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Στήλη: Mousiki Propaganda - Leonard Cohen

The unknown poet of music

Poem 50
I lost my way; I forgot to call on your name. The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory. But you are here. You have always been here. The world is all forgetting, and the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place. Blessed is the one who waits in the traveler’s heart for his turning.
From "Book of Mercy" released in 1984

Ο Leonard Cohen γεννήθηκε στο Μόντρεαλ του Καναδά, στις 21 Σεπτεμβρίου του 1934. Είναι αγγλόφωνος Καναδός λογοτέχνης, συνθέτης και τραγουδιστής.

Θεωρείται μουσικός της ποπ, αν και τα τραγούδια του — κυρίως μπαλάντες — έ-χουν πολλά στοιχεία από την αμερικανική μουσική κάντρυ και την μουσική των ευρωπα-ϊκών καμπαρέ. Τα κύρια θέματα της δημιουργίας του είναι η θρησκεία, ο έρωτας και η μοναξιά, χωρίς ωστόσο να λείπουν και οι τοποθετήσεις σε κοινωνικοπολιτικά θέματα όπως ο πόλεμος, οι εκτρώσεις και η μετανάστευση.

Ο πατέρας του ήταν ευκατάστατος Εβραίος έμπορος υφασμάτων. Σε ηλικία έξι ε-τών, ο Cohen έχασε τον πατέρα του και αυτό τον σημάδεψε για όλη του την ζωή. Έφηβος έμαθε κιθάρα και έγινε μέλος του μουσικού γκρουπ Buckskin Boys, το οποίο έπαιζε μουσική κάντρυ. Αργότερα, τον καιρό που ήταν σπουδαστής στο Πανεπιστήμιο McGill εξέδωσε τα πρώτα του ποιήματα που τον έκαναν γνωστό στους καναδικούς λογοτεχνι-κούς κύκλους. Το 1963 εγκαταστάθηκε στην Ύδρα, όπου συνέχισε να γράφει. Με το μυ-θιστόρημα Beautiful Losers (Θαυμάσιοι αποτυχημένοι, 1966), γνώρισε την παγκόσμια επιτυχία ως συγγραφέας. Ωστόσο, το 1967 αποφάσισε να εγκατασταθεί στις ΗΠΑ για να αφοσιωθεί στην μουσική.

Σε συναυλίες φολκ στις ΗΠΑ το 1967, η τραγουδίστρια Judy Collins έκανε γνωστό το τραγούδι του Suzanne. Έτσι την ίδια χρονιά, ο Cohen μπόρεσε να κυκλοφορήσει τον πρώτο του δίσκο με τίτλο Songs of Leonard Cohen. Ακολούθησαν πολλοί άλλοι δίσκοι, μεταξύ των οποίων και ο δίσκος Famous Blue Raincoat (1987) με την φωνή της Jennifer Warnes.

Το 1992 κυκλοφόρησε τον πιο πολιτικοποιημένο δίσκο του με τίτλο The Future, και δύο χρόνια κατόπιν αποφάσισε να γίνει βουδιστής, μέχρι που χειροτονήθηκε μονα-χός. Αλλά το 1999 εγκατέλειψε τον μοναστικό βίο, για να εκδώσει δύο ακόμα δίσκους. Το 2005, το όνομα του Cohen βρέθηκε ξανά στις στήλες των εφημερίδων, επειδή ο επί χρόνια μάνατζέρ του τον εξαπάτησε κλέβοντας το μεγαλύτερο μέρος των χρημάτων του καλλιτέχνη.

Ο Cohen δεν παντρεύτηκε ποτέ, αλλά είναι πατέρας δύο παιδιών, του Άνταμ (1972) και της Λόρκα (1974), που απέκτησε με την Suzanne Elrod.

Το 2010 τιμήθηκε με Τιμητικό Γκράμι για το σύνολο της προσφοράς του.
Δισκογραφία

Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
Songs from a Room (1969)
Songs of Love and Hate (1971)
Live Songs (1973)
New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)
Death of a Ladies' Man (1977)
Recent Songs (1979)
Various Positions (1984)
I'm Your Man (1988)
The Future (1992)

Cohen Live: Leonard Cohen in Concert (1994)
Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 (2001)
Ten New Songs (2001)
Dear Heather (2004)
Συλλογές

The Best of Leonard Cohen (1975) (επίσης γνωστό ως Greatest Hits)
More Best of Leonard Cohen (1997)
The Essential Leonard Cohen (2002), διπλό CD
Βιβλία

