Leonard Cohen on Suzanne “It was never about a particular woman…it was more about the beginning of a different life for me. My life in Montreal”

It was never about a particular woman. For me it was more about the beginning of a different life for me. My life in Montreal, and my life wandering alone in those parts of Montreal that are now very beautifully done up and in those days, it was the waterfront. I used to wander around down there and I used to go to that church a lot.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Cohen Wore Earplugs to a Dylan Show? by Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s: June 12, 2008. Photo of Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, better known as the Church where “the sun pours down like honey, On our lady of the harbour.”  See Our Lady Of The Harbour – The Montreal Church Embedded In Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne

Leonard Cohen on Boogie Street as “ordinary human struggle and life”


Bugis Street, Singapore, referenced in Boogie Street by Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson

[Boogie Street is] ordinary human struggle and life, the place of work and desire. It’s where we’re meant to be, it’s what we’re born into. There are moments when the burden of the self is lifted, but those are only temporary situations. As I say in the song, ‘You kiss my lips and then it’s done/I’m back on Boogie Street.’ Whatever the experience is — the god, the woman, the insight, the epiphany, the penetration — those are temporary events. Or as my old teacher says, ‘You can’t live in Paradise — no toilets or restaurants.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo atop post by Jfkjaya. – Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

“A personal indifference to my own condition, to my own opinions, to my own activities has liberated me to say what I want to say.” Leonard Cohen

From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993. Photo of Leonard Cohen by Roland Godefroy (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting “You shatter versions of the self until you get down to a line, a word, that you can defend, that you can wrap your voice around without choking”


From Life Of A Lady’s Man by Brian D. Johnson. Maclean’s: Dec 7, 1992. Originally posted Aug 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“A song should affirm the life of the heart and if it doesn’t touch you then there is no point” Leonard Cohen

If a song doesn’t move swiftly from heart-to-heart then it doesn’t qualify as a song for you. A song should affirm the life of the heart and if it doesn’t touch you then there is no point. We live in a very analytical time so we are invited to analyse everything we do and like but I don’t think our affections are based on analysis. The things we feel good about and touch us are perceived easily.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Cohen Won’t Take You Down by Bruce Guthrie (Melbourne Herald: May 30, 1985)

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Barry Hansen, who posted the Herald article on FB. Photo By Daniel Bastida

“This confrontation [between men & women] involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself ” Leonard Cohen

We’re [men and women are] all in the same boat, we’ve entered into this quarrel, into this cage, union, and extremely ambiguous circumstance together and we’re going to sort it out together. That is why I never thought of myself as a romantic poet because I always was very clear from the beginning that this confrontation involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself … And it’s always been confrontational. Not in an aggressive sense but in an acknowledging sense that there are some profound differences and it involves serious risks and that these risks are really best acknowledged. And I think that’s the tone of most of the stuff and if the love and passion can transgress that mutual acknowledgement then you do have something that takes off, either it’s a song or a poem or the moment. But without that, you’ve got the moon-in-June school of writing–though my stuff gets close to the moon-in-June school of writing, but I think it’s that acknowledgement of the risk that rescues it every time.quotedown2


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).

Note: Originally posted August 2, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric