“My brain, when I write, is completely confused. It struggles at the bottom of a well, trying to find something that will give the song permanence in this world.” Leonard Cohen

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My brain, when I write, is completely confused. It struggles at the bottom of a well, trying to find something that will give the song permanence in this world. To bring a song into existence seems difficult. Most successes, however, are simple. But I have not found a simple way to do things. I keep searching. Just because something takes a lot of time does not mean that it is not urgent, it is urgent every minute. That’s why this situation is impossible.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Originally posted Jan 4, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There is some interest in survival” Leonard Cohen Explains Audience’s Fervent Response To His Songs (1975)

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People are interested not just in my experience but in the experience of anybody who has come through without committing suicide or going into a loony bin. You know, there is some interest in survival.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen explaining his enthusiastic reception from Bottom Line audience in 1975. From Rolling Stone: Leonard Cohen by Larry Sloman, The Sunday Citizen: May 25, 1975. Photo by  Pete Purnell. Originally posted Dec 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I have always felt that the nature of song was a movement from lip to lip…It’s somehow built into the design of a song, the fact that it moves around. And if it doesn’t, then it isn’t really that thing that we call a song.” Leonard Cohen


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I guess there are some people who could just write a song for somebody else and let it go at that, but I have always felt that the nature of song was a movement from lip to lip. That’s the nature of the thing. It’s somehow built into the design of a song, the fact that it moves around. And if it doesn’t, then it isn’t really that thing that we call a song. It could be something else pretty excellent, it could be a poem designed to stand on a page or an esoteric document or a kind of a paradox that could exist on parchment, but you know, a song, its nature is that it moves.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!

“The experience [of a song]…like that Jesus verse in ‘Suzanne’, everyone knows what that means, but nobody can say what it means – And it’s that kind of event that I’m interested in.” Leonard Cohen

a182762Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331

“A good song exists in very modest terms and also in Himalayan terms” Leonard Cohen

In “Everybody Knows,” there is a line that I found deeply moving, “Old Black Joe’s still picking cotton, for our buttons and our bows,” which seems to be a fairly heavy indictment of capitalism.

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Whatever grip capitalism has on its constituents, it seems to be a more benign grip than any of the other systems that people have thought out. So I would resist, although not with a tremendous amount of interest in the matter, having it serve an anti-capitalist program. I think that a good song exists in very modest terms and also in Himalayan terms. I mean, it’s a thing to get you through the dishes. It provides a sound-track for your courting and for your solitude. That’s the modest element. Then there is an element in song which provides deep comfort and deep solace and stimulation for the imagination and courage. You can’t use it for something as deliberate as a program. It could be, but it falls away. A good song slips away from its dogma.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen:  Several Lifetimes Already by Cindy Bisaillon (Shambhala Sun, Jan, 1994). Originally posted Dec 16, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen explains why he keeps his music simple (1973)

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Is there a reason for keeping your music as basic as it is?

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One is that I don’t really have the skill to make my music too complex. And two, my tastes are very simple. I like to keep it very elementary.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen By Pat Harbron. Beetle: December 1973. Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174 Originally posted Jan 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric