Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Man, The Music

Leonard Cohen is a Canadian icon, legend, hero…

If you’ve never heard of him (what!!??) you’ve certainly heard his music.  Everybody and their mother has done a cover of his song “Hallelujah”  and/or “Suzanne.”  (“Suzanne takes you down, to her place by the river…” - I’m singing as I type.)

Some of my personal favourites?  “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” “Lullaby,” “Dance Me to the End of Love”…  I could go on and on – I’ll stop.

Back to Mr. Cohen.  I would list his many awards and honours but they can be found by a simple Google search.  They are many – and his fans are legion. 

If this man were to call me on the phone (I wish) and ask me to marry him (added bonus), I’d say yes in a heartbeat.  I have loved him for many, many years.  How can you not love a man with such poetry in his soul?

His latest album Old Ideas was released in January 2012. 

At the age of 77, Leonard Cohen is still at the top of his game. 

For those of you who have yet to listen to the album, here’s one of the songs.  I chose “Crazy To Love You.”  (Of course, I did.  Not only do I love the song, I relate to the line, “…crazy has places to hide in…”)  


Crazy To Love You

Had to go crazy to love you
Had to go down to the pit
Had to do time in the tower
Begging my crazy to quit

Had to go crazy to love you
You who were never the one
Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache
Her braids and her blouse all undone

Sometimes I’d head for the highway
I’m old and the mirrors don’t lie
But crazy has places to hide in
That are deeper than any goodbye

Had to go crazy to love you
Had to let everything fall
Had to be people I hated
Had to be no one at all

I’m tired of choosing desire
I’ve been saved by a blessed fatigue
The gates of commitment unwired
And nobody trying to leave

Sometimes I'd head for the highway
I'm old and the mirrors don't lie
But crazy has places to hide in
That are deeper than any goodbye

Had to go crazy to love you
You who were never the one
Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache
Her braids and her blouse all undone

Photo credit:


Gorilla Bananas said...

Did he ever collaborate with Leonard Bernstein? It would have been great to see those two Leonards making music together. (Obviously not a trio with Leonard Nimoy, that would have damaged them irreparably!).

laughingwolf said...

cohen is still a superb poet... can't sing worth shit, but who cares? he's so bloody evocative... and the voice!

Beth said...

No reference to the two (or three) Leonards performing/collaborating together that I can find - can’t imagine L.C. and L.N. together!

You described him well – “evocative” – both the poetry and the voice.

Sherry said...

Don't go getting all mad at me, or calling me Un Canadian but I am so not a fan of Leonard Cohen. I put him in the same category as I do Bob Dylan. So not ever a fan.

And I guess that's what makes the world a wonderful place that we all have different tastes and styles and that we can agree to disagree.

Some of that dislike probably comes from my total lack of interest and enjoyment in poetry. And the fact that in high school we had to dissect (my choice of word...because that's what it felt like lol!!) a Leonard Cohen piece. My classmates were kind enough to wake me when it was over. *snort*

Adam said...

He was a legend

Beth said...

Mad? Un-Canadian? Hell, no - vive la différence!

He is a legend!

Cipriano said...

Mr. Cohen is definitely a Canadian icon, this is for sure.
Having said that [don't hate me, now...] I am quite unfamiliar with his music and have never read one of his books. I have dabbled in his poetry and found it fairly elusive to me.
One of the most hilarious things I have ever seen though, is when the CBC did a Christmas special and this trio or quartet [I can't remember which numerical grouping it was] performed his truly beautiful song "Hallelujah". A song which has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, is my point!
Yet it was a testament to the ethereal quality and sort of "sacred" majesty of the piece itself. Similarly to how one tends to hear Bridge Over Troubled Waters in some sort of completely out-of-context setting.

Zhu said...

I love his songs... and his voice! One of my favourite Canadian singers with Neil Young (another style though!)

Jaya J said...

i love that voice :) i know what you mean by accepting a proposal by him.

Anonymous said...

Stand aside sister... Leonard is MINE

Beth said...

Love how you describe “Hallelujah.” And it’s quite okay if you’re unfamiliar with his music – to each, his/her own.

Neil Young – yet another great Canadian singer, lyricist.

Jaya J:
If men only knew how seductive words can be! ;)

Don’t suppose you’d consider sharing? Nah...wouldn’t work for me, either. ;)

Mark p.s.2 said...

and the mirrors don't lie...

I enjoy Leonard Cohen music and lyrics as well. I love his "Everybody Knows" song.

Thanks for posting this new song!

Beth said...

Mark p.s.2:
"Everybody Knows" - yet another great one! said...

I'd heard of him, but now I'm in love with him too - his voice and the lyrics. Plus, he's still going strong at 77? What an inspiration! Thanks for this post, Beth.


Beth said...

My pleasure!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I love this man's poetry (sometimes his voice grates on me though), I saw his show in Ottawa a couple of summers ago and it was heart stopping. I love to be reminded of homegrown talent. And that he's still at the top of his game at 77 and better yet - having fun - is an inspiration!

Barrie said...

I LOVE Leonard Cohen! You've read The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers? I used to play a mean rendition on the guitar of Suzanne. Actually, I'm kidding. It was a horrible rendition! Thank you for the link!

Valerie Marie said...

My favorite is "Everybogy knows".