[lit-ideas] Re: Got Home

  • From: Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 06:43:22 -0800 (PST)

This is so interesting.  I looked on You Tube and found this link to an excerpt 
from the movie the Snake Pit in 1948.  They sing this exact song but 
secularized, all the religion taken out. The Snake Pit is a movie about a 
woman's journey through mental illness.  It's a fabulous movie.  I saw it years 
ago and vaguely remember it.  I remember the line jumping out at me when she 
says, Doctor, I know I'm better because I'm not in love with you anymore.  It 
could be total coincidence, but it does speak to Leonard's having a clue, even 
if sideways and by accident.  

From: John Wager <jwager@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 9:00 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Got Home

Donal McEvoy wrote:
> Though the song is not a theological argument, it does use certain key 
> phrases (and avoids others). In conclusion, like many songs by Leonard, it is 
> somewhat open-ended, here as to questions of the afterlife. There is nothing 
> specific to indicate there is an afterlife after we have gone home, nor 
> anything specific to deny that there is.

I agree.  For a look at what WOULD be a more traditional look at "going home," 
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned "Going Home" here.  The words were 
added by someone else to Dvorak's "Largo" from Symph. #9 "From The New World."  
But it's a fairly standard hymn now.  Here's the lyrics:

Going home, going home,
I'm just going home.
Quiet-like, slip away-
I'll be going home.
It's not far, just close by;
Jesus is the Door;
Work all done, laid aside,
Fear and grief no more.
Friends are there, waiting now.
He is waiting, too.
See His smile! See His hand!
He will lead me through.

Morning Star lights the way;
Restless dream all done;
Shadows gone, break of day,
Life has just begun.
Every tear wiped away,
Pain and sickness gone;
Wide awake there with Him!
Peace goes on and on!
Going home, going home,
I'll be going home.
See the Light! See the Sun!
I'm just going home.

To me, the Cohen lyrics are a direct response to this, with a much more nuanced 
and skeptical sensibility.  I haven't heard this particular Cohen song 
(although I've got lots of his stuff) so maybe someone could say what the music 
of the song is like: Is it a "largo" like Dvorak's?
Perhaps even a partial "quote"?

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