en-es  Leonard Cohen. How I Got My Song
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/leonardcohenhowigotmysong.htm.

Leonard Cohen.

Cómo obtuve mi canción. Discurso en los Premios Príncipe Asturias.

Comunicado el 21 de octubre de 2011.

Es una gran honor estar aquí esta noche ante ustedes. Tal vez, al igual que el gran maestro, Riccardo Muti, no estoy acostumbrado a permanecer frente a una audiencia sin una orquesta detrás de mí, pero, esta noche, haré lo que pueda como un artista solista.

Toda la noche pasada, permanecí despierto preguntándome qué podía decir a este augusto auditorio. Y, después de haberme comido todas las barritas de chocolate y los cacahuetes del minibar, garabateé algunas palabras. No creo que deba hacer referencia a ellas. Obviamente, estoy profundamente emocionado por ser reconocido por la Fundación. Pero, esta noche he venido aquí para expresar otra dimensión de la gratitud. Creo que puedo hacerlo en tres o cuatro minutos — y lo voy a intentar.

Cuando estaba haciendo el equipaje en Los Ángeles para venir aquí, tuve una sensación de malestar porque siempre he sentido cierta ambigüedad sobre un premio de poesía. La poesía viene de un lugar en el que nadie manda y nadie conquista. Así que me siento algo así como un charlatán al aceptar un premio por una actividad a la que no mando. En otras palabras, si yo supiera de dónde vienen las buenas canciones, iría allí con más frecuencia.

Me vi obligado en medio de ese suplicio de empacar a ir y abrir mi guitarra. Tengo una guitarra Conde, que se hizo en España en el gran taller en el número 7 de Gravina Street; un hermoso instrumento que adquirí hace más de 40 años. Lo saqué del caso y lo levanté. Parecía estar lleno de helio, era muy ligero. Y lo traje a mi cara. Puse mi cara cerca de la roseta bellamente diseñada e inhalé la fragancia de la madera viva. Sabes que la madera nunca muere.

Inhalé la fragancia del cedro tan fresca como el primer día en que adquirí la guitarra. Y una voz parecía decirme, "Eres un hombre viejo y no has dicho gracias; no has devuelto tu gratitud a la tierra desde que surgió esta fragancia". Y, así, he venido aquí esta noche para agradecer a la tierra y al alma de este pueblo que me ha dado tanto, porque sé que un hombre no es sólo un carnet de identidad, una calificación crediticia no es un país.

Ahora, ustedes conocen mi profunda asociación y hermandad con el poeta Federico García Lorca. Podría decir que cuando era un joven, un adolescente, y ansiaba una voz, estudié a los poetas ingleses y conocí bien su obra y copié sus estilos, pero no pude encontrar una voz. Fue solamente cuando, cuando leí, incluso traducidas, las obras de Lorca cuando comprendí que había una voz. No es que haya copiado su voz, no me atrevería. Solo que él me permitió encontrar una voz, hallar una voz; esto es, hallar un yo, un yo que no es fijo, un yo que lucha por su propia existencia.

Y a medida que me hice mayor, entendí que las instrucciones venían con esta voz. ¿Cuáles eran estas instrucciones? Las instrucciones eran no lamentarse nunca de forma fortuita. Y si uno tuviera que expresar la inevitable gran derrota que nos espera a todos nosotros, debería hacerlo dentro de los límites estrictos de dignidad y belleza.
Así que tenía una voz, pero no tenía un instrumento. No disponía de una canción.

Y ahora voy a contarles muy brevemente una historia de cómo conseguí mi canción.
Porque, yo era un mediocre guitarrista. Golpeaba los acordes. Solo conocía algunos de ellos. Pasaba el tiempo holgazaneando con mis colegas, bebiendo y cantando las canciones folk o las canciones populares de la época, pero ni en mil años hubiera pensado en mí como un músico o como un cantante.

Un día, al inicio de los 60, estaba visitando la casa de mi madre en Montreal. La casa está junto a un parque y en el parque hay una pista de tenis donde mucha gente viene a ver a los bellos jóvenes tenistas disfrutar de su deporte. Regresé a este parque, que había conocido desde mi juventud, y había un chico tocando la guitarra. Estaba tocando una guitarra flamenca y estaba rodeado por dos o tres niñas y niños que lo estaban escuchando. Me encantó su forma de tocar. Había algo en la forma como tocaba que – que me cautivó.

