One of my all-time favourite singers and musicians is Leonard Cohen.
In my eyes, he is also one of the greatest poets of our time. Who else could start a song with great openers like:
- 'They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom / For trying to change the system from within.'
(First We Take Manhattan)
- 'I greet you from the other side / Of sorrow and despair / With a love so vast and shattered / It will reach you everywhere'
(Heart With No Companion)
- 'I went down to the place / Where I knew she lay waiting / Under the marble and the snow'
(Night Comes On)
- 'All summer long she touched me / She gathered in my soul / From many a thorn, from many thickets / Her fingers, like a weaver's / Quick and cool'
(Our Lady of Solitude)
- 'As the mist leaves no scar / On the dark green hill / So my body leaves no scar / On you and never will'
(True Love Leaves No Traces)
Believe me when I say it was quite a challenge to pick just one video to share with you today. In the end I decided to go with 'The Future' (1992), performed live in London in 2009.
It's a great song, with great lyrics and I thought the show as a whole represented him well, as a man, a singer, and a poet.
As a side note: I love that he has grown old so gracefully. It gives him a gentler touch, intertwined with the sharp wit and passion that is there. I think it suits his music well.
But I'll let you judge for yourself. Enjoy!
Image: '090820 Leonard Cohen Nîmes' by gaët. Available under a creative commons license. © 2009, gaët.