus' suffering in Gethsemane Luke 22:39-46

"troubles came...I saved"- (this might be a big stretch, but...) Psalm 138:7 speaks of when our troubles came, He reaches out to save us...

My point being: I hear a prayer in song...and perhaps another stretch, Cohen is calling out to be led back to that place of being a slave (to the Lord?) and the Lord answering how He has saved him and loved him as such...


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Acme
Date: 17 Feb 12 - 12:11 AM

Isn't he Buddhist? Sorry to diss that reading, but it's close - microscopic - to get so much christianity out of it. Sounds much more like oral sex, not the bible (thanks bobad!)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 12:42 AM

But you miss my whole point...it was a description of what I hear...we're all making presumptions here...


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Acme
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 02:00 AM

I didn't miss your point, I disagreed with it.
SRS


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 02:52 AM

You disagree with your own presumption. I didn't mention Christianity. I said I hear prayer, Cohen himself has described many of his songs as "muffled prayers", and scripture references. But you're entitled to your opinion as am I.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 07:53 AM

I can hear both 'Old Black Joe' and 'Bonnie George Campbell' in Cohen's melody (?)
Stephen Foster, who wrote OBJ, was heavily influenced by Scottish folk music melodies and George Pullen Jackson, writing in the Musical Quarterly about Foster's debt to folk music, points to the similarity of OBJ with Saw Ye My Father AKA the Grey Cock. The melody was also used for the religious Shape Note Hymn 'Saw You My Saviour'. The article is very instructive but far too long to transcribe here. It's in the Musical Quarterly, Vol. XXII, 1936.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Acme
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM

Every reader, every listener, brings their own experience to what they listen to, so in that sense, your interpretation lines up with your experience.

But when you start quoting the Bible, then tell me that I am wrong in attributing your reading to christian leanings, all I have to say is that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck . . .

SRS


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: mg
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 12:01 PM

I don't think you would have to be a Christian to see verse 2 as having serious references to the creation and resurrection stories are pretty commonly known throughout the world. It does not mean you believe in it. I could write a song with Druid references or I couod find Druid references in Deck the HALLS but it does not make me a Druid.


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Subject: RE: Show Me the Place - new Leonard Cohen song
From: Acme
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 12:27 PM

There are recurring themes throughout various religions. They did an awful lot of borrowing. My first remark simply meant that he didn't necessarily write a christian song, as referenced by the biblical citations.


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