Ignored Obscured Restored
Perhaps my all-time favorite Leonard Cohen song, among so many worthy possibilities, is “Famous Blue Raincoat.”
The lyric is written in the form of a letter; where the letter writer confronts another guy (a friend?) about his affair with the writer’s wife.
It’s four in the morning, the end
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living
There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening
And you treated my woman to a
flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody’s wife
What can I tell you my brother,
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I’m glad you stood in my way
To make the lyrics all the more interesting, Cohen sings many of the lines using the rhythmic pattern called amphibrach. Amphibrach is where one long syllable is placed between two shorts syllables. Listen closely and you will pick up on it very quickly.
“Famous Blue Raincoat” is another wonderful song on which string arranger Paul Buckmaster – most well-known for his work with Elton John — lent his talents.
Enjoy… until next week.