Leonard Cohen’s “Show Me The Place”

Thanks to Steven Greydanus’ musings on this Fred Stobaugh piece from a few weeks ago, I’ve been listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Show Me The Place” almost non-stop ever since.

I love it. Absolutely love it. Though I’m not entirely sure why I love it so.

Musically, it’s pretty straightforward (aka, plain). And I’m not at all sure what the words are getting at (aka, I have no idea what they’re saying, though I can’t escape the impression that they’re semi-profound). But I love the fact that Cohen’s making albums, even now. And there something so fantastic and fascinating about his singing. (OK, “singing’s” a bit strong; more like “speaking in a low and melodic manner.”)

That’s a huge part of his charm, for me, and one that has grown even greater as he’s aged (gracefully, I’m grateful to say). That voice is so incredibly lived-in; so imperfect; so real. (Want to know what the opposite of “Autotune” sounds like? Try “Old Ideas.” The entire album is mesmerizing.)

Also, that hat!

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place where my head is bending low
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the Word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place, where my head is bending low
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave

Show me the place
Show me the place
Show me the place

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the Word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.