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

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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Street Artist Plays Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah” With Crys­tal Glass­es

Leonard Cohen Recounts “How I Got My Song,” or When His Love Affair with Music Began

Ladies and Gen­tle­men… Mr. Leonard Cohen, a 1965 Doc­u­men­tary

Leonard Cohen Reads “The Future” (Not Safe for Work)

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.