Dennis Massa | Bird on a Wire

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Bird on a Wire

by Dennis Massa

What happens when you pull together a touch of Dire Straits (Sultans), Gregg Lake ( of Emerson Lake and Palmer), a hint of Dylan, Tom Petty, Eddie Vedder, & Chris Cornell, a whisper of Prine and a dose of of the Spirit—with a sprinkle of time thrown in for good measure? " Bird On A WIre " Performed by Dennis Massa - Gary Landerfelt: Technical Writer, MSR at ExpressJet Airlines. " Bird On A Wire " Performed by Dennis Massa Words & Music by Leonard Cohen. " Bird On A Wire " CD Cover art, created by world renowned Conductor: Gregory Singer. (c) Gregory Singer Art Gregory's art can be viewed at https://gregorysingerart.com/
Genre: Rock: Americana
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1. Bird on a Wire
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

contact: www.dennismassa.com

Dennis Massa on CD Baby >>

What happens when you pull together a touch of Dire Straits (Sultans), Gregg Lake ( of Emerson Lake and Palmer), a hint of Dylan, Tom Petty, Eddie Vedder, & Chris Cornell, a whisper of Prine and a dose of of the Spirit—with a sprinkle of time thrown in for good measure? " Bird On A Wire " Performed by Dennis Massa - Gary Landerfelt: Technical Writer, MSR at ExpressJet Airlines.

" Bird On A Wire " Performed by Dennis Massa
Cello - dennis massa
guitars - by dennis massa
violins - played by dennis massa.
Harmonies- dennis massa
Vocals - dennis massa

Words & Music by Leonard Cohen.

" Bird On A Wire " CD Cover art, created by world
renowned Conductor: Gregory Singer. (c) Gregory Singer Art

Gregory's art can be viewed at https://gregorysingerart.com/



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about Gregory Singer :
" Bird On A Wire " CD Cover art, created by world
renowned Conductor: Gregory Singer. (c) Gregory Singer Art

Gregory's art can be viewed at https://gregorysingerart.com/



Gregory Singer: Musician, producer, conductor, artist and educator.
Prolific Violinist, also a composer and has lead his Manhattan Symphonie Orchestra
in concerts in Carnegie Hall and 6 tours of China.
Conductor & Director of the Manhattan Symphonie, NYC., which he founded in 2005.
http://www.manhattansymphonie.com/
He also owns a fine violin shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Gregory has also worked as a musician on many movie
soundtracks, Numerous Broadway shows, ballets, operas, and recordings.

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Album Notes
" Bird On A Wire " Performed by Dennis Massa

Words & Music by Leonard Cohen.

What happens when you pull together a touch of Dire Straits (Sultans), Gregg Lake ( of Emerson Lake and Palmer), a hint of Dylan, Tom Petty, Eddie Vedder, & Chris Cornell, a whisper of Prine and a dose of of the Spirit—with a sprinkle of time thrown in for good measure? " Bird On A Wire " Performed by Dennis Massa

I have some talented friends scattered underneath the beautiful spacious skies, just over the majestic purple mountains, and some right in the middle of the amber waves of grain! They were given to me over the years, and I'm always so proud to see them succeed, and glad to "Spotlight" their accomplishments to others.

From Long Island, NY, I introduce to you Dennis Massa, a talented singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-violin maker-recording engineer-producer. Today he debuts his new album, Gravity. Now on CD Baby & apple itunes & 90 other web sites. Check him out. Download " Bird On A Wire " from the cloud to your ears. - Gary Landerfelt: Technical Writer, MSR at ExpressJet Airlines, & Atlanta Music Research Group.

thanks for listening,



Album Notes
Performance by dennis massa
(c) Dennis Massa 2017 All rights reserved

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"Bird On The Wire"
words & music by Leonard Cohen.
Performed by Dennis Massa.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.
Like a baby, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Writer/s: LEONARD COHEN
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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About Bird on Wire .......... written by Leonard Cohen ...........

