With such personal lyrics it seems that the songs must serve some psychological function, probably cathartic, but Cohen says no, seeing himself as a tradesman pure and simple.
I don’t know what it is. It becomes your work, one of the few things you know how to do, especially as you get older. The premise, when I examine it – and I don’t examine it too often – I’ve always felt that the more personal you get, the more universal the application, rather than the other way around. If you begin to address yourself to the masses like that, then I suppose you could have a hit, but to me the more accurate you get about your situation, then the more accessible it is to other people.
From Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!. Photo by Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331. Note: Originally posted Jan 8, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric