Leonard Cohen – Happens to the Heart (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
The “Hallelujah” maestro, Leonard Cohen, passed away in November 2016, at the age of 82 leaving us with some great music. It is a fond sensation to know that there is yet more music to be released from Leonard Cohen even several years after his demise. In such spirit, Cohen’s camp released a new posthumous video for “Happens to the Heart” track from an upcoming project.
“Happens to the Heart” follows a previous release “The Goal” which serves as the first taste of what is to come in the upcoming album ‘Thanks for the Dance.’ Cohen’s fifteenth studio album and first posthumous album, produced by Cohen’s song, Adam Cohen, is scheduled to release on November 22, 2019.
The music video for “Happens to the Heart” was directed by Daniel Askill, who spoke about the concept of the video with Rolling Stone magazine; “I wanted to make something that spoke to Leonard’s years as a zen monk. This film is a quiet, symbolic narrative that charts the letting go of ego and the trappings of fame.” Watch the video below.
The song describes the events in the life of a man. He worked his whole life until he drove himself crazy over it. He thought he was becoming whole by reading The Bible and Carl Marx. But none of these helped him achieve greatness. He only witnessed his flicker of light diminish.
In events that follow in his life, the singer questions ‘what happens to the heart?’ In his troublesome escapades, in his ugly trades, in the prison and within the loose women he associated, he probably witnessed a little part of his heart dying away. Every struggle we face takes a toll on our soul; “it left an ugly mark.”
Leonard Cohen sings of a woman he was with, in “Happens to the Heart.” He knew she was trouble and they were not meant to be in love. But they looked stellar on the outside, so he continued to play the part of the ‘boyfriend.’ In this entrapment of ‘love,’ Leonard Cohen now suffers. He has no satisfaction in work, personal life, his trades, or his lover. There is one last escape available–a 0.303-inch calibre rifle!
The music video shows a troubled young girl stripping off her worries (resembled by clothes) and getting into robes and wandering through the woods. In the end, she finds the light (a clearance), where she starts to meditate and achieve inner peace. These events are in perfect sync with the lyrics of the song.
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