14 Apr 2011

L is for Leonard.

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.

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  1. I've never heard of Leonard Cohen. But now that you've shared his poetic lyrics, I think I'll go check him out. thanks for sharing!

  2. HA! What a hoot. You're right, his words are amazing. What a fun surprise. The guy is as old as my dad, but he's still up there doing his thang. Good for him.

    And I like the way the band is bringing the hat back. :)

  3. @nutschell: I think he's amazing (which was pretty obvious from my post, I'm sure), but I'll let you decide for yourself :-)

    @L.G.: yes, yes and yes :-) I still can't believe I missed his concert here last year. I found out about it the day after ...

  4. I too love the man. His take on Alleluia is amazing, but it is his after all

  5. I'm going to have to save this and listen. I've long been a fan of George M. (commemorated by Jimmy Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy). Musical geniuses all!

    Another A-Z Challenger stopping by to visit. You can find me at:
    The Frustrated Foodie

  6. He's never been one of my favourite performers. He's so miserable but I have to agree he's aging well and I enjoyed the clip. Thanks.

    Nice to meet you on the A to Z circuit.

  7. 'I greet you from the other side / Of sorrow and despair / With a love so vast and shattered / It will reach you everywhere'

    Wow, just wow!

  8. @Stratoz: yes, it's an interesting take, that one :-)

    @SJerZGirl: great. I hope you enjoy it, and nice to 'meet' you here!

    @Rosalind: I can stand miserable when it's got depth and a sense of humour. :-) Great theme you have for the A to Z challenge!

    @Angela: that one is one of my absolute favourite song openings. Such a great image.

  9. The name was familiar but don't think I've heard him. Thanks for the clip it was fun. I'll have to do some more exploring. I always like adding new artists to my listening. Found you on the A-Z. Now I'm following.:)

  10. I get a lot of writing inspiration from my favorite musicians. The imagery in their lyrics, the way they turn a phrase and find just the right word to express exactly what they want. It's wonderful. I'd like to harness that power.

  11. @Pam: Great to meet you! Wonderful 'K' post, by the way. :-)

    @Shelli: me too. Most of the time I need silence to write, but sometimes I put on a particular piece of music that fits the atmosphere I need. 'Harnessing that power': perfect description!

  12. Hi KC .. how wonderful to listen to that song .. I just love his music .. and that was a real treat .. he just seems such a lovely man .. dour - but with a sense of humour .. loved that - cheers Hilary

  13. @Hilary: so glad you enjoyed it. 'lovely, dour - but with a sense of humour': I think that's a great way of describing him. :)

  14. I was just introduced to him a couple years ago. It's funny when you then do a little research and find out he's been around a really long time!


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