Kris Kristofferson has penned some of the most memorable lyrics in country and rock music history, and yet he has gone on record as saying he would like the opening lines of a song he didn’t write to be used as his epitaph. Such is the power of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On The Wire,” a song that ruminates on the impossibility of freedom in a world rife with tethers.

The inspiration for “Bird On The Wire” came from Cohen’s time in the ’60s living on the rustic Greek island of Hydra. When he first arrived there, the island didn’t even have electricity, but Cohen soon witnessed the construction of telephone poles in this idyllic place. So there actually were birds on the wire to fire up the songwriter’s imagination, just as there were “drunks in a midnight choir,” since the island was also known for bouts of late-night revelry.

Judy Collins actually recorded the song in 1968 before Cohen’s own version a year later on his second LP, Songs From A Room. On that album, Bob Johnston, who was known for his work on Bob Dylan’s landmark mid-60s albums, came aboard to produce, and the strings he applied to “Bird On The Wire” coat Cohen’s tale in just the right amount of tenderness and light.

Cohen’s music has always been catnip for artists looking for cover material, and “Bird On The Wire” has proved especially fertile ground, perhaps because it’s one of the Canadian bard’s most elastic melodies. In addition to Collins’ early take, there have been excellent performances of the song by numerous notable artists, including Fairport Convention, Joe Cocker, The Neville Brothers, Tim Hardin, and K.D. Lang, among many, many others. Even Johnny Cash sang a brooding version that brought the song’s darker elements to the forefront.

Yet none of these interpreters locates the song’s core quite as well as Leonard himself, especially in that original studio version. In the verses, he staggers through the slow tempo like one of those tipsy singers he mentions. It’s in the middle sections, when that famously deep voice stretches to its humble limits, that the vulnerability and genuineness of the song’s protagonist emerges.

Not that this guy is without his faults. These are made plain by his admission that “Like a beast with his horn / I have torn everyone who reached out for me.” Those destructive flaws are redeemed somewhat by his intentions to do better: “But I swear by this song / And by all that I have done wrong / I will make it all up to thee.”

The use of the archaic “thee” and references to knights and ribbons suggests a gallantry and charm that likely wins this guy admiration even for all the damage that he’s done. His inner struggle is made clear later in the song by the contrast of the beggar accusing him of greed and the pretty woman accusing him of reticence.

As is the case with many Cohen compositions, “Bird On The Wire” is never quite a finished product. When he performs it live, Leonard often toys with the lyrics to bring heretofore buried nuance to the surface. For example, the original version contains the lyrics “If I, if I have been untrue / I hope you know it was never to you,” suggesting that the character’s betrayal may have been first and foremost to his own ideals, with all those around him simply suffering collateral damage.

In concert, Cohen changes things around a bit: “If I have been untrue / It’s just that I thought a lover had to be some kind of liar too.” That variation puts the blame on the character’s ignorance more than anything else.

The lines that never change, the same ones that enraptured Kristofferson and so many others, are the ones that bookend the song: “Like a bird on the wire / Like a drunk in a midnight choir / I have tried in my way to be free.” In Harry Rasky’s 1979 book The Song of Leonard Cohen — Portrait of a Poet, a Friendship, and a Film, Cohen talked about the line concerning his character’s quest for freedom.

“It’s as explicit as you can get,” Cohen said. “It mitigates a kind of arrogant human statement, which is ‘I’ve tried to be free’ – well everybody tries to be free. ‘In my way’ somewhat modifies and softens the idea, and also includes the possibility of failure. Because you say, you know, according to my own light and in my way I’ve tried, and I’ve messed it up like everybody else, but that was the effort.”

Leonard Cohen wrote in the liner notes to a 2007 re-release of Songs From A Room that the song was “simultaneously a prayer and an anthem, a kind of bohemian ‘My Way.’” The comparison to that Frank Sinatra classic falters a bit, however, upon closer inspection. After all, “My Way” is about a man who simply wills himself to triumph. By contrast, “Bird On The Wire” admits that the human spirit’s struggle against inherent frailties and external pressures often results in futility. That’s all right though, because, as Cohen so movingly observed, it’s the effort that counts.

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