34 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, Music

It’s time for another edition of Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands, #BOTB LEONARD COHEN

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings  and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)

This one seems to be a reflection of my mood, given all the post-election rhetoric flying around. Add to that the sad news that Canada’s celebrated poet/songwriter, Leonard Cohen has died (Leon Russell as well; rough week in the music world). Instead of two versions of the same song, this time, I’m featuring two different recordings from the same album. R.I.P. Leonard. You will be missed!  😥

Leonard Cohen



Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Montreal-born Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. (He grew up in the same neighbourhood as my father and went to the same university, several years later.) His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s, and did not launch a music career until 1967, at the age of 33. Songs of Love and Hate is his third studio album, released on March 19, 1971, through Columbia Records.


Now, on to the actual contest……


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 you go down for your gold.
The cripple here that you clothe and feed
is neither starved nor cold;
he does not ask for your company,
not at the centre, the centre of the world.

When I am on a pedestal,
you did not raise me there.
Your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare.
I myself am the pedestal
for this ugly hump at which you stare.

You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn what makes me kind;
the crumbs of love that you offer me,
they’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.
Your pain is no credential here,
it’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound.

I have begun to long for you,
I who have no greed;
I have begun to ask for you,
I who have no need.
You say you’ve gone away from me,
but I can feel you when you breathe.
Do not dress in those rags for me,
I know you are not poor;
you don’t love me quite so fiercely now
when you know that you are not sure,
it is your turn, beloved,
it is your flesh that I wear.

Songwriter: Leonard Cohen
Avalanche lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



(Let’s sing another song, boys, this one has grown old and bitter.)
Ah his fingernails, I see they’re broken,
his ships they’re all on fire.
The moneylender’s lovely little daughter
ah, she’s eaten, she’s eaten with desire.
She spies him through the glasses
from the pawnshops of her wicked father.
She hails him with a microphone
that some poor singer, just like me, had to leave her.
She tempts him with a clarinet,
she waves a Nazi dagger.
She finds him lying in a heap;
she wants to be his woman.
He says, “Yes, I might go to sleep
but kindly leave, leave the future,
leave it open.

He stands where it is steep,
oh I guess he thinks that he’s the very first one,
his hand upon his leather belt now
like it was the wheel of some big ocean liner.
And she will learn to touch herself so well
as all the sails burn down like paper.
And he has lit the chain
of his famous cigarillo.
Ah, they’ll never, they’ll never ever reach the moon,
at least not the one that we’re after;
it’s floating broken on the open sea, look out there, my friends,
and it carries no survivors.
But lets leave these lovers wondering
why they cannot have each other,
and let’s sing another song, boys,
this one has grown old and bitter.

Songwriter: Leonard Cohen
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Voting remains open until 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, Nov. 20th ,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.

These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]

Angels Bark / Cherdo On The Flipside Curious as a Cathy / DC Relief BOTB / DiscConnectedJ.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing  / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Pedestrian WriterQuiet Laughter / Sound of One Hand Typing / HOST: StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands / Tossing It Out Your Daily Dose

As always, “Sharing is Caring”. Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!


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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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      1. San Diego, actually. Yes, I’m back and not liking this chilly weather. LOL Wow; Rarotonga! That must have been a fabulous trip. Can’t wait to read all about it.

  1. Sorry I’m late, but not sorry to see your fantastic choices. Give my vote to Avalanche this time.

    I expected to see a lot of his song Hallelujah this round, and I DO live that song, but these were lovely picks, Debbie.

    1. You’re just in time, Cherdo. 🙂 Hallelujah would have been the obvious choice, but I wanted something a little different. I’m glad you liked the selection. Thanks for your Avalanche vote.

  2. I’m going to vote for Avalanche. It was moody and the lyrics were edgy. I really liked it. I liked elements of the second song. I liked the tavern feel to it, but I confess I has difficulty following the “story,” which made me feel kind of dumb. I don’t think tavern songs are supposed to be that complex, but what do I know??? And the end lost me entirely.

    BUT, this was fun. Nice tribute to LC. Always fun to do something a bit different!

