“Racing With The Moon” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer. When I was a kid I always had this fantasy of singing with a band. We’d have get-togethers and I’d sing ‘Racing with the Moon,’ stuff like that. I just don’t think one would have bothered to write if one could have really lifted one’s voice in song.1

Leonard Cohen

While Leonard didn’t mention a specific artist, Racing With the Moon was the signature tune of Vaughn Monroe, who sold over one million copies by 1952,

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  1. Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. []

“Christ’s image is just the perfect symbol for our civilization. It’s a perfect event for us – you have to die to survive.” Leonard Cohen

For someone who’s Jewish, your music often seems obsessed with Catholicism. Why?

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I grew up in a Catholic city, and all through Quebec the church is very strong. And I had an Irish-Catholic nanny; because my father was sick and my mother was usually at the hospital taking care of him, I was brought up part Catholic in a certain way. The figure of Christ touched me very early in my life. My radical Catholic friends were very angry at me for this Christological infatuation. Because they had really been oppressed by the church. To me it was romance. And there were many georeligious ideas I could speculate on. For one thing, I could see Christianity as the great missionary arm of Judaism. So I felt a certain patronizing interest in this version of the thing. I didn’t have to believe it. But I was talking today to a friend of mine, and it came to me that Christ’s image is just the perfect symbol for our civilization. It’s a perfect event for us – you have to die to survive. Because the personality is crucified in our society. That’s why so many people collapse, why the mental hospitals are full. Nobody can survive with the personality that they want, which is the hero of their own drama. That hero dies, it’s massacred, and the self that is reborn remembers that crucifixion. And we’re doing that every day. This Christian myth at the center of our society is very good. It’s workable.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Photo of statue of Christ taken in Montreal by rik-shaw (look 4 light)

“I came away from the Dylan show just glad to have seen a legend …. I came away from the Cohen show with a huge smile … chattering happily about how it was the best show we’ve ever seen.”

I came away from the Dylan show just glad to have seen a legend, but wondering if maybe he could have done more to win me over. That’s what a performer is. I came away from the Cohen show with a huge smile on my face, my wife and I chattering happily about how it was the best show we’ve ever seen.

Literary Pursuits: One For the Money, Two For the Show : posted May 27, 2008 by Gerard Collins at Literary Pursuits. This is a thoughtful, intelligent, careful, and respectful comparison of the 2008 Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen concerts in St. John’s that rings true. Just outstanding. Photo by Eugene McLaughlin.

Note: Originally posted May 28, 2008 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos: Revelatory Moments & Subtle Gestures From The 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert

September 20, 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert

When I first heard from Pete Purnell, he wrote that his goal was to take concert photos that would “capture moments and subtle gestures” of the sort that are rarely caught in the shots favored by sources, such as newspapers and magazines, serving large populations. These photos from the 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert are evidence that he remains committed to this mission.

Note: Originally posted Oct 4, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay Go Steady, Get Engaged, Break Up

 

For five years or so (accounts, as they tend to do, vary) in the early 1990s, Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay were in a relationship that progressed through a phase “a press officer call[ed] ‘an exclusive dating situation'”1 and into an engagement that was eventually broken off because, according to Cohen, “finally she [Rebecca De Mornay] saw I was a guy who just couldn’t come across. … In the sense of being a husband and having more children and the rest.”2

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  1. The Joking Troubadour of Gloom by Tim Rostron. The Daily Telegraph, April 26, 1993 []
  2. Leonard Cohen: Several Lifetimes Already By Pico Iyer. Shambhala Sun. Sept 1998 []