He's Your Man
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man
I am so glad that they didn't wait until Leonard Cohen was dead before they made Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, the loving tribute to the great Canadian poet, novelist, musician, and icon. Too often tributes to the deserving are not voiced until that person is gone.
This documentary, which we watched over the weekend, was considerably more compelling that I expected it to be. The tribute concert was filmed at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, and featured performances by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, Antony (Antony and the Johnsons), Bono, the Edge, Teddy Thompson, the Handsome Family and some hippie chicks whose names I have forgotten.
Kees, you in particular, would have loved Nick Cave's pseudo lounge-lizard act. It was pretty splendid.
Conversations with Nick Cave, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Bono, etc, provided charming and, at times, quite touching personal glimpses into the influence that Cohen has had upon these musicians. The concert footage and celebrity bits were interspersed with conversations with Leonard Cohen himself, conversations which revealed such tidbits of information such as who Suzanne really was and how Cohen came to be an ordaned Zen monk.
Leonard Cohen, recipient of the Order of Canada, has really come into his own in his seventies. He is as articulate and as precise and measured in his speech as though he were speaking in poetry.
And physically, he is one of those rare and fortunate people who actually look better as they age. Cohen still has style and charisma and is still a snappy dresser. I think he has never looked better.
has done many wonderful Cohen covers, including, in my humble opinion, the best version of Hallelujah. And even if Leonard Cohen does now profess to regretting that he once publicly admitted it was written about Janis Joplin, for my money, I'll take Rufus Wainwright singing Chelsea Hotel.