Leonard Cohen Video: Energetic Performance Of First We Take Manhattan – Ghent Aug 12, 2012

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Ghent: Aug 12, 2012
Video by Thomas Delbecque

Note: Originally posted Aug 13, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I don’t know what I’m trying to convey [in a song], never have. I’m grateful when a song comes together and starts a life of its own” Leonard Cohen

lcheadFrom raw Q&A transcript submitted for Adam Cohen à la rescousse by Alain de Repentigny (La Presse: Oct 19, 2016).

More Information About You Want It Darker

Information about You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen, including reviews like this, is collected and updated at Info & Updates: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker

A Uniquely Enlightening Discussion Of Leonard Cohen’s Albums

 Along The Way… Discovering Leonard’s Albums is a passionate, insightful, enlightening, clever, and thoroughly enjoyable discussion of Leonard Cohen’s studio and live albums that has been going on for 6-7 months at LeonardCohenForum. The posts are organized around a new fan reviewing Leonard’s work in an organized (albeit not obsessively so) manner with commentary and recommendations from other Forum members. It’s the kind of unhurried, in depth consideration of Leonard’s work, offered without pontification by folks who are knowledgeable and care deeply about Leonard Cohen, that I haven’t found elsewhere. It is, indeed, a treat.

The discussion begins at Along The Way… Discovering Leonard’s Albums

Leonard Cohen’s Songwriting Shifts From “I’ve had to scrape them out of my heart” (1972) To “Scavenging” (2001)

1972: “I’ve had to scrape them out of my heart”

quoteup2
I’ve never written [lyrics] with the kind of luxury of choice. I’ve never sat down at my table and said ‘there are people starving and there are people who are being tortured and brutalized, I must write a song to redeem them’. My songs have come to me, I’ve had to scrape them out of my heart. They come in pieces at a time and in showers and fragments and if I can put them together into a song and I have something at the end of the excavation I’m just grateful for having it. It tells me where I am and where I’ve been. I can’t predispose the song to any situation or anything in the political realm, but if I live in the political realm and I’m aware of what is going down and my songs come out of that awareness of ignorance. A lot of my songs come out of ignorance. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “Complexities And Mr. Cohen” by Billy Walker (Sounds, March 4, 1972).  Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles

2001: “Scavenging”

Sylvie Simmons: You had said previously that songs had to be ‘scraped’ or ‘torn’ from your heart. Is writing still that bloody?

quoteup2
Did I say that? That romantic image has somewhat evaporated. Now I’d say it’s the work of a scavenger. … The content of whatever it is you write is a matter of scavenging around and trying to satisfy this appetite to make something.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Felonious Monk by Sylvie Simmons, (MOJO: November 2001) [underlining mine]

Note: Originally posted June 19, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric