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So what’s it today? I am done guessing.
Come on, give it a try.
I gotta write something.
You know what I mean. If you can write on anything, then you are perfectly capable of writing about nothing too.
Ahh… that could be the case. But I have something else on my mind for today.


The very first time I heard the song, I fell in love with it. I couldn’t stop listening to it, playing it over and over again. The rawness of the voice seemed to suck out your very insides leaving you feeling hollow. Add to it the lyrics and your heart felt weighed down, a deep sadness filling your being at the plight of the unknown man and his people.

The song is Nevermind from the album Popular Problems by Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist. That last one came as a surprise to me. I didn’t know he was a novelist too. But apparently he was a poet and novelist first, music came later on. There’s enough about the man on the internet and so I won’t go into his life, career or anything of the sort. My preoccupation is with this one particular song.

What was he singing about? Did he have any particular event(s) in mind when he wrote the song? This is what I could find from a comment by Oliver Twitt on YouTube.

The song was originally a poem Cohen wrote in 2005. Evidently, it is about the Arab-Israeli war and the displaced Palestinians. The song refers to the forming of Israel, about some Palestinian refugees able to blend in and staying behind in Israel, others who were traitors and had worked with the enemy, and the role of UN in covering up details about the million and more displaced.

Not everyone thinks so. One user named Spman2099 particularly. The lyrics aren’t “literal”, he says, they simply have a literal function. A talented person does not write with one single intent he adds. There will always be multiple levels of abstraction woven into lyrics is what he puts forth. Hence, the view that is is about the Arab-Israeli war doesn’t find favor with him. That’s just one perspective, he scoffs.

Hmm.. The second chap has a point. Unless the poet/writer clarifies, whatever interpretations the readers/listeners make are just that, interpretations, based on our own understanding. As far as I am concerned I prefer my own version, which has a totally imaginary kingdom and imaginary people. I have a picture in my mind of the protagonist. He is panther-like, a raw power, courage and strength his hallmark. I’d like to meet him some day.

© Shail Mohan 2020