Era la manera como yo quería tocar – y sabía que nunca sería capaz de hacerlo.

Y me senté allí con los otros oyentes por unos cuantos momentos y cuando hubo un – un silencio, un silencio adecuado, le pregunté si me daría clases de guitarra. Era un joven de España y sólo podíamos comunicarnos en mi francés chapurreado y su francés chapurreado. Él no hablaba inglés. Y el aceptó darme clases de guitarra. Le señalé la casa de mi madre que se podía ver desde la cancha de tenis fijamos una hora; establecimos el precio.

Y vino a casa de mi madre al día siguiente y dijo, "Déjame que te escuche tocar". Yo traté de tocar algo. Dijo, "no sabes cómo tocar, ¿verdad?" Yo – yo dije, "no, realmente no sé cómo tocar". Dijo, "primero de todo, déjame afinar tu guitarra. Está – está desafinada". Así, cogió mi guitarra y – y la afinó. Dijo: "No es una mala guitarra". No..., no era la Conde, pero no era una mala guitarra. Así que me la devolvió. Dijo: "Ahora toca". No podía tocar mejor.

Dijo: "Déjame enseñarte algunos acordes". Y tomó la guitarra y sacó un sonido de aquella guitarra que yo jamás había escuchado. Y él..., él tocó una secuencia de acordes con un trémolo y dijo: "Ahora hazlo tú". Yo dije: "Es impensable. No es posible que yo lo haga". Dijo: "Déjame que coloque tus dedos en los trastes". Y él..., puso mis dedos en los trastes. Y dijo: "Ahora, ahora toca". Fue..., fue un desastre. Dijo: "Volveré mañana". Al día siguiente, regresó. Colocó mis manos en la guitarra. Él... él la colocó en mi regazo de la manera adecuada, y comencé de nuevo con esos seis acordes... la progresión de seis acordes en que se basan muchas, muchas canciones flamencas.

Aquel día fue un poco mejor.

El tercer día... mejor, algo mejor. Pero ahora yo conocía los acordes. Y sabía que aunque no podía coordinar el resto de los dedos con el pulgar para producir la pauta del trémolo, yo conocía los acordes... los conocía muy muy bien a estas alturas.

Al día siguiente, no vino. No vino. Yo tenía el número de su... de su pensión en Montreal. Llamé por teléfono para averiguar por qué había faltado a la cita, y me dijeron que se había quitado la vida... que se había suicidado. Yo no sabía nada de ese hombre. Yo..., yo no sabía de qué parte de España venía. No sabía por qué vino a Montreal. No supe por qué se quedó allí. No supe por qué apareció allí en esa pista de tenis. No supe por qué se quitó la vida. Yo..., por supuesto yo estaba profundamente triste.

Pero ahora voy a revelar algo de lo que nunca he hablado en público. Fueron esos seis acordes, fue ese modelo de guitarra el que ha sido la base de todas mis canciones y de toda mi música.

Así que ahora comenzarán ustedes a comprender las dimensiones de la gratitud que tengo para con este país.

Todo lo que ustedes han encontrado de positivo en mi trabajo viene de este lugar.

Todo, todo lo que ustedes han encontrado de positivo en mis canciones y en mi poesía está inspirado en esta tierra.

Así que muchísimas gracias por la cálida hospitalidad que han mostrado hacia mi trabajo porque es realmente suyo, y ustedes me han permitido poner mi firma en la parte inferior de la página.

