“There’s enjoyment that comes through seriousness …” Leonard Cohen explains “why I write such sad songs”

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Why I Write Such Sad Songs: It isn’t that I choose to. This is what I am. Seriousness, rather than depression is, I think, the characteristic of my work. I like a good laugh, but I think there’s enjoyment that comes through seriousness. We all know when we close the door and come into your room and you’re left with your heart and your emotions, it isn’t all that funnyquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Yakety Yak: Midnight Confessions and Revelations of 37 Rock Stars & Legends by Scott Cohen (Fireside: June 21, 1994). Photo by Rama (Own work) [CeCILL or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted May 4, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen – Los Angeles 1992 from Songwriters On Songwriting By Paul Zollo. Found at LeonardCohenFiles. Photo by Paul Zollo. Originally posted December 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Book Of Mercy As Prayers: “You’re trying to locate a source of strength that you just don’t command”

 

Interviewer: When I was reading [Book Of Mercy], I could feel with each prayer a stripping away of illusion.

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That’s what I was trying to do. After all, you’re not on the stand when you are praying. You can’t come with any excuses. And you don’t really have a deep belief in your own opinions any longer, or your constructions about the way things are. That’s why you pray. You don’t have a prayer. You’re trying to locate a source of strength that you just don’t commandquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Talking Out of Turn #29: Leonard Cohen (1984) by Kevin Courrier. Critics at Large: May 19, 2012, Note: The interview took place in 1984

Leonard Cohen’s response to the criticism that his music is depressing “I’m not the first person to mention that this world isn’t exactly Disneyland…”


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I’m not the first person to mention that this world isn’t exactly Disneyland There is a bit of the butcher shop to be discerned in this corner or that. But the actual mail I get … has a very contrary message: ‘You got me through the night.’ ‘Thanks a lot, this stuff really spoke to me a lot when I was feeling real bad.’ Most of the mail I get has that tone to it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Interview With Leonard Cohen by Rob O’Connor (Downtown, Feb 12, 1992). This article was contributed by Dominique BOILE.  Originally posted Jan 15, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Effect Of Depression On His Creative Work “It’s anguish. It’s a pain in the ass…”

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I don’t feel it [the depression] was necessarily the engine of the activity. It’s anguish. It’s a pain in the ass. On the contrary, I find my capacity to concentrate enhanced without that background of horror.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

The Prince of Prurience and Loss by John Leland, GQ: Nov 2001.

A summary of information about Leonard Cohen’s depression can be found at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution. All posts about Leonard’s depression are collected at ,