“People say my vision of the future is bleak. The future is here. I think the landscape that I describe in all the songs is here.” Leonard Cohen (1993)

quoteup2
People say my vision of the future is bleak. The future is here. I think the landscape that I describe in all the songs is here. It is that landscape which provokes these cries. Those are not my personal politics, these are the kinds of cries that arise in response to the catastrophe in which we find ourselves. Human beings have always found themselves in a catastrophe. The human predicament is catastrophic, but these are the cries: ‘Give me back the Berlin Wall, give me Stalin and St. Paul…lie beside me baby, that’s an order’. This is the mind shattered by the predicament. So that mind which says ‘give me crack and anal sex’, also says ‘I’ll be loving you always’. In other words, all kinds of expression, irresponsible, shattered, broken, fragmented, passionate, indifferent; all these cries arise from this shattered heart, that is the heart that I confess I have, and in bars, guys occasionally confess they have.
quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen…What’s Your Problem? Doom and Gloom by Patrick Humphries (Vox: February, 1993),

“The hook I came up with, the one I could get behind and sing in several hundred concerts, was, ‘I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.’ That seems to be true.” Leonard Cohen

Huston: How do you think that’s going to affect the future, given the fact that we are panicked and that things seem to be closing in on us?

quoteup2
This just may be each individual human’s translation of the certainty of their own death. I mean, things are closing in on us in a real way. I found when I was writing about the future, in a song called ‘The Future,’ I found that the hook I came up with, the one I could get behind and sing in several hundred concerts, was, ‘I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.’ That seems to be true.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). Photography Dana Lixenberg. Originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: “[The Future] evokes a scene of the end of things”

quoteup2
‘There’ll be the breaking of the Western code, I mean your private life will suddenly explode.’ That is the whole investment in private space that the West has painfully established over the centuries. That is specifically what is going to collapse. ‘There will be phantoms, there’ll be fires on the road’ – a return to suspicion, superstition, return to the tribal paranoia and the white man dancing. It evokes a scene of the end of things but with certain variations.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From TV Interview by Barbara Gowdy. Broadcast Nov 19, 1992 on TVOntario and published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, edited by Leanna Crouch (1994).

Leonard Cohen on The Future: “If I’d just nailed the lyrics of The Future to a church door in Wittenberg, it would be a heavy and foreboding and sinister document – but it’s married to a hot little dance track.”

quoteup2
If I’d just nailed the lyrics of The Future to a church door in Wittenberg, it would be a heavy and foreboding and sinister document – but it’s married to a hot little dance track. So the music dissolves in the lyric and the lyric dissolves in the music, and you’re left with a kind of refreshment, a kind of oxygen.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993.  Originally posted Jan 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on The Future: “The last thing we need is something else to bring us down. And I never meant to do that. I always meant to invigorate.”


quoteup2
The Future would be pretty grim if I just nailed it up on the church door like Martin Luther. I mean it is a hot little track and you can dance to it. It’s gotta have that. The last thing we need is something else to bring us down. And I never meant to do that. I always meant to invigorate.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Rebirth of a Ladies’ Man By Brendan Kelly. The Financial Post: December 12, 1992.

“When it’s every man for himself the identification of race arises. I think those are very dangerous times.” Leonard Cohen on The Future

futureframe
quoteup2
Of course I affirm the people that are trying to save the forest and the environment but to me those are symptoms of something else. It’s an alibi to think you’re getting anywhere by doing that sort of thing. The self-righteousness and self-congratulations that go with it seems to suggest that you can’t write a song about the boredom of the rainforest, the boredom of the ozone, the boredom of recycling. Yeah, we’ve got to do all those things but let’s not ignore the fact that something is going down here. It’s like trying to tidy up on the Titanic. I wrote that song soon after the Wall came down – it had to be written. When the centre erodes and people can no longer find a centre they will seize on the most easily available form of identification. The most easily available identification is racial. We see that happening, there’s no way you can sit down and reason in that situation, reasoning depends on some sort of order. When it’s every man for himself the identification of race arises. I think those are very dangerous times. And that is the time we are in.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Hello! I Must Be Cohen, Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 9 January 1993.