Leaving The Table (2016) – Leonard Cohen

Who’s up for a sip of Vintage Penfold’s Grange Wine? The computer says ‘no’. Alrighty then. What a relief, because I haven’t got any in any wine cellar. But I have got one of the greatest ‘vintage’ singer-songwriters in contemporary music history. I listened to today’s featured song ‘Leaving the Table‘ before putting finger to keyboard and by golly did it make my eyes water. Leonard Cohen is one of the few artists who you think will always be around; will always be the person to whisper in your ear and then when you hear this ‘departure‘ track, it puts a lot into perspective. To quote that famous phrase from Spinal Tap – ‘Too much f&%king perspective‘.

[Verse 1]
I’m leaving the table
I’m out of the game
I don’t know the people
In your picture frame
If I ever loved you or no, no
It’s a crying shame if I ever loved you
If I knew your name

[Verse 2]
You don’t need a lawyer
I’m not making a claim
You don’t need to surrender
I’m not taking aim
I don’t need a lover, no, no, no
The wretched beast is tame
I don’t need a lover
So blow out the flame

Soon after Leonard Cohen’s passing, I wrote an analysis of almost every song from his last record ‘You Want It Darker‘ (2016) at the Bob Dylan fan site: Expecting Rain. I wish I could access those posts. You can imagine many Dylan homies are down for Cohen and that certainly was the case at that site. I agree with writer Daniel Kushner at Huff Post (see more below); ‘And as I struggle to come to terms with the world’s loss of Cohen, his lyrics appear now as the most prescient wisdom, the most pressing truth.’ And more below:

I was comforted by his insatiable search for spiritual truth wherever he might find it–from Judaism and a brief flirtation with Scientology to Zen Buddhism and Hinduism. I intrinsically understood his lifelong struggle with depression. His hopeless Romanticism and unending role as love’s great, forlorn nomad provided encouragement as I explored similar themes in my own poetry and opera libretto.

Leaving the Table is the second song to feature here after If I Didn’t Have Your Love from his final album You Want It Darker. I wrote in that article:

Today’s song If I Didn’t Have Your Love is analogous to a recent post I wrote – Some Observations about Space – Time which hypothesised if the earth stood still at midnight as well as everything else in the Universe then there would be no time to observe. Leonard seems to superimpose ‘Love‘ as the 5th dimensional vantage point of Space -Time in our current reality. The song seems to be in some form a reconciliation process between Science and Faith.

I listen in awe from 2:40 in the audio below and I have to declare – ‘I miss you Leonard as countless millions do‘.

1. You Want It Darker – Wikipedia
2. ‘Leaving The Table’–A Eulogy For Leonard Cohen – Huff Post

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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