Muchas gracias, señoras y señores.
unit 1
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/leonardcohenhowigotmysong.htm.
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unit 2
Leonard Cohen.
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How I Got My Song Address at the Prince Asturias Awards.
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Delivered 21 October 2011.
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It is a great honor to stand here before you tonight.
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I stayed up all night last night wondering what I might say to this august assembly.
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And after I had eaten all the chocolate bars and peanuts in the mini-bar, I scribbled a few words.
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I don’t think I have to refer to them.
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Obviously, I am deeply touched to be recognized by the Foundation.
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But I've come here tonight to express another dimension of gratitude.
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I think I can do it in three or four minutes -- and I will try.
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Poetry comes from a place that no one commands and no one conquers.
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So I feel somewhat like a charlatan to accept an award for an activity which I do not command.
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In other words, if I knew where the good songs came from I'd go there more often.
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I was compelled in the midst of that ordeal of packing to go and open my guitar.
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I took it out of the case and I lifted it.
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It seemed to be filled with helium -- it was so light.
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And I brought it to my face.
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You know that wood never dies.
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I inhaled the fragrance of cedar as fresh as the first day that I acquired the guitar.
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Now, you know of my deep association and confraternity with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
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It is not that I copied his voice; I would not dare.
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And as I grew older I understood that instructions came with this voice.
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What were these instructions?
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The instructions were never to lament casually.
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And so I had a voice, but I did not have an instrument.
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I did not have a song.
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And now I’m going to tell you very briefly a story of how I got my song.
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Because -- I was an indifferent guitar player.
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I banged the chords.
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I only knew a few of them.
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One day in the early '60s, I was visiting my mother’s house in Montreal.
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I loved the way he played.
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There was something about the way he played that -- that captured me.
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It was the way I wanted to play -- and knew that I would never be able to play.
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He didn’t speak English.
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And he agreed to give me guitar lessons.
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He said, “You don’t know how to play, do you?"
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It’s -- It's all out of tune.” So he took the guitar, and -- and he tuned it.
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He said, "It’s not a bad guitar."
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It -- It wasn’t the Conde, but it wasn’t a bad guitar.
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So he handed it back to me.
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He said, “Now play.” [I] couldn’t play any better.
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He said "Let me show you some chords."
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And he took the guitar and he produced a sound from that guitar that I'd never heard.
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And he -- he played a sequence of chords with a tremolo, and he said, "Now you do it."
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I said, "It’s out of the question.
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I can’t possibly do it."
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He said, "Let me put your fingers on the frets."
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And he -- he put my fingers on the frets.
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And he said, "Now, now play."
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It -- It was a mess.
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He said, "I’ll come back tomorrow.“ He came back tomorrow.
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He put my hands on the guitar.
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I was a little better that day.
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The third day -- improved, somewhat improved.
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But I knew the chords now.
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The next day, he didn’t come.
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He didn’t come.
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I had the number of his -- of his boarding house in Montreal.
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I knew nothing about the man.
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I -- I did not know what part of Spain he came from.
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I did not know why he came to Montreal.
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I did not know why he stayed there.
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I did not know why he he appeared there in that tennis court.
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I did not know why he took his life.
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I -- I was deeply saddened, of course.
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But now I disclose something that I’ve never spoken in public.
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So now you will begin to understand the dimensions of the gratitude I have for this country.
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Everything that you have found favorable in my work comes from this place.
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Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.
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Santxiki • 5774  commented on  unit 94  11 months, 1 week ago
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terehola • 6052  translated  unit 80  11 months, 1 week ago

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/leonardcohenhowigotmysong.htm.

Leonard Cohen.

How I Got My Song Address at the Prince Asturias Awards.

Delivered 21 October 2011.

It is a great honor to stand here before you tonight. Perhaps, like the great maestro, Riccardo Muti, I am not used to standing in front of an audience without an orchestra behind me, but I will do my best as a solo artist tonight.

I stayed up all night last night wondering what I might say to this august assembly. And after I had eaten all the chocolate bars and peanuts in the mini-bar, I scribbled a few words. I don’t think I have to refer to them. Obviously, I am deeply touched to be recognized by the Foundation. But I've come here tonight to express another dimension of gratitude. I think I can do it in three or four minutes -- and I will try.

When I was packing in Los Angeles to come here, I had a sense of unease because I’ve always felt some ambiguity about an award for poetry. Poetry comes from a place that no one commands and no one conquers. So I feel somewhat like a charlatan to accept an award for an activity which I do not command. In other words, if I knew where the good songs came from I'd go there more often.

I was compelled in the midst of that ordeal of packing to go and open my guitar. I have a Conde guitar, which was made in Spain in the great workshop at Number 7 Gravina Street; a beautiful instrument that I acquired over 40 years ago. I took it out of the case and I lifted it. It seemed to be filled with helium -- it was so light. And I brought it to my face. I put my face close to the beautifully designed rosette, and I inhaled the fragrance of the living wood. You know that wood never dies.

