Monday, July 30, 2012

Take This Waltz

The song I mumble. Today, it's Canadian singer Leonard Cohen's 'Take This Waltz'.

(after Lorca)
Now in Vienna there's ten pretty women
There's a shoulder where Death comes to cry
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows
There's a tree where the doves go to die
There's a piece that was torn from the morning
And it hangs in the Gallery of Frost
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take this waltz with the clamp on it's jaws
Oh I want you, I want you, I want you
On a chair with a dead magazine
In the cave at the tip of the lily
In some hallways where love's never been
On a bed where the moon has been sweating
In a cry filled with footsteps and sand
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take it's broken waist in your hand
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
With it's very own breath of brandy and Death
Dragging it's tail in the sea
There's a concert hall in Vienna
Where your mouth had a thousand reviews
There's a bar where the boys have stopped talking
They've been sentenced to death by the blues
Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture
With a garland of freshly cut tears?
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take this waltz it's been dying for years
There's an attic where children are playing
Where I've got to lie down with you soon
In a dream of Hungarian lanterns
In the mist of some sweet afternoon
And I'll see what you've chained to your sorrow
All your sheep and your lilies of snow
Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
With it's "I'll never forget you, you know!"
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz ...
And I'll dance with you in Vienna
I'll be wearing a river's disguise
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder,
My mouth on the dew of your thighs
And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there, and the moss
And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty
My cheap violin and my cross
And you'll carry me down on your dancing
To the pools that you lift on your wrist
Oh my love, Oh my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz
It's yours now. It's all that there is

The song here.

"Take This Waltz" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released as part of his 1988 studio album I'm Your Man. The song's lyrics are a loose translation, into English, of the poem "Pequeño vals vienés" by the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (one of Cohen's favorite poets). The poem was first published in Lorca's seminal book Poeta en Nueva York.
More here.

Cohen on 'Take the Waltz': Here of all places I don’t have to explain how I fell in love with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. I was 15 years old and I was wandering through the bookstores of Montreal and I fell upon one of his books,and I opened it,and my eyes saw those lines “I want to pass through the Arches of Elvira,to see her thighs and begin weeping”. I thought “This is where I want to be”… I read alone “Green I want you green “I turned another page “The morning through fistfuls of ants in your face” I turned another page “Her thighs slipped away like school of silver minnows”. I knew that I had come home. So it is with a great sense of gratitude that I am able to repay my debt to Federico Garcia, at least a corner, a fragment, a crumb, a hair, an electron of my debt by dedicating this song, this translation of his great poem “Little Viennese Waltz”, “Take This Waltz”.
More here.

Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. While giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 10 March 2008, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." The critic Bruce Elder wrote an assessment of Cohen's overall career in popular music, writing, "[Cohen is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic. . .singer/songwriters of the late '60s. . . [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making. . . Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century." The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that "[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than two hundred of Cohen's poems . . .several novel excerpts, and almost sixty song lyrics. . .While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines."
More here.

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