New Animated Leonard Cohen Rises From The Darkness

Here’s a real treat for Leonard Cohen fans still in mourning. The brilliant Blank on Blank people, who take old recorded interviews and create short animated videos of famous people, have just released a Leonard Cohen version and it is wonderful.

The cartoon is based on a 1974 interview Cohen gave to Kathleen Kendel on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York. Intellectual interviews on public radio were often fawning affairs back in 1974, and out of the blue Kendel asks Cohen to read his 1956 poem “Two Went To Sleep”. And so he does, and it’s an odd, kind of surreal incantation:

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Two went to sleep almost every night
One dreamed of mud, one dreamed of Asia
Visiting the Zeppelin. Visiting Nijinsky.
Two went to sleep
One dreamed of ribs. One dreamed of senators.
Two went to sleep. Two travelers.
A long marriage in the dark.

Of course the animators have a field day with this kind of imagery, it is hilarious. And then the interviewer asks Cohen to tell the story of the beautiful song “Sisters Of Mercy”, and he proceeds to tell the animated tale of being in Edmonton on a freezing cold night in 1967. He passed two girls in a doorway, and they eventually ended up in his hotel room while he had “all kinds of erotic fantasies of what the evening might bring.” His story continued:

We went to bed together, and I think we all jammed into this one small couch in this little hotel, and it became clear that wasn’t the purpose of the evening at all. At one point in the night, I found myself unable to sleep. I got up and by the moonlight – it was very very bright, the moon was being reflected off the snow, and I wrote that poem by the ice-reflected moonlight while these women were sleeping, and it was one of the few songs that I ever wrote from top to bottom without a line of revision. The words flowed, and the melody flowed. And by the time they woke up the next morning, it was dawn, [and] I had this completed song to sing for them.

You’ve got to see the animation of this story, it is just so great. What a brilliant little piece of work, it made me laugh and it made my day. I hope you enjoy it too.






One comment to “New Animated Leonard Cohen Rises From The Darkness”
  1. Pingback: Top 10 Leonard Cohen Covers | Rocknuts

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