RIP Leonard Cohen…

Leonard Cohen was a poet who happened to perform his words via song, a sort of suit-and-tie version of Bob Dylan. Cohen’s work is dark, yearning, contradictory prose that I found fascinating from the first listen. He counted among his seemingly disparate fans Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and Slash.

He passed away yesterday at the age of 82 after years of near-constant touring. While his opus Hallelujah is most known by the casual listener, it is his poem/song Going Home that never fails to make me give off my own thin smile of knowing.

Here he is four years ago singing Going Home to an appreciative audience of Irish who have long delighted in such clever confliction.

Cheers…

“Going Home”

I love to speak with Leonard
He’s a sportsman and a shepherd
He’s a lazy bastard
Living in a suitBut he does say what I tell him
Even though it isn’t welcome
He just doesn’t have the freedom
To refuseHe will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he’s really nothing
But the brief elaboration of a tubeGoing home
Without my sorrow
Going home
Sometime tomorrow
Going home
To where it’s better
Than beforeGoing home
Without my burden
Going home
Behind the curtain
Going home
Without the costume
That I woreHe wants to write a love song
An anthem of forgiving
A manual for living with defeat

A cry above the suffering
A sacrifice recovering
But that isn’t what I need him
To complete

I want him to be certain
That he doesn’t have a burden
That he doesn’t need a vision
That he only has permission
To do my instant bidding
Which is to say what I have told him
To repeat

Going home
Without my sorrow
Going home
Sometime tomorrow
Going home
To where it’s better
Than before

Going home
Without my burden
Going home
Behind the curtain
Going home
Without this costume
That I wore

Going home
Without the sorrow
Going home
Sometime tomorrow
Going home
To where it’s better
Than before

Going home
Without the burden
Going home
Behind the curtain
Going home
Without this costume
That I wore

I love to speak with Leonard
He’s a sportsman and a shepherd
He’s a lazy bastard
Living in a suit

———————–

 

ulsterman