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Leonard Cohen: The Darkness Meaning


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    Apr 3rd, 2016 4:56am report

    This song had great meaning me during my chemo.
    I felt that it meant realizing mortality
    is not outs to choose or reject. Surrendering oneself to fate. Many lines werr significant. The one that fit so well.
    " you call us here and you bind us tight
    your children in these rags of light.
    Rags of light all dressed to kill. If it be your will.
    I have survived over 4 years now and am currently I am good. My cancer wsd an agressive form. But I'm not s smoker.its in my family.tip eat your veggies


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    Jan 21st, 2013 1:17pm report

    I thought since the singer took "a dive" because he was so attracted to her youth, and was drinking from her "cup" and asked if she was contagious, that he contracted a fatal disease and was now dying (AIDS?) and lost interest in life.

    Or depression, but that's not really contagious.


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    Apr 12th, 2012 4:58am report

    Darkness is approaching Death.
    The Cup is Life's Experiences.
    You: God?
    or the other Fellow?


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    Feb 29th, 2012 2:31pm report

    There are ambiguities here, leave it to the artist to creatively hedge (or the listener to not get it, perhaps my bad). But as I hear this, it is about depression. Clean and reasonably clear. There are unmistakable and poignant lyrics:

    "I've got no future
    I know my days are few
    The present's, not that pleasant
    Just a lot of things to do.
    I thought the past would last me
    But the darkness got there too."

    "I ain't had much loving yet
    But that's always been your call
    I don't miss it baby
    I got no taste for anything at all."

    "I used to love the rainbow
    And I used to love the view
    Another early morning
    I pretend that it was new."

    Classic anhedonia, loss of hope, future, present, past...

    What I don't get, and would love to know, is how he caught the "darkness." That seems veiled. Relationship gone bad? Something more symbolic?

    But he definitely is, IMHO, talking about depression, an anhedonic funk.

    Great song, great album!


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    Jan 28th, 2012 1:23pm report

    IF IT BE YOUR WILL - By Leonard Cohen

    Let's say "your" is a person and a group of people he Loves and they seem to be trying to direct him somewhere. "Will" means to exercise your own free directions, set out on a course of action, make a deliberate choice, go after something you desire, use your determination, decree, dictate, purpose, intention, wish. By using the word "YOUR" and not "MY", Leonard is saying he is trying to stop fighting the force. Self-control is the opposite of what Leonard is singing about in this song. This song is about surrendering his will to a higher power. He is giving up control of his life to something bigger than himself. It is about his attempt at letting go of fear and hoping something beautiful comes from it. (It is a self-discipline to "undiscipline" ourselves. Love is a practice.) Most of us are fine with giving up control to drugs and alcohol but not anything else. Yet, things happen in our lives that are beyond our control. We can be zenned to the point of no return and still want some control. The hardest part about letting go is holding on. Maybe here Leonard is saying, "Come what may, I've had enough of trying to control any outcome in my life. If 'your' will is that I die alone and rot in a ditch SO BE IT." Self-will is when we act like a baby. Leonard is being an adult in this song. He is saying, "Bring it on. If I am to have no friends, no money, no house, fine. It is out of my hands." Even though it is worrisome, he is trying to let it go. This song is his prayer. We can't have faith without having doubt. We can't give up all control without a struggle... Think tug, not war. Leonard is saying, "I have chosen my path. Even though it is scary, lonely and very painful at times, I have the strength to follow it."

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