erik lundegaard

Sunday January 28, 2024

Drowning Men

I don't think enough attention has been paid to the second stanza of Leonard Cohen's “Suzanne.” Or maybe I just haven't paid enough attention to it. I've been on Cohen kick lately, and when listening to “Suzanne” recently that second stanza really hit home:

And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

I particularly like the idea of Jesus as a sailor that only drowning men can see. Also that almost throwaway “almost human” line. The idea of it. And pairing it with “broken” and “forsaken,” as if that's what makes us human. The song is a bit like “Hallelujah,” isn't it? The way it trades verses about the Bible and women. Cohen's two spirituals.

Posted at 03:09 PM on Sunday January 28, 2024 in category Music  
« $83.3 Mil   |   Home   |   Movie Review: American Fiction (2023) »