“The first music I remember was the liturgy in the synagogue and the Russian songs of my mother…” Leonard Cohen On His Early Musical Influences

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The first music I remember was the liturgy in the synagogue and the Russian songs of my mother, who had grown up in Lithuania. After the war, I mostly listened to popular music: country, blues, the tunes from the jukebox in the French cafés in Montreal. The fact that French was the dominant language in Montreal made me aware that I belonged to a minority. Thus, I have come to appreciate the peculiarity and the beauty of my own language, English.
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Leonard Cohen

 

From ‘Gesprek met Leonard Cohen, de boeteprediker van de popmuziek; Het Oude Testament is mijn handboek’ [Talk with Leonard Cohen, the philosopher of pop music; the Old Testament is my guide] by Pieter Steinz, NRC: December 4, 1992. Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Credit Due Department: Contributed & translated by Anja Deelen

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