The Gypsy Scholar is proud to dedicate this page of the Tower of Song in honor of its Orphic Troubadour, LEONARD COHEN
To check out the new but incomplete "Leonard Cohen" webpage on the GS' new website,click here
In Memoriam, Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934 - November 7, 2016
"Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone I'll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song."
That "music sanctuary" in stone: The Tower of Song
Happy 82nd Virgo Birthday Leonard Cohen!
from one Virgo (September 22) to another,
and Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new album (10/21/16)
"Boogie Street" by Elizabeth Laishley
"I'm Your Man" in the Tower of Song
Leonard Cohen is one of the Gypsy Scholar's "singing-masters of my soul." and his Tower of Song is the "singing school ... "studying Monuments of its own magnificence."
Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence .... O sages standing in God's holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. (W.B. Yeats, 'Sailing to Byzantium')
Leonard Cohen: The Romantic Outsider as Poet-Prophet-Musician
The Gypsy Scholar locates Leonard Cohen in the poetic tradition of the Romantic Movement. (Indeed, he has been identified with the late 19th-century poetic school of "Black Romanticism".) Leonard himself has stated that as an aspiring young Montreal poet he took his inspiration from, and identified with, the Romantic poets, like Blake, Byron, Shelley, Keats and W. B. Yeats. ("... a young man who was growing up and discovering Byron and Blake." "It was also a place where a young poet could try to connect with the ghosts of Byron and Shelley and Blake." "Leonard Cohen was reborn as John Keats." [Leibovitz, 2014]. Bono, a great admirer, has this to say about Leonard: “Here was a man, who inside of a pop-song ... you know, puts big ideas, big dreams. It reminded me of Keats or Shelley or, you know, they were poets I was reading as a kid. I said this is our ... Shelley, this is our ... Byron.") Leonard has called W. B. Yeats "the great master." In his poem 'Time Out,' Cohen takes a line from Yeats' poem 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree': "I shall arise and go now." Cohen hears the Romantic call and longs to "arise and go now," and for a time he is set apart in order to grow. My time is running out and still I have not sung the true song the great song.
And Shelley had his towers, thought's crowned powers he called them once I declare this tower my symbol; I declare This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair.... —W.B. Yeats, 'The Winding Stair and Other Poems'
I shall find the dark grow luminous, the void fruitful when I understand I have nothing, that the ringers in the tower have appointed for the hymen of the soul a passing bell. —W.B. Yeats, 'Per Arnica Silentia Lunae'
LC's secret society of the Romantic "Visionary Company" (those poetic "ringers in the tower") of the Tower of Song:
"The Order of the Unified Heart"
Photos of the Prof. of Song, the Troubadour in-residence in the Tower of Song
Early Leonard Cohen Photos
Middle Age Leonard Cohen Photos
Senior Age Leonard Cohen Photos
Zen Monk Leonard Cohen Photos
Leonard Cohen with Family & Friends Photos
Leonard Cohen Portraits
Leonard Cohen's Artwork
Artwork for Leonard Cohen Songs
This (along with other paintings) was found on the following website, which introduces them as "Leonard Cohen & Tomasz Rut ~ True love leaves no traces ..." I cannot verify that Leonard had anything to do with creating them (he does drawings/prints, but no paintings). I suspect that they were painted by Tomasz Rut and then accompanied by the lyrics to Leonard's "True Love Leaves No Traces. " (From the album Death of a Ladies' Man. It was originally "As the mist leaves no scar," a poem published in The Spice-Box of Earth in 1961 and adapted by Phil Spector on the 1977 album.)
Here's two of the GS's favorite Leonard Cohen album covers. The pic on the left is the album cover for Leonard's New Skin For The Old Ceremony,released 1974. The illustration is taken from C.G. Jung's Pyschology and Alchemy (1953), the original of which is the alchemical text Rosararium Philosophorum (1550).The pic on the right is from a foreign tribute album showing Leonard, the Buddhist monk, on Mt. Baldy.
Leonard Cohen natal chart
Click to see an interactive Leonard Cohen natal chart:
From the concert stage at Lissadell House in County Sligo, Ireland, Leonard recites a verse from W. B. Yeats, whom he calls "the great master." (The Lissadell House is a neo-classical Greek revivalist style country house built in the 1830s. It was the childhood home of Irish revolutionary, Constance Gore-Booth, her sister the poet and suffragist, Eva Gore-Booth. It was also the sometime holiday retreat of William Butler Yeats. He made the house famous with the opening lines of his poem, 'In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz.')
Gypsy Scholar received a post card from Leonard Cohen in 1993, after he had sent a letter expressing his great admiration and describing his radio program, "The Tower of Song." Under Leonard's signature is stamped his "unified heart" symbol.
The postcard reads:
Dear _ _ _ _ _ Thank-you for your letter, your kind words, and your interest in my work. I deeply appreciate it. Sincerely, Leonard Cohen
The Gypsy Scholar Commemorates
Leonard Cohen's 2008-2009 World Tour
The Gypsy Scholar attended the HP Pavilion Concert, San Jose, California, Friday, November 13, 2009.
Leonard Cohen front-page spread in the METRO: Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper entitled, "The Poet King," with the byline, "At 75, Leonard Cohen Has Become An Unlikely Arena Sensation" (Nov. 11-17, 2009).
The Gypsy Scholar went to the San Jose concert, and so his first program tribute to Leonard Cohen on November 23rd included a reading (and critique) of the article within the METRO entitled, appropriately enough, "The Tower of Song."
