“I’ve tried to create songs, now, that are appropriate to the gravity of the situation…” Leonard Cohen On Closing Time

I’ve tried to create songs, now, that are appropriate to the gravity of the situation… where there’s no public utterance without the understanding that it looks like freedom but it feels like death and it’s closing time. Something’s gone down. You ignore it at the peril of your self-respect or of your possible rescue.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. The transcript was prepared by Judith Fitzgerald. Originally posted June 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On “Eastern European Flourishes” He Added To Closing Time & Why That Song Didn’t Get Played “In Country-Western Territory”

My mother was Russian, and she sang beautiful Russian and Yiddish songs. I love the violin, and I did put in those kind of eastern European flourishes in a country-western song [Closing Time], which I think worked rather well. It wasn’t that that didn’t get it played in country-western territory, though. What the country singers and country radio programs didn’t like was that line ‘The whole damn place goes crazy twice, once for the Devil and once for Christ,’ which they found theologically offensive, although I could reconcile it with orthodox Christian thought.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From A Purple Haze To A Purple Patch by Adam Sweeting (The Canberra Times: July 24, 1994)

Leonard Cohen On The Significance Of “It Feels Like Death” In Closing Time

It looks like freedom but it feels like death
It’s something in between I guess.
It’s closing time.

From Closing Time
By Leonard Cohen

It feels like death. It is no death, but it feels like death. And that is gonna scare the shit out of people. It is already. And you can detect it in yourself. This is not a sociological study. This is a reportage of the center of my own life. And I think that is where people are going. Into the extreme. It is the only way where there is any comfort. Otherwise, who are we? What are we supposed to be doing? Where is it? quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Me/Sounds interview. quoted in Leonard Cohen live in Germany, 1993 by Christof Graf (Essays on Canadian Writing; Toronto; Winter 1999)

Leonard Cohen Explains Exactly When “Closing Time” Is

[Closing Time is] that wild, or beautiful, or terrible time when things reach their maximum point of expansion, and then begin to contract. It’s the time we’re in.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, in response to the question, “When exactly IS ‘Closing Time?” – Oct 16, 2001 Online Chat

Note: Originally posted Jan 1, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric