19 November 2016

Second Thoughts – Leonard Cohen

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.

In the vainest part of my being I wish to be thought of as a Renaissance Man.  Then I encounter souls like Leonard Cohen and realize that I am light years from someone so talented and versatile.   The man embraced the arts in so many forms and excelled at all of them.

When I learned of his passing last week it took me a couple of days to absorb the loss.   His music alone spanned fifty years and grew steadily more excellent.   That is what I supposed I loved the most about this man was what seemed a constant pursuit of excellence.  

I fear that he like many great artists was not often understood.   As an example is the popularity of his song Hallelujah.  It has been covered by everyone and their cousin.   Almost all of them sing the version popularized by Rufus Wainwright in Shrek.   I take nothing away from this cover.  It is haunting and beautiful and fits the movie well.  It also leaves out the heart of the song.

Leonard Cohen did not shy away from the hard questions of faith.   His original version of the song expresses the same struggle with life but does so in faith.  He added many verses over the years.  There are, I think, eighty in all. 

I will miss this man and his music.   The world is better for his presence in it and poorer for his departure.   I am sure, however, that the Lord of Song is pleased to hear his hallelujahs. 

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Original version from the album Various Positions

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
that David played, and it pleased the Lord,
but you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall, the major lift;
the baffled king composing Hallelujah!
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof.
You saw her bathing on the roof;
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.
She tied you to a kitchen chair
she broke your throne, and she cut your hair,
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah!
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

You say I took the Name in vain;
I don’t even know the name.
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word;
it doesn’t matter which you heard,
the holy, or the broken Hallelujah!
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

I did my best; it wasn’t much.
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch.
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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