New Year, New Anthem

January 1, 2007

A friend sent us a link to Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem.” After several days and dozens of listens, I’ve come to think of it as the perfect song for the coming year:

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood

of every government —
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

The lawless ones got a good hard shot in the mouth this year, and that’s one of the things to be thankful for about 2006. But the fight’s not over. What I like about Cohen’s lyric is its avoidance of anger and cheap histrionics. What comes across is closer to steely resolve.

That’s what we need this new year: steely resolve. The conservatives and their media lickspittles summoned up a thundercloud in 2006. Make sure they hear from you in 2007 — often, and unmistakably.

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One Response to “New Year, New Anthem”

  1. DBK Says:

    And yet some of us are very dependent on anger and cheap histrionics.

    I am not upset by your lack of regard for anger, but it pisses me off that you dissed cheap histrionics and, by gum, you won’t get away with it!


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