Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Memento mori. Leonard Cohen preparing for death

From Fr. Damian Ference's review of Leonard Cohen's new album, Old Ideas.  

The most beautiful and most hopeful track on the new record is, hands-down, “Come Healing.”   The song begins with the Webb Sisters singing in angelic voice, “O gather up the brokenness/And bring it to me now/The fragrance of those promises/You never dared to vow/The splinters that you carry/the cross you left behind/Come healing of the body/Come healing of the mind.” (If I didn’t know better, I would use this song at a communal penance service.) Cohen comes in on the second verse over the voices of the women and he sings of mercy, grace and the solitude of longing. It’s as if we catch a glimpse of Leonard Cohen’s life-story in this, the shortest song on the record. 
The real world is anything but easy, and on “Come Healing” Cohen acknowledges that we suffer tremendous hurts along the way – some of our own doing, some the doing of others, and some hurts whose origins remain a mystery. This track acts as a prayer, which is a petition for the deepest kind of healing, the most complete healing – a healing that leaves nothing out – the healing of the body, the mind, the spirit, the limb, the reason, the heart, the Altar, and the Name. And even if you missed it in the lyrics, the harmony, melody and variety of instruments all tell the same story, perhaps even better. (Wear a long-sleeve shirt if you are embarrassed by goose bumps when listening to this one.)

Read the full review at the Word on Fire blog.

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