“I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how to bend my knee” Leonard Cohen

wingLyrics to an early version of Anthem sung by Leonard Cohen in Exceptional Video: Portrait Of Leonard Cohen – 1992 Interview On Songwriting

Credit Due Department: Thanks to J.J. Harchaoui, who noted that the line correctly reads “I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how to bend my knee” rather than “I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how” as initially posted.

Leonard Cohen’s Lines From 1985 “Diamonds In The Mine” Variation Recur In 2016 “Treaty”


Renik Van den Eynde has discovered that the variation of Diamonds In The Mine Leonard Cohen sang at the Feb 2, 1985 Wiesbaden concert correlates with the first verse of Treaty from the You Want It Darker album.

From Diamonds In The Mine:

I see you changed the water all into wine
That was a pretty trick to do
I sit at your table every night
Baby I just can’t get drunk with you.
And there are no letters in your mailbox
There are no grapes upon the vine

The verse starts at 3:36

From Treaty:

I’ve seen you change the water into wine
I’ve seen you change it back to water too
I sit at your table every night
I try but I just don’t get high with you

Leonard Cohen: “No alibi … You have to stand up and say Hallelujah”

I wanted to write something in the tradition of the hallelujah choruses but from a different point of view. I think the other song that is closely related to that is ‘Anthem.’ It’s the notion that there is no perfection–that this is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still that is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From “Robert Hilburn Interviews Leonard Cohen” by Robert Hilburn (Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1995)

Note: Originally posted November 8, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Rosanne Cash On Leonard Cohen’s Lyrics


‘There’s a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in’ – Just that one line is enough to get Leonard Cohen into any hall of fame.quotedown2

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash, writing on the occasion of Leonard Cohen winning the PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award (26 February 2012)

Credit Due Department: Photo by Bryan Ledgard from Yorkshire, UK – Rosanne Cash, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia

Note: Originally posted February 27, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Need To “Affirm Failure And Death” (1993)

There is a crack in everything, because this is the realm of the crack, the realm of failure, the realm of death, and unless we affirm failure and death, we’re going to be very unhappy. The more we affirm death, the happier we get. The more we affirm failure, the more successful we get.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


The Future by Alberto Manzano. El Europeo: Spring 1993.

Note: Originally posted Jun 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Reconciliation, that’s our real appetite” – Leonard Cohen on Anthem

There is a position that embraces all the worlds we live in. That position is one of reconciliation, that’s our real appetite. Our real appetite is not for the victory of the white race. Our real victory isn’t Judaism over Islam, not conservatism over liberalism. There is another appetite that doesn’t involve victory but involves a reconciliation and that’s where we really long to be. Sometimes in the midst of a song you find yourself in that momentquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Hello! I Must Be Cohen, Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 9 January 1993.