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AH! SUN-FLOWER: FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT

Leonard Cohen, good whisky, and wounded egos.
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If your weekend is filled with wounded egos, loneliness, bitterness, blame, and recriminations, trust Leonard Cohen and good whisky (the order is interchangeable). You’ll still feel sad. But at least: more romantic 💙

I think this cover of Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” by Naomi (YouTube account: Ah! Sun-flower) is one of the bestest ever. Just like the original, it’s still subtle, spare, and quietly devastating.

“Famous Blue Raincoat” is the sixth track on Leonard Cohen’s third album, Songs of Love and Hate (1971). It’s delivered in Cohen’s warm, recitative style, the song takes the form of a letter (partly composed in an unusual poetic metre called amphibrachs). The lyric tells the story of a love triangle among the speaker, a woman named Jane, and the male addressee, who is identified only briefly as “my brother, my killer”.

The lyrics contain references to the German love song “Lili Marlene”, to Scientology, and to Clinton Street, Manhattan. Cohen lived there in the 1970s when it was a lively Latino area.

Jennifer Warnes, she was a backup singer for Cohen in the early 70s, singles this out as one’s of Cohen’s best melodies: “Leonard isn’t known for his great melodies, but he actually is a great melody writer. If you take the words off and just listen to the melodies, he’s really, really good. It’s just not known, because we’re so distracted by the poetry.”

So, your last week’s sorrowful Saturday, with beautiful whisky and Field Commander Cohen, did you ever go clear?

Read also LIAM MCKAHEY: SO LONG, MARIANNE.

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Rudolf Dethu

Rudolf Dethu

Music journalist, writer, radio DJ, socio-political activist, creative industry leader, and a qualified librarian, Rudolf Dethu is heavily under the influence of the punk rock philosophy. Often tagged as this country’s version of Malcolm McLaren—or as Rolling Stone Indonesia put it ‘the grand master of music propaganda’—a name based on his successes when managing Bali’s two favourite bands, Superman Is Dead and Navicula, both who have become two of the nation’s biggest rock bands.
Rudolf Dethu

Rudolf Dethu

Music journalist, writer, radio DJ, socio-political activist, creative industry leader, and a qualified librarian, Rudolf Dethu is heavily under the influence of the punk rock philosophy. Often tagged as this country’s version of Malcolm McLaren—or as Rolling Stone Indonesia put it ‘the grand master of music propaganda’—a name based on his successes when managing Bali’s two favourite bands, Superman Is Dead and Navicula, both who have become two of the nation’s biggest rock bands.

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RUDOLF DETHU

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