Leonard Cohen Talks About His “Count Dracula” Verse Of Democracy


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I had a verse in my song, Democracy, which as you know has endless verses, but one of them was, ‘It ain’t coming to us European-style, concentration camp behind the smile, it ain’t coming from the East with its temporary feast as Count Dracula comes strolling down the aisle.’ I asked myself, a territory that has produced everybody from Dracula to Ivan the Terrible to Stalin, is this really the fertile ground for parliamentary democracy? I didn’t think so. It was clear to me that the real laboratory of democracy is America. It’s America where the races are really confronting each other, where the classes are confronting one another, where even people of a different sexual orientation are confronting one another. That’s where democracy started, and that’s where it’s really unfolding.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From A Purple Haze To A Purple Patch by Adam Sweeting (The Canberra Times: July 24, 1994)

“The work that was in front of me was just to cultivate this tiny corner of the field that I thought I knew something about, which was something to do with self-investigation without self-indulgence.” Leonard Cohen

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia’ by Jian Ghomeshi (The Guardian: 9 July 2009). Photo by Paul. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Invokes Light As The Breeze To Characterize His “Position More Or Less Over The Years”

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In [‘Light As The Breeze’] I say, ‘You can drink it or you can nurse it, it doesn’t matter how you worship, as long as you’re down on your knees.’ I think that’s been my position more or less over the years, and creakily standing up and regretting it and getting down again.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen by Barbara Gowdy (November 19, 1992 interview published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, ed. Leanna Crouch,  Somerville House Publishing 1994). Photo by xrayspx. Originally posted January 16, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Wrote Letters To His Friends With The Same Elegance He Wrote Songs & Poems

Leonard Cohen’s elegant writing style is evident not only in his poems and songs but also his personal correspondence. In the same situation, I would have scribbled something on the lines of

It’s been a tough winter with lots of business hassles but things are better now that Spring has arrived.

Leonard, on the other hand, wrote

It’s been a curious tricky Winter, filled with an education for which I never wanted to enroll, and sealed with a Spring so sweet it seems like a prize for endurance.

… which illustrates why Leonard Cohen was a singer-songwriter, poet, & icon, and I am a blogger.

The Leonard Cohen epistolary except is from his Apr 22, 1964 letter to Redmond Wallis, a writer from New Zealand, who was Cohen’s friend as well as his fellow resident on Hydra. At the time this letter was written, Leonard Cohen was living in Montreal, and Wallis was at his home on Hydra. This letter is archived at the National Library of New Zealand – Wellington. Originally posted September 9, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency: Suzanne Vs Volvo – The Appeal

Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency: The Original Case Of Suzanne Vs Volvo

The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency offers rectification of inaccuracies promulgated by Leonard Cohen (see full explanation at the end of this post). Ongoing readers may recall the Case Of Suzanne Vs Volvo, which focused on Mr Cohen’s claim, made on several occasions, that

My songs usually last about as long as a Volvo — about 30 years1

That equation sounds valid and had never been challenged until, like New York Governor Alfred E. Smith in his 1928 presidential campaign, The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency declared, “Let’s look at the record.”2

Volvo Lifespan

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  1. Cohen Grows Into The Future Gracefully, And With A Grin by Peter Howell. Toronto Star, November 19, 1992. Found at the ultimately utilitarian  Speaking Cohen site. []
  2. Mr. Smith’s slogan was one of the few survivors of that unsuccessful campaign. []

“It doesn’t really matter what the singer is speaking of, it doesn’t really matter what the song is. There’s something I listen for in a singer’s voice and that’s some kind of truth …” Leonard Cohen


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It doesn’t really matter what the singer is speaking of, it doesn’t really matter what the song is. There’s something I listen for in a singer’s voice and that’s some kind of truth. It may even be truth of deception, it may even be the truth of the scam, the truth of the hustle in the singers own presentation, but something is coming across that is true, and if that isn’t there the song dies. And the singer deserves to die too, and will, in time, die. So the thing that I listen for is that note of something big manifested that is beyond the singer’s control.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen Presented By John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988. Originally posted Dec 3, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric