Monday, December 05, 2011

Music Monday ~ Leonard Cohen & "Everybody Knows"

I've once or twice approached the natal chart of Leonard Cohen but was wary of featuring it in a blog post. I enjoy many of his songs, though preferably sung by others: Bird On a Wire, Hallelujah, Suzanne, Dance Me To the End of Love to name a few. The man himself, though, strikes me as being a wee bit "out there", farther out than I care to go!

When I first saw Cohen's chart I was surprised to note that he has no planets in Scorpio. The "feel" of nearly all his songs is most definitely Scorpio, for me. Death features often, as does gloomy self-obsessed melancholia.

So....where's the gloom ? Could it be that through emphais on perfection-loving Virgo in his chart (data from Astrodatabank): Sun, Venus (the arts) and Neptune (creativity), he seeks a perfection that simply doesn't exist in this insane world, and his unsuccessful search tips him into gloom and despondency? Pluto, planet of death and darkness, in Cancer, lies in sextile to his Sun - perhaps that's an additional source of the dark feeling in his works. Moon in Pisces (ruled by Neptune) contributes that rather otherworldly flavour found often in Cohen's songs.

An old CD featuring songs of Leonard Cohen, performed by others, was on offer for a dollar on a recent junk store visit. It came home with us and has been on my media player constantly ever since. I was especially taken by the first track: Everybody Knows, sung on this CD by Don Henley, of The Eages. I'd never heard this one before, but notice how relevant it is to issues of today:

Snips from the lyrics ~
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows.............

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

First: The man himself singing, or rather narrating, Everybody Knows, in London, 2008. I do prefer the second version - Don Henley's - it's catchy, more tuneful and very easily sticks in the mind!


Wisewebwoman said...

I've been a fan of Leonard since I was in my twenties. His style is truly unique. Nothing and no one can top him, even KD performing Hallelujah!
Interesting his innate romanticism didn't impact on his chart. He is quite the ladies' man (one his albums was so entitled) and quite the lover if one of my friends has told me true!
Have you heard his Democracy? You would love it, T!

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I understand why true fans prefer his own versions of his songs - I feel the same about Kris Kristofferson (whose voice leaves a lot to be desired). But I do prefer "cover" versions of Cohen's songs (Beatles songs too (wash my mouth out!))

Ladies' man? I guess so, with that well of emotional oooomph, he'd have to be. :-)

Thanks for the hint re "Democracy". I read the lyrics a minute ago - will go listen shortly. Excellent lyrics!

Diane said...

Never could get past Cohen's voice or lack thereof imvho but appreciated his lyrics and Don Henley has always been my favorite lyricist. I also very much like how you never fail to put a unique spin on your posts--wish I could express that better but hope you know it's a compliment.

Twilight said...

Diane ~~ Thank you! You're very kind, and it's much appreciated.

I feel the same about L.Cohen. I'm keen to hear his renditions of his own songs, but for everyday listening - they are just too good not to be sung by really good voices. :-)

Vanilla Rose said...

Oh, come on! Not all his songs sound better when covered my better singers. Would the line "I was born with the gift of a golden voice" in "Tower of Song" sound right from a more tuneful voice?

I choreographed and performed a burlesque routine to "I'm Your Man", so I am possibly a little biased.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~ Well, it's just my own taste, VR. I'm a fan of Cohen's writing, not of him as a person, nor of his voice. If I'm a fan of someone as a person (as in case of Kristofferson) then the version they sing becomes the definitive for me - but only then. :-)

Vanilla Rose said...

Fair enough, but that particular line just isn't funny if sung in a beautiful voice!