Quotation for Tuesday 19th May 2020 - Positive Wellbein...

Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation

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Quotation for Tuesday 19th May 2020

Callendersgal profile image

Good morning everyone,

I've got something from the late Leonard Cohen today. I'm a long-time admirer of his work, and I'd stupidly all but forgotten this, which is 'Anthem'. It was written and performed long ago before anyone dreamed of this pandemic but it has some relevance to our current situation. There is a beautiful video available on YouTube too but attempts to give the link have failed. I do highly recommend it though if you find these words significant. You can find it as 'Leonard Cohen - Anthem (w/lyrics) London 2008' It's an absolutely beautiful video in its own right but also make Cohen's words come to life in a very meaningful way.

"The birds they sang

At the break of day

Start again

I heard them say

Don't dwell on what

Has passed away

Or what is yet to be

Yeah the wars they will

Be fought again

The holy dove

She will be caught again

Bought and sold

And bought again

The dove is never free

Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)

That's how the light gets in

We asked for signs

The signs were sent

The birth betrayed

The marriage spent

Yeah the widowhood

Of every government

Signs for all to see

I can't run no more

With that lawless crowd

While the killers in high places

Say their prayers out loud

But they've summoned, they've summoned up

A thundercloud

And they're going to hear from me

Ring the bells…"

Do have a good day today and continue to stay safe.

22 Replies

Hi Callendersgal. Thank you for sharing the Leonard Cohen video. While I do enjoy listening to music, vocal and instrumental, I don't necessarily follow any particular musician, it's often just the individual songs that I like. If that makes sense.

Hi Chriselora, Of course it does! Our tastes are all very different.


Yes indeed, very apt words for today.

I enjoyed listening to that but also saddened. He had a lot of insight.

You could ceartainly have a huge discussion on the meaning of his words.

bobbybobb profile image

Wow, powerful words, I wonder what the inspiration was behind the words and yes they are very relevant for today. 👍🤔😊

I've read so many explanations bobbybobb, from the sensible to the bizarre, but I think the one that resonates with me is that he's pointing out that nothing is perfect. There is always a flaw, or crack, but it's that very crack which allows light to shine through the flaw. I found it interesting that at the start of the 2008 performance in London, Cohen himself references a 'time of world turbulence' and some of the lines definitely point to that. I love it anyway. And all Cohen's work. 😃

Thank you, Lovely I really liked the video too. I found this music took some getting used to My favourite is so long marianne. I didn’t like that to start with but now I love it 🙂

I didn't like So Long Marianne either until I understood its back story, and then it made more sense to me. My absolute favourite is 'You want it darker?" It's bleak but somehow hits the spot!

Ooh I’ll have a listen...thank you!

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Hallelujah is my favourite of his songs 👍

I like a few of his songs but Hallelujah is most definitely my favourite, or perhaps it's just that it now the most played and so enters our subconscious as being more important.

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Hidden in reply to Patsy10

There are so many versions sang of Hallelujah , have you heard the one sang by KD Lang, it’s heartbreaking, she sang it for the charity fire fighters in Australia, just google. KD Lang 2020.

Patsy10 profile image
Patsy10 in reply to Hidden

I have to admit I had not heard KD Lang singing it until last evening...…….WOW Amazing! Thanks for letting me know about it.

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Hidden in reply to Patsy10

So glad you enjoyed it, she gets so emotional when she's singing, amazing voice

I've just found an even better recording of KD Lang singing it at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremony. 🙂

Thanks for that - they are wise words and true ones!! Just watched the video thanks for pointing us to that as it's beautifully done. I think sat here, blue no stunning blue sky, sun shining, my garden buzzing with flowers and bees, it's like there is nothing wrong in the world, and yet look what's going on out there?! - seems all natural life continues on in its beautiful and designed way, so surely there is a happy purpose for us humans too??

We must be entirely on the same wavelength! Yesterday we talked about our love of history and today you're talking about the love of my life Leonard Cohen.

Here's the link to the song:


Oh gosh Jeanjeannie, thanks so much for finding a link that worked! I was so fed up this morning as every one I tried, failed. So much easier to have a link. And yes! We're practically twins😁. (Well we do at least seem to have very similar interests). I was a bit distraught to see one comment on YouTube from what was an obvious youngster who said that Leonard Cohen 'seemed like a very nice old man'. It made me feel very old! 🤣🤣 He's absolutely the love of my life too and the last thing I'd ever say about him is that he seems like a nice old man'! I see him quite differently 😊

I would have loved to have met him! Would like to have gone to Hydra to see if the magic is still there. Have you read the letter he sent to Marriane, just before she died, saying he'd be following her soon? I love all his songs, but especially Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye.

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Hi Callendersgal

That's very relevant for what's going on at present. The words rang very true and were beautiful.

Thank you for sharing.

Stay safe and well.

Alicia :)


thanks for sharing . Its like it


Thank you for sharing, just very relevant in todays world, I wonder what he would have made of what is happening right now. Xxxc

The line ring the bell.....

I live very close to the cathedral and the bells no longer ring on a Sunday morning, Monday night Bell practice and Five thirty call to Even song.

Soon we would be listening to wedding bells but the bells stay silent.

They are the background to my life and I miss them.

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