Leonard Cohen: Dance me to the end of love

August 29, 2006

Every once in a while, a song comes into your life and it colors your entire season, say summer. And whenever you hear this song, you go back to that place. Allow me to highly recommend a song that will take you over and be your soundtrack for a few weeks, if not months: “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen. I’m afraid I got to know it first through Madeleine Peyroux’s thrilling Billie Holiday reincarnation. Listen:

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BUY IT! It’s a great interpretation of the original and so easy to slip into.

The next interpretation of the song is an offering by my old classmate, Hankus Netzky and The Klezmer Conservatory Ensemble from the New England Conservatory of Music (1976-7). It is a PERFECT piece for their terrific group. In fact, if I have to put my finger on what the song ‘musically’ IS, I’d call it the Jewish Blues. The chord changes are roughly the same as the traditional blues changes. The angst of the songs lies in the falling, aching apoggiaturas that impale themselves upon every new chord.

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TKCE thought so highly of this song, they named their album after it. This performance is pregnant to become a title song for a movie, and make these cats a LOT of money. They deserve it. Take a listen:

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And now, let’s watch the master. This was the video that was apparently made at the time of the song’s release. (Where did it show? I sure never saw this on MTV or VH1.)

So, do yourself a favor and buy a version of this that you like, or buy them all as I did. You’ll find a handful of others available, but they seem perfunctory and not at the same level as either the original or these two terrific interpretations.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Roger Bourland August 29, 2006 at 7:16 am

I’m looking for the Protestant Blues at the moment. There would be no Catholic Blues because they don’t have chord changes.

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