Leonard Cohen: “Bird On A Wire”

Posted: December 1, 2013 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , ,
Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

In deference to the recent anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy I chose the greatest song John Lennon ever penned to launch Cover Me Impressed. Needless to say it is beyond disheartening that 42 years after this brilliant plea for peace was introduced it is as pertinent today as the day it was written.

The Original

Leonard Cohen:


The Cover Songs Competition


The Bobs vs. Johnny Cash


The Bobs:

Johnny Cash:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. bornunderabadsign says:

    Had to give it to Cash, but must say the Bobs’ highly interpretive version got my toes a tappin’

    • RDubbs says:

      Yeah, The Bobs pulled out all stops on this one but let’s face it, they never had a chance against JC. Cash is almost unstoppable in competition. Not only are his covers perfectly performed with raw emotion exuding from his every pore but he also has the huge advantage of being deceased. Johnny was a well-deserved icon alive; dead he’s taken on an almost JFK-esque aura of infallibility.

  2. Cuspid says:

    For crying out loud. This one absolutely sounds like a Johnny Cash song that Leonard Cohen covered! Then again, Nash had a knack for making the songs he covered sound like they were his all along from the start. The Bobs definitely get 2 thumbs up. But this one was never a fair fight to begin with.

  3. Arnie Plotnick says:

    Sigh. I just downloaded the six volumes of Johnny Cash’s “American Recordings”, and they’re fantastic. I’ve really gotten to appreciate Johnny Cash more over the years. That said, I gave this one to The Bobs. Yes, I suppose JC’s version is superior, but I’m givin’ The Bobs points for innovation and, as R. Dubbs pointed out, the toe-tappin’ factor.

    • RDubbs says:

      All six are great but III (i.e. “Solitary Man”) really stands out to me. About four or five perfect recordings on that album. Ridiculous interpretations. As Cuspid remarked Cash could really make a cover song his own. He must have been very selective in what he chose to cover because on each he sounds like he’s reliving a very real heartrending episode of his life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s