Leonard Cohen and U2 Perform ‘Tower of Song,’ a Meditation on Aging, Loss & Survival

in Film, Music | May 27th, 2013

Here’s a rare collaboration between the Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen and the Irish supergroup U2. It was staged for the 2005 Lian Lunson documentary, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. The musicians are performing “Tower of Song,” a spiritual meditation on aging, loss, and survival, originally released on Cohen’s 1988 album I’m Your Man. Like Jorge Luis Borges’s Library of Babel, Cohen’s Tower of Song is something unfathomable.

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song

In addition to the U2 collaboration, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man includes interviews with Cohen and tribute performances of some of his greatest songs by Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Beth Orton and others. You can watch the complete film here.

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Comments (3)

  1. Terry Reasoner says . . .
    May 28, 2013 / 6:33 am

    This is fabulous! 2 of my most favorites. Lenard Cohen with U2! Awesome! Great!

  2. Bill Peschel says . . .
    May 28, 2013 / 10:14 am

    Sounds like Cohen’s version of “My Way.”

  3. Ruth F. Hunt says . . .
    May 28, 2013 / 2:05 pm

    Couldn’t stop myself playing this over and over. Leonard Cohen sounds great!

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