I am hopelessly in love with Leonard Cohen.
I admit it, no hesitation. He is everything, he has everything, he is perfection. No less.
I must have been seven or eight years old when my dad told me to come and listen to a song. He did this often. My dad loves music more than life. I am bottle-fed on music; Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath. It’s in my blood.
However, this wasn’t Deep or Led. This was Cohen. My dad cranked the volume, and there it was:
I remember this moment, years and years later. It came back to me when I (re)discovered Leonard Cohen for myself. Older, and wiser, perhaps, I was now a broader experience, somehow. Deeper, still as magical. Now I appreciated the lyrics as much as the sound.
And here they take their sweet repast
While house and grounds dissolve
And one by one the guests are cast
Beyond the garden wall
Sound and words come together into perfection, transcending all what ought to be humanly possible. This is Leonard Cohen.
And then he announced a concert in Denmark, 2013. And it was possibly the greatest concert, I have ever attended. And in the middle of the show, I turned to my beloved spouse and announced: I am writing my master thesis about his lyrics.
And I did. 108 pages about the aesthetic experience of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics. It was beautiful, and it was painful. I spent half a year diving deep into his words, swimming through poems, lyrics and novels, going deeper, resting on this line or that, turning it over and over and back again.
I get chills when I listen to his music, when his liquid poetry takes over and stops time for a moment.
The light came through the window,
Straight from the sun above,
And so inside my little room
There plunged the rays of Love.
In streams of light I clearly saw
The dust you seldom see,
Out of which the Nameless makes
A Name for one like me.
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Ah I don’t believe you’d like it,
You wouldn’t like it here.
There ain’t no entertainment
and the judgements are severe.
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
but it sounds like bubble gum
when you’re waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
Trying to decide which to showcase, I realize it would be every song he ever wrote, every poem, every line, if I were to do him justice. So I’ll make do with these quotes. You can read up on it yourself for the rest of them.
I only wanted to tell you that I really, really adore Leonard Cohen.