Hallelujah! Leonard Recovers
LEONARD COHEN made a triumphant return to the stage with a three-hour concert on his 75th birthday on Monday (21Sep09).
The veteran singer sparked fears for his health after collapsing onstage in Valencia, Spain last week (18Sep09). His
concert was cut short after he fainted mid-song and was taken to the
city's Nueve de Octubre hospital, where he was treated for stomach flu.
But he was back on his feet to perform the last show of his European
tour in front of 14,000 fans in Barcelona, Spain on Monday - the same
day he turned 75. The Hallelujah hitmaker was given a standing ovation
as he stepped on stage at the Palau Sant Jordi concert hall, where he
played for more than three hours. And the star was moved after hundreds
of fans held up lit candles handed out earlier in the evening to
celebrate his special day. His band member Dino Soldo wrote on
Twitter.com, "To all the friends in Leonard Cohen's Barcelona gig, your
birthday candles brought a tear to my eye. He was touched."
Concertgoers also tossed bouquets, books and teddy bears onto the
stage, and the Canadian star thanked them by raising his hat and
concluding the show with the parting words, "May your life be sweet as
apples dipped in honey." He is scheduled to play a concert in Israel on
Thursday (24Sep09) before traveling to North America to continue his
tour in the U.S. next month (Oct09).
22 September 2009 08:12
The Gypsy Scholar Commemorates
Leonard Cohen's 2010 World Tour
The Gypsy Scholar attended the Paramount Theatre Concert, Oakland, California, Monday, December 6, 2010
The magnificent Oakland Paramount Theatre was the venue for two Leonard Cohen World Tour concerts, Dec. 5th and 6th. (All in all, the theatre was selected for 5 shows on this World Tour by Leonard Cohen and the United Heart Touring Company.) The theatre's website describes it as “one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States.” It is one of a number of former spectacular Movie Palaces that now serve as theaters in the USA. Designed by San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger, it was completed in 1931 and is now a National Historic Landmark.
For the Gypsy Scholar's money, he can't think of a better venue for a Leonard Cohen concert, with its rich gold and silver ornamentation, which consists of human and animal figures (and goddess figures in the lobby). Oh, and the angel figure on the ceiling right above the stage [see picture] reminded him of William Blake's titanic forms. Yes, the perfect place. So when Leonard hit the high note on "Hallelujah," he swears he saw the angel soar upward! And suddenly, the Gypsy Scholar found himself in the secular Temple of Music he recognized as the Tower of Song.
Dec. 6, 2010 Paramount Theatre Concert Setlist
SET 1 1. Dance Me to the End of Love 2. The Future 3. Ain't No Cure for Love 4. Bird on the Wire 5. Everybody Knows 6. In My Secret Life 7. Who by Fire? - with an incredible intro by Javier Mas 8. The Darkness 9. Born in Chains 10. Chelsea Hotel 11. Waiting for the Miracle 12. Anthem
SET 2 1. Tower of Song 2. Suzanne 3. Avalanche 4. A Singer Must Die 5. The Sisters of Mercy 6.Gypsy Wife 7. The Partisan 8. Boogie Street ( Sharon Robinson) 9. Hallelujah 10. I'm Your Man 11. A Thousand Kisses Deep (spoken) 12. Take This Waltz
Encore 1 1. So Long Marianne 2. First We Take Manhattan Encore 2 1. Famous Blue Raincoat 2. If It Be Your Will 3. Closing Time Encore 3 I Tried to Leave You
If you missed the World Tour concerts, or did attend and want to be
reminded, here are video links (to copy into web-browser) of some songs
from the Oakland Paramount Dec. 6, 2010 concert"
* Dance Me To The End Of Love *
* In My Secret Life *
* Who By Fire *
* Born In Chains *
* Chelsea Hotel *
* Waiting For The Miracle *
"Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was." - Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)
In interviews through the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a handful of specific songs he favors. And one of his top favorites is the tragic song “Gloomy Sunday," composed by Hungarian pianist and composer Rezső Seress in 1933 to a Hungarian poem written by László Jávor, in which the singer reflects on the horrors of modern culture. It has been dubbed "the Hungarian Suicide Song" because people have jumped out of windows after hearing it. Leonard Cohen paid tribute to it with his own "suicide song" in the introduction to “Dress Rehearsal Rag” at the 1968 BBC Sessions:
"You know there’s a song in, I think it was in Czechoslovakia, called “Gloomy Sunday” that was forbidden to play because every time it would play people would leap out of windows and off of roofs. It was a tragic song. And I read in the Athens news the other day that the composer of it, who only really wrote that one song, he died recently, jumped out of a window himself. I have one of those songs that I have banned for myself. I sing it only on extremely joyous occasions when I know that the landscape can support the despair that I am about to project into it. It’s called the 'Dress Rehearsal Rag.'"
(An album was released in March of 2010, Leonard Cohen's Jukebox: Songs That Inspired the Man, by various artists and with "Gloomy Sunday" as one of the tracks. However, the album was not authorized by Cohen and seems to be nothing but a marketing ploy.)
HAPPY 77th BIRTHDAY LEONARD COHEN
Leonard Cohen is waiting to hear our Happy Birthday greetings & wishes for his 77th birthday, September 21, 2011
Leonard Cohen September 2011 Calendar
The t-shirt the GS (Virgo, Sept. 22) will wear for Leonard's birthday
The Romantic "ringers in the tower, " like Leonard Cohen, remind us (especially in this perfectionist new-age of spirituality) to
"Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There's a crack in everything That's how the light gets in."