這是生活,不是政治

我的男神 Leonard Cohen 最新專輯,新歌 《Almost Like The Blues》,彷彿一首關於現今世界的詩歌。飢荒、戰爭、殺戮、兒童在這世上消失,活現了這個世代的種種景像。

I saw some people starving

There was murder, there was rape

Their villages were burning

They were trying to escape

I couldn’t meet their glances

I was staring at my shoes

It was acid, it was tragic

It was almost like the blues

I have to die a little

Between each murderous thought

And when I’m finished thinking

I have to die a lot

There’s torture and there’s killing

And there’s all my bad reviews

The war, the children missing

Lord, it’s almost like the blues

這讓我想起了之前在《主場藝術》的舊文一篇,就是關於 Leonard Cohen 歌曲內的社會及政治意味。他的聲音、音樂中的詩意、對人類的關懷,是無可抗拒的。

(以下的舊文部份,2014 年 6 月刊於《主場新聞》)

近日,好像又有藝人表示不懂、也不想談政治。我也不懂、亦不想,只想談生活。音樂是我生活中無可或缺的。我第一次聽到 Leonard Cohen 的歌聲,在法國籍前度的家中,那首是 《I’m Your Man》

If you want a lover,

I’ll do anything you ask me to

And if you want another kind of love,

I’ll wear a mask for you

If you want a partner, take my hand

Or if you want to strike me down in anger,

Here I stand

I’m your man

If you want a boxer,

I will step into the ring for you

And if you want a doctor,

I’ll examine every inch of you

If you want a driver, climb inside

Or if you want to take me for a ride,

You know you can

I’m your man

(I’m Your Man)

然後我像被下了魔咒般,立刻被他的聲音迷住了,他的詞像首情詩。後來對他做了些資料搜集,知道他本來是一位詩人,三十多歲才開始唱歌,他的音樂也不只於談情,更多的是關於社會、政治及人類。Cohen 在加拿大出生,是猶太人,外祖父更是猶太教的 rabbis 。這樣的背景,關心宗教、政治、社會應該是生活的一部份吧。60 年代越戰期間,英美的大學生在反戰的示威上,唱的是 Bob Dylan 及 Leonard Cohen 的歌, Cohen 的《 Story of Isaac》就被指是反越戰的歌曲。

You who build these altars now

To sacrifice these children

You must not do it anymore

A scheme is not a vision

Cohen 最關注以色列跟巴勒斯坦的衝突及和解的問題,這個跟他是猶太人有很大的關係。1973的中東戰爭,Cohen 跟以色列軍隊在一起,為他們演唱。到 2009 年,他回到以色列,參予“A Concert for Reconciliation”的演出。生活就是政治,而創作靈感都來自生活,道理「一字咁淺」。1992 年出版的 《Future》專輯,被喻為充滿政治意味,其中歌曲《Democracy》,

It’s coming through a hole in the air,

from those nights in Tiananmen Square.

It’s coming from the feel

that this ain’t exactly real,

or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.

From the wars against disorder,

from the sirens night and day,

from the fires of the homeless,

from the ashes of the gay:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

(Democracy)

民主是甚麼?民主就像從不似真實。從畫破長空而來?在很多人倒下之後而來?是真還是假。Cohen還會有躁動不安的時候,在 《First We Take Manhattan》內:

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom

For trying to change the system from within

I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens

I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin

I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

他的不安是關於甚麼?是關於制度嗎?是一些即將來臨的改變嗎?在 1993 年加拿大的《Song Talk》,Cohen 是這樣解釋的。

//I felt for sometime that the motivating energy, or the captivating energy, or the engrossing energy available to us today is the energy coming from the extremes.//

然後來到《Anthem》,歌詞像是關於人類的控訴、失望、在追求完美中的失望。

Ring the bells that still can ring …

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.

(《Anthem》,這版本我每次聽,每次見暈)

 

對,總有一道裂縫,然後光就從那裡滲進來。

我有投票,你有沒有?我不愛政治,但這是關於我們更美好的末來。

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