“I try to write good songs that move along” Leonard Cohen On Songwriting


Leonard Cohen: I try to write good songs that move along. I just take the subject matter for granted. It’s from my own visions. I would think that’s the way anybody writes a song.

Interviewer: But Cohen’s visions, full of mystical figures such as Joan of Arc and allusions to such things as Scientology and Zen [both of which he’s “plugged into” at one time or another] are not what most people in popular music write about.

Leonard Cohen: Hmm, yes, that’s true. But then, my music isn’t very popular, is it?

For Cohen, Grief Is Joy by Lynn Van Matre (Chicago Tribune: Nov 23, 1975). Thanks to Rike, who discovered and contributed the article from which this quote is taken.