Let Us Compare Mythologies (ποίηση) 1956   
The Spice-Box of Earth (ποίηση) 1961
The Favorite Game (μυθιστόρημα) 1963
Flowers for Hitler (ποίηση) 1964
Beautiful Losers (μυθιστόρημα) 1966
Parasites of Heaven (ποίηση) 1966
Selected Poems 1956–1968 (ποίηση) 1968
The Energy of Slaves (ποίηση) 1972
Death of a Lady's Man (ποιήματα και πεζά) 1978
Book of Mercy (πεζά ποιήματα/ψαλμοί) 1984
Stranger Music (επιλογή ποιημάτων και τραγουδιών) 1993
Στα ελληνικά κυκλοφορεί το βιβλίο του Το αγαπημένο παιχνίδι (πρωτότυπος τίτλος: The Favorite Game), εκδ. Μελάνι, Αθήνα 2005. ISBN 960-8309-44-1.

Για τον προδομένο έρωταΣτροβιλιζόμενος μέσα σε ένα πηγάδι ευτυχίας,
ονειροπολώντας για τα μελλούμενα,
ξαφνικά βρίσκεσαι με το ένα χέρι στο κλαδί και το άλλο στο κενό.

Famous blue raincoat

It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record.

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you, you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake --

She sends her regards.
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely, L. Cohen

Για το σύστημα

Αρχικά βρεθήκαμε εγκλωβισμένοι μέσα στους 4 τοίχους,
ύστερα καταφέραμε και τους σπάσαμε,
πορευτήκαμε γυμνοί μέσα στο χρόνο,
και τώρα μας συλλάβανε,
τι κάνουμε;

First we take Manhattan

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I don't like your fashion business mister
And I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby...

And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I've practiced every night, now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I am guided

Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Για τον έρωτα

Σέρνομαι στα πόδια σου τρελός και γυμνός,
σκοτεινός και τρυφερός,
 μικρός και ονειροπόλος,
ζωντανός και αληθινός.

I'm your man

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man

If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And 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

Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been runnin' through, these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by beggin' on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please
I'm your man

And if you've got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only wanna walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love

Για τους αντάρτες

Είμαστε όλοι κουρέλια που περιφερόμαστε στους κάλπικους δρόμους της πόλης,
 είμαστε σακιά σκισμένα με το αίμα τους να στάζει παντού,
είμαστε μπουκάλια που ξεχειλίζουν από ζωή,
 είμαστε σκυλιά που γαβγίζουν αδιάκοπα μέρα νύχτα.

The Partisan

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
This I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.

I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
But I have many friends,
And some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
Kept us hidden in the garret,
Then the soldiers came;
She died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
But I must go on;
The frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
Through the graves the wind is blowing,
Freedom soon will come;
Then we'll come from the shadows.

Les allemands étaient chez moi,
Ils me disent, résigne-toi,
Mais je n'ai pas peur;
J'ai repris mon arme.

[The Germans were at my home
They said, resign you
But I am not afraid
I picked up my weapon again.]

J'ai changé cent fois de nom,
J'ai perdu femme et enfants
Mais j'ai tant d'amis;
J'ai la France entière.

[I’ve changed names a hundred times
I have lost wife and children
But I have so many friends
I have all of France]

Un vieil homme dans un grenier
Pour la nuit nous a caché,
Les allemands l'ont pris;
Il est mort sans surprise.

[an old man, in an attic
Hid us for the night
The Germans captured him
He died without surprise.]

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
Through the graves the wind is blowing,
Freedom soon will come will soon come true

Για την δημοκρατία

Η δημοκρατία είναι ένα μουχλιασμένο ψωμί που το σερβίρουν στα πολυτελή εστιατόρια,
κι εμείς το τρώμε όλο μονομιάς,
 το βουτάμε και σε κάτι σάλτσες πικάντικες.

Democracy

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

 Για τα γράμματα που έστελνα

Τα γράμματα που έστελνα κάποτε,
τα βρήκα καρφιτσωμένα πάνω στα αστέρια,
 που μου έστελνες κάθε βράδυ για να με ξυπνήσουν.
 
The Letters

You never liked to get
The letters that I sent.
But now you've got the gist
Of what my letters meant.
You're reading them again,
The ones you didn't burn.
You press them to your lips,
My pages of concern.
I said there'd been a flood.
I said there's nothing left.
I hoped that you would come.
I gave you my address.
Your story was so long,
The plot was so intense,
It took you years to cross
The lines of self-defense.
The wounded forms appear:
The loss, the full extent;
And simple kindness here,
The solitude of strength.
You walk into my room.
You stand there at my desk,
Begin your letter to
The one who's coming next.


Επιμέλεια- Σημείωμα: Τάσος Ρήτος


Η στήλη Mousiki Propaganda γράφεται από το τεύχος 1 του Vakxikon.gr.

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