“All the women tear their blouses off
And the men they dance on the polka-dots
And it’s partners found and it’s partners lost
And it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops
It’s closing time.”
Now, what is Leonard saying here? Is it the Apocalypse? A retirement party? The end of an era? Well, again, who cares. Do you hear those three vocalists in the background? This song rocks!
“Dance Me to the End of Love”
“Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains
That our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now
Though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love.”
I understand that one! An entire life together treated as a dance. Awwww, I got a lump in my throat.
“Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows that you’ve been discreet, but there were so many people you just had to meet ... without your clothes.
Oh, cynical, Leonard, cynical. Funny, too. But you still love her, don’t you? And listen to that keyboard! Can’t get this one out of my head. “That’s how it goes! Everybody knows.”
“I’m Your Man”
“If you want a boxer, I will step into the ring for you
If you want a doctor, I’ll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver, climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride,
You know you can.
I’m your man.”
Sexy. This man is a poet, and his collected poems and songs can be found on Strange Music (Pantheon Books). He has been recording music since the ‘60’s and has a cult following. Some critics whine that his voice lacks melodic range. Well, he doesn’t exactly sing. He chants, and he does it with a Sean Connery voice. I would buy his CDs just to hear him talk. With more than 300 songs and a dozen reissued collections, he is not going out of style. Check The Essential Leonard Cohen (Columbia).
— By Gary Carden