“I’d love to write a hit but I don’t think I know how to do it” Leonard Cohen On The Popularity Of His Music (1984)

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I’d love to write a hit but I don’t think I know how to do it. Even Suzanne and Bird On A Wire were never really hits – they were horizontal hits. In concert I have to sing Suzanne, Bird On A Wire, So Long Marianne. People cry out for them. They come to a concert and have been living with your songs for a long time and they want to hear the songs they really like.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Cohen at 50: On His Songs, His Women And Children by Chris Cobb Ottawa Citizen: April 21, 1984. Photo by Pete Purnell .

“I think songs, to the young, are an education.” Leonard Cohen


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I think songs, to the young, are an education. And a lot of the songs are true. They’re accurate representations about states of minds everyone has.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

For Cohen, Grief Is Joy by Lynn Van Matre (Chicago Tribune: Nov 23, 1975). Thanks to Rike, who discovered and contributed the article

“If the thing is authentic you tune into it immediately. You embrace it immediately. It includes you.” Leonard Cohen On Instinctively Resonating With Songs

I used to listen to that song [Suzanne] all the time. I didn’t fathom it at all but you’re saying I understood it simply because I enjoyed it instinctively.

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Yes. If the thing is authentic you tune into it immediately. You embrace it immediately. It includes you. That’s what I mean to say. The song also includes you because it’s really authentic. Afterwards you can say why it included you, but that’s not so important.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Interview / Leonard Cohen By Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld.

“Isn’t that wonderful when all the pieces fit?” Leonard Cohen Talks About The Impact Of Songs That Resonate

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It’s just how they [songs] resonate. You know they resonate with a truth that is hard to locate but which is operating with some force in your life. I often feel that about a Dylan song or a song even with Edith Piaf…the words are going too fast for me to really understand them in French but you feel that they are talking about something that is true, that you can’t locate by yourself and someone has located it for you and you just feel like you’ve put in the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle for that moment. That a moment has been clarified. The moment that you’re in at the moment that you’re listening to it. Yeah, the pieces fit…Isn’t that wonderful when all the pieces fit?quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s response to the comment by Lian Lunson, director of the I’m Your Man documentary (2005), that The Traitor was one of her favorite songs but “I can’t get my hands around what it’s about.” From Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters by Jeff Burger, (Chicago Review Press, Apr 1, 2014). Photo by Dominique BOILE.

Leonard Cohen On Being Asked About The “Burning Violin” In Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance me to your beauty
with a burning violin

Interviewer: What about the “burning violin” in “Dance Me To The End Of Love” ….

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Although I don’t think anyone needs to know what gave me that image, there were these little orchestras the Germans put together in concentration camps. They played while people were being incinerated or gassed. If you want to read the song from that point of view, it becomes something quite different.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: The Profits Of Doom by Steve Turner, Q (UK), April 1988.

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“The kind of surrender that is involved with love means that you have to take a wound also.” Leonard Cohen

foisdg2rnzmTS: Has you view of romance changed over the past twenty years, since you embarked on your songwriting career?

LC: Well, I think that it changes naturally, but I think that the position I took in some of those early songs is not so far from the position I take now.

TS: Which is?

LC: That the kind of surrender that is involved with love means that you have to take a wound also.

TS: Do you think that it’s a typical growth process, or that it’s more your own?

LC: I can’t believe that my predicament is unique.

From Stolen Moments: Leonard Cohen by Tom Schnabel. Acrobat Books, 1988. Photo by Antonio Olmos. Originally posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.