Leonard Cohen: Like A Bird On The Wire, Perla Batalla Singing

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Like a bird on the wire
By Leonard Cohen
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.
Like a baby, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”

Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

This song is about fighting to overcome obstacles, and dealing with the evils and graces that are thrust upon us in everyday life. And in dealing with the evils, asking for forgiveness from the person the wrong was done to, or from whatever religious being that person may believe in. It’s about redemption.
It is about the dual nature of the human being Free and in Bondage at the same time, in spirit: Our thoughts can set us free one moment, only to call us bach into the bounds, the next, like a captive kite, free within boundaries of the line’s lengths, and free to dive around in an erratic pattern of the wind, held up, or let down by the presence or absence of the air current: But captive, unlike the balloon set free, the white doves liberated above the human stadion, the theater, the Pantheon. The duality and imperfection of human nature, this poem is about. To Keep and hold, to free and to leg go, it is about that too. To overcome limitation and to be thoughtful and noble, to confess and to be forgiven, it is about that too. It’s about me and it is about you. It is about us, all of us, in this boat that will soon be too small, to contain us all: It is about “all of those things first”.

“I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”
Human predicament: Free within physical, social, cultural limitations.

11 responses to “Leonard Cohen: Like A Bird On The Wire, Perla Batalla Singing

  1. Buna ziua, George,
    ce mai faci?Scrii numai in engleza?Aproape imi pare rau ca la fiecare comentariu al tau pe blogul meu te sfatuiam, data fiind sensibilitatea ta, sa-ti deschizi un blog…Glumesc, desigur.Nu ai mai trecut pe la blogul meu.Oare prietenia asteapta semne reciproce spre a se manifesta?Eu, pur si simplu, nu stiu engleza si crede-ma , mi-e rtusine de asta, am 4 feluri de CD-uri si DVD-uri dar din varii motive nu pot avansa mai mult de un (1) Cd.ma bucur ca ai succes si iti doresc in continuare.Cu prietenie, Maria

    Like

    • Buna Maria, sant bucuros de visita ta: Cred ca ceea ce am scris are valoare. cred ca m-am simtit putin prea staruitor, si nu am vrut sa atrag consecinte nefavorabile. Imi place foarte mult ceea ce scrii, si felul in care compui, care ma face intotdeauna sa ma gandesc la sensibilitatea feminina, cu complexitatea greu de descris, si in acelasi timp atat de aprope de fiinta. O sa bat mai des la usa ta virtuala: promit. Cat despre scris, daca te intereseaza ceva in mod deosebit, pot sa traduc, si am aplicatie care traduce foarte acurat pe euzicasa.

      Ziua cand cand visitat si ai invitat pe alti pritene ai tai, a fost cea mai populata si memorabila.

      Multumesc foarte mult pentru inspiratia ta, care m-a determinat sa “euzicasa”. Cat despre succes: o masor cum zic in motoul meu impartaseste (sa faci cunoscut, imparte) ceea ce stii, in fiecare zi (intotdeauna). Toti facem ceva, si in ultima anliza, tot ceea ce facem beneficiaza de cele mai multe ori pe altcineva, mai mult decat pe noi insine: este menirea noaastra pe pamant. Sa ia un sfarsit de saptamana inspirat (ceea ce simt ca este starea ta spirit…de fiecare zi)!

      Like

  2. great tribute to Cohen!

    Like

    • Thanks, I’ve been moved by his music from times before this time (from behind the iron curtain). Cohen valides for me the way I’m thinking about many thinks: freedom, hard work even with no influence on the outcome, living hopefull, standing guiltless in situations where one cannot commend the outcome (such as in “The traitor”), humility, and meaninfulness of rational thinking combined with unequal sense of expression. I glad when somebody else appreciates his musical thoughts.
      What do you think about Perla’s: She really glides like a bird in this song, I think.

      Like

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