“But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I’d die for the truth.” Leonard Cohen Explains “Truth” In My Secret Life

Sometimes you write the word “truth” in your new songs. What kind of truth are you talking about?

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We all have a sense of a truth. The truth can be the most intimate conversation with one’s heart about its desire and appetite. And when this conversation appears, it comes very close to the truth and a feeling of authenticity. But I don’t imagine to have a metaphysic system without contradictions, and I don’t think this is the poet’s nor the songwriter’s duty. In one of the songs I start by saying: ‘I smile when I’m angry. / I cheat and I lie. / I do what I have to do / to get by. / But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I’d die for the truth.’ To be understood in the way that you can deceive everybody but yourself. This is the truth viewed in a simple, pragmatic and ordinary way, but it isn’t the great truth of our existence. I can’t control that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark September 2001). Originally posted October 15, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric