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Leonard Cohen songs

I'm listening to "A bunch of lonesome heros", which turns out to be the 100th song that this computer has downloaded from iTunes... and on the very day that we heard over the radio that iTunes had sold its billionth song. Little Springtime said that since she knew I had downloaded one today, she wondered if I had downloaded the billionth. But no, that lucky person was Alex Ostrovsky, from Michigan. There will be a scholarship set up in his name at the Julliard School of Music, and he gets an iMac computer, a 10,000-dollar gift certificate to iTunes, and 10 iPods. The song was Coldplay's "Speed of Sound," which Little Springtime thought was amusing--the sound of all that music racing around cyberspace, I guess.

Leonard Cohen is great to listen to if you're melon-collie ... and if you're *not* melancholy and you listen to Leonard Cohen, you might end up that way.

I remember first hearing Leonard Cohen when my mother would do yoga exercises, but right now I can't recall which of the houses we lived in that was, so I can't recall if it was Before Eight or After Eight. (We moved house when I was eight.) I remember it went right into me--zap. She had the album (vinyl, folks!) "Songs of Leonard Cohen," which on the back has a painting of a woman in chains going up in flames. I was fascinated by that picture. I think my mom told me it was supposed to be Kateri Tekakwitha--but she didn't die burned up, so I'm not sure about that. (I stuck in that link to a bio of Kateri Tekakwitha, but she's just the sort of Catholic saint (almost; still just "blessed") that I'm least interested in--admired because she had a hard life and was a virgin, neither of which seem points for emulation in my mind. Sometimes you can't help having a hard life, but I don't like the glorification of hardship.)

"A bunch of lonesome heros," though, comes from the album "Songs from a Room"

I really like the lyrics of
Leonard Cohen - Stranger Song Lyrics
It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender,
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much
not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

But now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams
as though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
his golden arm dispatching cards
but now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter.

Ah you hate to see another tired man
lay down his hand
like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder.
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder.

You tell him to come in sit down
but something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It's you my love, you who are the stranger.

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this
or any other matter
When he talks like this
you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this,
you don't know what he's after.

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
upon the shore, beneath the bridge
that they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform
for the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind ...

And leaning on your window sill ...

I'm trying that as an lj-cut to see if I can make that work.

If it does, I can put my sap updates under an lj-cut for the duration of the season. For today, though, about the sap I'll write here that I got two gallons, which I boiled almost all down, but will finish in the morning. Except it *is* morning now--4:01. Soon I should get to proper work.

Here is a question--how much can you help someone, and how much should you? In yet another Leonard Cohen song, the narrator in the song says "and thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes; I thought it was there to stay, so I didn't try." There are all kinds of contradictory bits of folk wisdom out there on that score. Sometimes people are happy the way they are--for instance, I get melancholy, but I wouldn't want to be cured of that, thanks very much. But on the other hand, if someone seems unhappy and yet claims not to be, does that mean you're absolved of any responsibility to try to make things better? Maybe they can't imagine anything better but would be much, much happier if things changed. And maybe they're not in a fit state to judge (though that's dangerous logic--someone could say that about me and being melancholy, too). Part of it is the Golden Rule problem. Doing unto others as you would have others do unto you is good general practice, but if others like a different kind of treatment from the kind you like, then things get tricky.

Heyes: Wakanomori's dream was about a foundling baby. It was very sweet--ask him about it one day.



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