I inhaled the fragrance of cedar as fresh as the first day that I acquired the guitar. And a voice seemed to say to me, "You are an old man and you have not said thank you; you have not brought your gratitude back to the soil from which this fragrance arose." And so I come here tonight to thank the soil and the soul of this people that has given me so much -- because I know just as an identity card is not a man, a credit rating is not a country.

Now, you know of my deep association and confraternity with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. I could say that when I was a young man, an adolescent, and I hungered for a voice, I studied the English poets and I knew their work well, and I copied their styles, but I could not find a voice. It was only when -- when I read, even in translation, the works of Lorca that I understood that there was a voice. It is not that I copied his voice; I would not dare. But he gave me permission to find a voice, to locate a voice; that is, to locate a self, a self that that is not fixed, a self that struggles for its own existence.

And as I grew older I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.
And so I had a voice, but I did not have an instrument. I did not have a song.

And now I’m going to tell you very briefly a story of how I got my song.
Because -- I was an indifferent guitar player. I banged the chords. I only knew a few of them. I sat around with my college friends, drinking and singing the folk songs, or the popular songs of the day, but I never in a thousand years thought of myself as a musician or as a singer.

One day in the early '60s, I was visiting my mother’s house in Montreal. The house is beside a park and in the park there's a tennis court where many people come to watch the beautiful young tennis players enjoy their sport. I wandered back to this park which I’d known since my childhood, and there was a young man playing a guitar. He was playing a flamenco guitar, and he was surrounded by two or three girls and boys who were listening to him. I loved the way he played. There was something about the way he played that -- that captured me.

It was the way I wanted to play -- and knew that I would never be able to play.

And I sat there with the other listeners for a few moments and when there was a -- a silence, an appropriate silence, I asked him if he would give me guitar lessons. He was a young man from Spain, and we could only communicate in my broken French and his broken French. He didn’t speak English. And he agreed to give me guitar lessons. I pointed to my mother’s house which you could see from the tennis court, and we made an appointment; we settled the price.

And he came to my mother’s house the next day and he said, “Let me hear you play something.” I tried to play something. He said, “You don’t know how to play, do you?" I -- I said, “No, I really don’t know how to play.” He said, "First of all, let me tune your guitar. It’s -- It's all out of tune.” So he took the guitar, and -- and he tuned it. He said, "It’s not a bad guitar." It -- It wasn’t the Conde, but it wasn’t a bad guitar. So he handed it back to me. He said, “Now play.”

[I] couldn’t play any better.

He said "Let me show you some chords." And he took the guitar and he produced a sound from that guitar that I'd never heard. And he -- he played a sequence of chords with a tremolo, and he said, "Now you do it." I said, "It’s out of the question. I can’t possibly do it." He said, "Let me put your fingers on the frets." And he -- he put my fingers on the frets. And he said, "Now, now play." It -- It was a mess. He said, "I’ll come back tomorrow.“

He came back tomorrow. He put my hands on the guitar. He -- He placed it on my lap in the way that was appropriate, and I began again with those six chords -- six chord progression that many, many flamenco songs are based on.

I was a little better that day.

The third day -- improved, somewhat improved. But I knew the chords now. And I knew that although I couldn’t coordinate my fingers with my thumb to produce the correct tremolo pattern, I knew the chords -- I knew them very, very well by this point.

The next day, he didn’t come. He didn’t come. I had the number of his -- of his boarding house in Montreal. I phoned to find out why he had missed the appointment, and they told me that he'd taken his life -- that he committed suicide. I knew nothing about the man. I -- I did not know what part of Spain he came from. I did not know why he came to Montreal. I did not know why he stayed there. I did not know why he he appeared there in that tennis court. I did not know why he took his life. I -- I was deeply saddened, of course.

But now I disclose something that I’ve never spoken in public. It was those six chords -- it was that guitar pattern that has been the basis of all my songs and all my music.

So now you will begin to understand the dimensions of the gratitude I have for this country.

Everything that you have found favorable in my work comes from this place.

Everything, everything that you have found favorable in my songs and my poetry are inspired by this soil.

So I thank you so much for the warm hospitality that you have shown my work because it is really yours, and you have allowed me to affix my signature to the bottom of the page.

Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.