Lana Del Rey Covers Leonard Cohen // Chelsea Hotel No. 2
Leonard Cohen became a permanent fixture on my playlist after discovering the cover of “Closing Time” by Regina Spektor in Take This Waltz, the indie that left me more confused and saddened than enlightened. Not a typical rom-com but worth the effort after being able to take the waltz back in time to Leonard Cohen’s world of haunting beauty and hypnotic lines.
Cohen known for depression, womanizing, and poetry had brushes with the Beatniks, Warhol, Dylan and the rest of the Greenwich Village singer-songwriters, Nashville, Phil Spector and Nineties alt-rockers. He has been thought of by many as “permanently out of time, living a kind of existential isolation.”
Always a fan of the controversial Ms. Lana Del Rey, I was not all that shocked to find her cover someone as magnetically fantastic as Mr. Cohen. The announcement: a casual tweet of “new video” coupled with: Chelsea Hotel No. 2.
Lana Del Rey removes herself from the notorious motorcycles, string of men, and tigers to simply sit and sing this historic track of longing with the passion it deserves. Cohen wrote this song for his 1974 album “New Skin for the Old Ceremony” about a fling with Janis Joplin that took place in the famous New York Chelsea Hotel.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, “Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music.”
Rolling Stone who thinks most covers are “redundant, frequently pointless, and rarely remembered” finally found one to be on par with the original and I dare say I agree.
I don’t mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can’t keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often.