Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Lines Written Under “The Tyranny Of Rhyme,” Politics, Love As An Ailment, Anjani, Recycling His Art & More – 2006

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This Feb. 7, 2006 interview offers an impressive range and depth of material (albeit organized in a somewhat random manner).

From CBC description:

Leonard Cohen has reasons to celebrate. Five of his songs are being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. As heard in this in-depth radio interview, the usually reserved artist reflects back on his life. He talks openly about his days at a Buddhist monastery, his love of wine, his failure at love and what this latest honour means for the 71-year-old artist.

The five songs by Leonard Cohen inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006 were

  • Ain’t No Cure For Love
  • Bird on the Wire
  • Everybody Knows (co-written with Sharon Robinson)
  • Suzanne
  • Hallelujah

Program: Sounds Like Canada
Broadcast Date: Feb. 7, 2006
Guest: Leonard Cohen
Host: Shelagh Rogers
Duration: 21:02

Leonard Cohen on The Story Of Isaac “The song doesn’t end with a plea for peace. It doesn’t end with a plea for sanity between the generations.”

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It has fathers and sons in it and sacrifice and slaughter, and an extremely honest statement at the end. It does say something about fathers and sons and that curious place, generally over the slaughtering block where generations meet and have their intercourse. I think probably that I did feel [when I wrote it] that one of the reasons that we have wars was so the older men can kill off the younger ones, so there’s no competition for the women. Also, completely remove the competition in terms of their own institutional positions. The song doesn’t end with a plea for peace. It doesn’t end with a plea for sanity between the generations. It ends saying, ‘I’ll kill you if I can, I will help you if I must, I will kill you if I must, I will help you if I can.’ That’s all I can say about it. My father died when I was nine, that’s the reason I put that one of us had to go.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Interview,by Robin Pike. ZigZag: October 1974. Image by Ji-Elle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Leonard Cohen On The Significance Of Who Sent The Monkey And The Plywood Violin In First We Take Manhattan

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I thank you for those items that you sent me,
the monkey and the plywood violin.
I practiced every night, now I’m ready.
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

From First We Take Manhattan by Leonard Cohen

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[The sender of the monkey and the plywood violin is] that part of ourselves that diminished that voice that . . . was demanding a spiritual aspect to our lives . . . . We gave that aspect of ourselves that was hungry some kind of perverse and obscene charity. We made him into an organ grinder . . . . We gave that part of us a monkey and a plywood violin, so that it would screech away and amuse us with its anticsquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, Personal Interview with Winfried Siemerling. 2 November 1990, North York. Unpublished. Quoted in Interior Landscapes and the Public Realm: Contingent Mediations in a Speech and a Song by Leonard Cohen by Winfried Siemerling. Canadian Poetry: No. 33, Fall/Winter, 1993. Originally posted Mar 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“You live your life as if it’s real … but with the intuitive understanding that it’s unfolding as it should and you are not running the show.” Leonard Cohen

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You may believe you have some control over [your] decisions, but certainly not the consequences. But you live your life as if it’s real … as if you’re directing it, but with the intuitive understanding that it’s unfolding as it should and you are not running the show.quotedown2

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From Look Who’s Back at 67: Gentle Leonard Cohen by Frank DiGiacomo. New York Observer: Oct 15, 2001. Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is a Sony publicity photo for Ten New Songs taken by Laszlo.Originally posted May 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Creative Process “When there’s no way out – just through – that has to become your material”

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It’s the constant feeling: can I scrape together another song, can I stitch together another paragraph of this book that’s been going on for years? It’s mostly scraping the barrel, scratching through the bark to get a little honey. And when there’s no way out — just through — that has to become your material.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Obscured…A Haunting by Spector by Stephen Holden. Rolling Stone: January 26, 1978. Originally posted Jan 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Talks About 2 Most Important Qualities For A Young Poet Or Singer: “Arrogance And Inexperience”

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I always think of something Irving Layton said about the requirements for a young poet, and I think it goes for a young singer, too, or a beginning singer: ‘The two qualities most important for a young poet are arrogance and inexperience.’ It’s only some very strong self-image that can keep you going in a world that really conspires to silence everyone.quotedown2

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From The John Hammond Years, Interview with John Hammond and Leonard Cohen. BBC, September 20, 1986. Found at LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted Aug 3, 2016 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric