Feb 23 2013


Just shut up and listen…

Waking up to this on the radio made so many neurons fire in so many correct ways. Never mind who or what she is or politics, just listen. It’s good. It’s really good.


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  1. 1

    I must admit, while I love the song I’m not particularly impressed with this cover. While I know it’s the style of singing, I find that she slurs words together and doesn’t enunciate particularly well in places — I just dislike the general style of singing presented here (doesn’t fire the right neurons, as it were). I don’t know if we’re allowed to post URLs, but my favourite cover is:
    Which is a choral version of the song (I love harmony).

    That said, I find these ‘John Cale’ style covers to be more enjoyable than Leonard Cohen’s original. It really is a beautiful song, and deeply impactful. There have been days where I’ve spent hours just listening to different covers and hearing how all the different singers put emphasis in different places, subtly changing the meanings of the verses.

  2. 2

    English is not her first language. She is a Pakistani singer…

    And yes you can post urls… if you post more than one it gets caught by the spam filter and I have to go fish it out by hand…

  3. 3
    Bill Openthalt

    Leonard Cohen is one of the very few poet-composers whose songs transcend the words and the music, creating art that is more than the sum of its parts. It’s also that kind of art that almost forces performers to transcend themselves, pushing them to a higher plane of empathy and understanding. It’s frail, and moving, and strong, and uplifting. Thanks!

  4. 4

    Personal preference. I prefer the Leonard Cohen original. But I have always preferred male voices.

  5. 5
    M can help you with that.

    My favorite singer for this song is probably k.d. lang. Her recorded version is certainly the one I listen to the most often.

    (It’s a pity that the song has been so overplayed, but I can understand the appeal. It’s a wonderful song. The language is religious — though distinctly non-Christian — but the song still works if you treat the religious bits as some combination of metaphor/allusion/cultural tradition. An approach which is very mainstream to much of contemporary Judaism, though I don’t know how much is theological vs. cultural for Cohen himself.)

  6. 6

    I’ve always liked Rufus Wainwright’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmbQEQltOwM

    I’ll have to check out these others!

  7. 7

    This is beautiful. I love her voice, it has a broken and sorrowful quality that perfectly matches the lyrics. Thanks for insisting I listen.

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