Looking For The Best Song Referencing Leonard Cohen features tunes alluding to Leonard Cohen. Today’s offering, The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song by Jeffrey Lewis, references not only Leonard Cohen himself but also one of his songs: Chelsea Hotel #2. Like most Jeffrey Lewis tunes, The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song is clever, complex, and, in its own existentialist way, kind of sweet.
But I could hear her talkin’ behind me
And as if by chance
She was tryin’ to describe
A song I knew well
The Leonard Cohen song
About the Chelsea Hotel
And I smiled a smile to myself
When she said
That was the song where he talks about
Someone giving him head
On the bed that’s unmade
And how the song was outrageous
And that’s when I got
I could have left the three of them laughin’
And just gone on home
But I turned and I faced her
And I said Leonard Cohen?
…..just like that….
Jeffrey Lewis: Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song
Jeffrey Lewis On Leonard Cohen: Referential, Not Reverential
I had wondered about Lewis’s position on Leonard Cohen. Now I know. In the October 22, 2008 issue of Seattle Weekly, he is interviewed by Sara Brickner. In the article, Crass Course – Punk Is Not A Four-Letter Word, Lewis addresses the point:
There’s also stuff like “Leonard Cohen–obsessive Jeffrey Lewis does blah blah blah” or “Jeffrey Lewis, who is most influenced by Leonard Cohen…” (It’s) totally untrue. Certainly I appreciate Leonard Cohen, but there’s no way I consider him an influence or even one of my favorite artists. I like him, but just because I mentioned him in a song six years ago [“The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song”] doesn’t mean that he’s my guiding beacon of what I want to sound like.
Just to demonstrate that Mr Lewis has other, Cohen reference-free songs in his repertoire, I present one of my favorites, The History of Punk on the Lower East Side.
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Oct 23, 2008 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.