Idle Query: Leonard Cohen

Bird on The Wire.  Terrific opening lines:

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

But the next bit’s a little mystifying:

Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.

See, a bird and a drunk can try to be free, but how does a worm save you his ribbons?  A knight, yes, but how does a worm do it?

Luckily, Leonard changed the lyrics for later live versions:

Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight been down in some old fashioned book
It was the shape of our love that twisted me

See, I’m not the only one who worries about these things.

I’m not picking on Leonard Cohen, honest …

 … I’m not, really.  Leonard Cohen is a highly accomplished songwriter.  But that late ’60s/early ’70s singer/songwriter period is guilty of some apalling narcissism and misogyny.  I’m astonished that women like these songs, when their essential message is that a truly groovy chick is one who just lets you be, man, without any, like, hang-ups.

It’s the faux-poetry that does it.  You toss around a couple of allusions, and nobody notices what you’re really up to.

So here’s my late ’60s singer/songwriter effort.  Forgive my very, very rudimentary guitar skills, but then, that’s part of the genre too.