Fragments from Bird on a Wire

Lately, I have been working to the timeless music of Leonard Cohen. I will always remember the first song of his that a dear friend shared with me. It was Bird on a Wire. At first, it seemed a gentle song full of tenderness and also a little sorrow for past mistakes.

Until it transformed itself into a question about the very meaning of life itself for those who seek an unconventional path. It must have meant a lot to Leonard, as he went through many versions of the song before he was satisfied with it.

This little fragment, in particular, speaks to me of the frustration and conflict ever-present in the life of an artist.

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "you must not ask for so much"
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, "hey, why not ask for more?"
Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free 

 


Picture of Leonard Cohen featured above the video, photo credit: Roland Godefroy

December 07, 2019 — Ashley Keller