What does Avalanche mean?

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Leonard Cohen: Avalanche Meaning

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Song Released: 1971


Avalanche Lyrics

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...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 2nd, 9:10pm report


    I have always seen this song as speaking empathically to the plight of deformed, handicapped, socially "ugly", disfigured or otherwise outcast hermits, living on the fringes of society.
    One of the most powerful lines ever written
    (in my humble opinion [and one which I have often quoted or paraphrased]): Your pain is no credential here, it's just a shadow of my wound."
    Also,: "I, myself am the pedestal for this ugly hump, at which you stare..."
    As an impressionable teen at the time,(and one who stood up to bullies on behalf of a couple of the "Special Ed. kids"), this song seemed very soulful and moving.
    Yeah, maybe I'm reading too much into it, only Mr. Cohen knows for sure...

    Jim Odgers

    Thank you Ms. Toland, the teacher who introduced me to "Songs",and a Canadian film about L.C., back in the day.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 2nd, 2015 6:47pm report


    The voice of god to the unenlightened seeker. Warnings of what lies ahead, reproaches for ignorance and highlighting the tepid efforts of that one. But delightfully instructing that one nevertheless and giving clues that can't be guessed at but maybe can be received.



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 10th, 2014 10:43pm report


    The first person speaking is jesus christ...



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 10th, 2014 2:20pm report


    I interpret this song as being about Nature/the natural world/the inevitability of Life and Death, and the futility of attempting to tame or defy the course of Nature/Death/etc, and the hubris of humankind's presumptions of being powerful & capable of influencing or controlling the natural world.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 16th, 2012 1:44pm report


    It's about G-d and the incarnated soul.




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