Daily Archives: June 20, 2011

Last Year’s Man: Leonard Cohen ( From the Album Songs of Love and Hate)

Last year’s Man (Leonard Cohen)

The rain falls down on last year’s man,
that’s a jew’s harp on the table,
that’s a crayon in his hand.
And the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rolled
far past the stems of thumbtacks
that still throw shadows on the wood.
And the skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year’s man.

I met a lady, she was playing with her soldiers in the dark
oh one by one she had to tell them
that her name was Joan of Arc.
I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while;
I want to thank you, Joan of Arc,
for treating me so well.

And though I wear a uniform I was not born to fight;
all these wounded boys you lie beside,
goodnight, my friends, goodnight.

I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived;
Bethlehem the bridegroom,
Babylon the bride.
Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me,
and Bethlehem inflamed us both
like the shy one at some orgy.
And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail.

Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain
so I hang upon my altar
and I hoist my axe again.
And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began
when Jesus was the honeymoon
and Cain was just the man.
And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin
that the wilderness is gathering
all its children back again.

The rain falls down on last year’s man,
an hour has gone by
and he has not moved his hand.
But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
the lovers will rise up
and the mountains touch the ground.
But the skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year’s man.

Songs of Love and Hate is Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen‘s third album. It was mainly recorded in Columbia Studio A, Nashville, from September 22 to 26, 1970. “Sing Another Song, Boys” was recorded at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30, 1970. Further recording took place at Trident Studios in London. The album reached #145 on the Billboard list, but was his most commercially successful album in many other parts of the world, reaching #4 in the UK and #8 in Australia.[3]


The album title is descriptive, outlining its main themes. The songs contain emotive language and are frankly personal; “Famous Blue Raincoat” ends with the line “Sincerely, L. Cohen”. The back cover of the album bears the lines:


They locked up a man
Who wanted to rule the world
The fools
They locked up the wrong man


Avalanche – Leonard Cohen (Live San Sebastian 1988) – “You who wish to conquer pain”

Avalanche (Leonard Cohen)

Well I stepped into an avalanche,
it covered up my soul;
when I am not this hunchback that you see,
I sleep beneath the golden hill.
You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn, learn to serve me well.

You strike my side by accident
as you go down for your gold.
The cripple here that you clothe and feed
is neither starved nor cold;
he does not ask for your company,
not at the centre, the centre of the world.

When I am on a pedestal,
you did not raise me there.
Your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare.
I myself am the pedestal
for this ugly hump at which you stare.

You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn what makes me kind;
the crumbs of love that you offer me,
they’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.
Your pain is no credential here,
it’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound.

I have begun to long for you,
I who have no greed;
I have begun to ask for you,
I who have no need.
You say you’ve gone away from me,
but I can feel you when you breathe.

Do not dress in those rags for me,
I know you are not poor;
don’t love me quite so fiercely now
when you know that you are not sure,
it is your turn, beloved,
it is your flesh that I wear.

Avalanche (song)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Avalanche” is a song by Leonard Cohen. It appears on his third album, Songs of Love and Hate, released in 1971.

The lyrics are based on a poem he had previously written. The music is notoriously difficult to play on the guitar. He acknowledged in a 1992 interview with Paul Zollo that his “chop”, his unique pattern of playing, is behind many of his early songs.

Like many of Leonard Cohen’s poems Avalanche is the soul search of the human being discovering his higher source of life, his spirituality. It is ment to connect with God in the only way possible: honestly. Honesty is the dispeller of lie, and the savior from guilt, while guilt is suffering and pain.


Critics Find Gaps in State Laws to disclose Hydrofracking Chemicals_via ProPublica

ProPublica - Critics Find Gaps in State Laws to Disclose Hydrofracking Chemicals

ProPublica - Critics Find Gaps in State Laws to Disclose Hydrofracking Chemicals

Valentina Nafornita – Erich Wolfgang Korngold – ‘Gluck Das Mir Verblieb’ from the operat ‘Die Tote Stadt’

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011, Concert Three from St David’s Hall in Cardiff, 15 June, 2011.

Valentina Nafornita (Soprano) from Moldova performs:

Gluck das mir verlieb (Die tote Stadt) – Korngold
Amour, ranime mon courage (Romeo et Juliette) – Gounod

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was a composer of operas, songs, orchestral works, and -most notably – film scores.

Kornhold was born on 29th May 1897 in a Jewish home in Brünn (Brno), Austria–Hungary, now the Czech Republic. He was the second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold. A child prodigy, Erich played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler in 1906; Mahler called him a “musical genius”, and recommended study with the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky. At the age of eleven he composed his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), which caused a sensation when performed at the Vienna Court Opera in 1910, including a command performance for Emperor Franz Josef. This work was followed by a piano trio, then by his second piano sonata, which Artur Schnabel played throughout Europe. During his early years Korngold also made player-piano music rolls for the Aeolian Duo-Art system, all of which survive today.

Korngold wrote his first orchestral score, the Schauspiel Ouverture when he was fourteen. His Sinfonietta appeared the following year, and his first two operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, in 1914. He completed his opera Die tote Stadt, which became an international success, in 1920 at the age of twenty-three. At this point Korngold had reached the zenith of his fame as a composer of opera and concert music.

Valentina Naforniţă – BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011

Valentina Naforniţă – BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011

Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico (tragic opera) in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott‘s historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.[1] The opera premiered on 26 September 1835 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Donizetti revised the score for a French version which debuted on 6 August 1839 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton (Lucia) who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th Century. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucia_di_Lammermoor)

Today’s Article (June 20): Simonetta Vespucci

Simonetta Vespucci

Simonetta as Cleopatra by Piero di Cosimo, c. 1480
Born c.1453
Genoa or Portovenere, Italy
Died 26 April 1476
Florence, Italy
Occupation Model
Parents Gaspare Cattaneo Della Voltaand Cattocchia Spinola de Candia

Simonetta was the Genoese wife of the Italian nobleman Marco Vespucci of Florence. Renowned as the greatest beauty of her age, she was the subject of countless portraits, including many by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli. Some claim that the goddess depicted in Botticelli’s masterpiece, Birth of Venus, was modeled after Simonetta, even though she died at the age of 22—several years before it was completed. What fact about Botticelli’s burial place lends credence to the theory? More… Discuss



Today’s Birthday (June20): Lillian Hellman (1905)

Lillian Hellman (1905)

After working as a book reviewer, press agent, and play reader, Hellman began writing plays in the 1930s. Her first major success, The Children’s Hour, concerned two schoolteachers falsely accused of lesbianism. She examined family infighting in her hit The Little Foxes and political injustice in Watch on the Rhine. All were made into successful films. Hellman was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. What happened when she refused to testify? More… Discuss

Valentina Nafornita Winnner of BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World Competition!

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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011-Valentina Nafornita from Moldova

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011-Valentina Nafornita: Felicitari Valentina!

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (Click on the picture to access the concert from BBC)BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011-Valentina Nafornita from MoldovaBBc Cardiff SInger of the World 2011 5 FinalistsBBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011-Valentina Nafornita: Felicitari Valentina!