    1. Hi, Robin; Thanks for coming by. Yes, I was fairly moody and edgy myself when I wrote this post. 🙂 “Avalanche” is taking this one by a landslide (pun intended). I like your description of the second song as a “Tavern Song”. Leonard Cohen was a complicated artist and I don’t think he ever wrote anything simple. A sad loss! Avalanche gets yet another vote.

  3. I have to go with Avalanche because I like the Spanish style guitar in it and the. 2nd song became a bit irritating to me in the end. Sorry but, no matter what, he was great and it was sad to hear he left us.

    1. Clearly, “Avalanche” is the runaway choice here. Thanks for your vote, Birgit. It’s hard to come to terms with this loss. Leonard was truly brilliant. ♥

    1. Yay! I was hoping the second song would get more votes. Thanks, Michele. 🙂 Yes, it has been a sad week for music. Are you home again, now? I was thinking about you and the similarity of our situations. Here’s hoping things went as well as could be expected. ♥ That’s one more for “Sing Another Song, Boys”.

      1. Yep, i’m back home. Just got back yesterday. Was good to see my pups. I missed them! My brother and sister in law are still in NC with my mom but they’re leaving on Sunday. I think it’s really going to hit her hard when they pull out of the driveway. She said she wants to do it on her own for awhile. I just hope she calls me to come get her soon…
        It was tough, going through all of my Dad’s things. I can’t imagine having to do it alone. I’m so sorry that you had to do all that by yourself. But hopefully it was cathartic and brought you some peace. <3

        1. Welcome home! 🙂 The dogs must have been overjoyed. Your Mom is brave to try and get along by herself, but she would be better off with you, for sure. Clearing things out is never an easy task, I know. It was a bit rough for me as well and I kept “seeing ghosts” around town. All we can do is carry on.

  4. DEBBIE ~
    I’m not really familiar with Leonard Cohen’s stuffs, other than the few songs I’ve been exposed to via BOTB. But I gotta say in that photograph of him you posted at the top of this blog bit, he looks EXACTLY like DUSTIN HOFFMAN. In fact, my first thought was: Why is Debbie using a picture of Dustin Hoffman in a post about Leonard Cohen?

    Anyway, in this Battle, I’m gonna go with the song ‘AVALANCHE’. I liked the moodiness of it. That was an interesting video for it too. Not that I factored that into my vote though.

    He sounded quite a bit like Bob Dylan in the second song.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  5. LC is not someone I know a lot about, travelling in pop-ish circles as I have. My biggest contact was Joe Cocker’s cover of First We Take Manhattan which was on the M10 earlier this year. This would be a close one for me, and I’ll give the first song the vote by a hair.

    1. Hi, Chris; I remember “First, We take Manhatten”, well. Joe Cocker’s version was great! 🙂 “Avalanche” is pulling far ahead, so far. Thanks for you vote.

    1. Hi, Cathy; Leonard Cohen is a bit like Bob Dylan. 🙂 Many people like his material, but only if performed by others. Hopefully, the next battle will be more appealing. Thanks for your vote. Another one for “Avalanche”.

    1. Hopefully, the next one will be more appealing to you, John. One never knows. 🙂 I’m glad you chose “Sing Another Song, Boys”, as I was starting to fear a shutout. Thanks!

  6. Ah yes, the quintessential Renaissance man whose talent had no bounds and traversed many artistic borders. Gosh, such a loss. His “Book of Longing” is truly thought-provoking. For this battle I’m going with “Avalanche” as it seems to underscore the general mood these days, though would that all we had to ponder was the curious depth of an intricate relationship 😉 Good call, Debbie! I hope you feature Leon Russell one day too.

    1. It seems that “Avalanche” is resonating the most, so far. Thanks for your vote, Diedre. Leonard was such a unique talent and will be missed. Leon Russell will definitely be featured here, as well.

  7. Lost two music greats for sure. I’ve used Cohen’s music on a few of my BOTB posts.

    Between the two songs here I’m going with “Avalanche”, maybe because it’s late and the song kind of fits. But that’s the song I’m feeling the most.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out