“[Light As The Breeze] emphasizes the temporary, fleeting comfort that this congress brings. Nevertheless, when you’ve had a moment of comfort you return to the struggle with the residue of the experience.” Leonard Cohen

Light As The Breeze shows Leonard drawing his sustenance from womankind.

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It emphasizes the temporary, fleeting comfort that this congress brings. Nevertheless, when you’ve had a moment of comfort you return to the struggle with the residue of the experience. It enables you to shoulder things better.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993). Photo by xrayspx.

Leonard Cohen On His Songs

Leonard Cohen’s comments on his songs, organized by song title, are collected at Leonard Cohen On His Songs

“I do not think it matters much what a writer says about his work. The work becomes independent, leads a life of its own.” Leonard Cohen On Sisters Of Mercy

Interviewer: Another story is that of Barbara and Lorraine, two girls, who provided hospitality to Cohen when he was lost in a blizzard in Edmonton, Alberta in ’66. He tells that story whenever he begins Sisters of Mercy, because he wrote that song for those girls and in their sleeping presence. I never believed that story so much. I always took the song as a song about a brothel. I tell him that.

Leonard Cohen: I always dedicate that song to those girls, because it really happened as I say – we did not make love, but I wrote while they slept. But maybe you are right. I do not think it matters much what a writer says about his work. The work becomes independent, leads a life of its own. For you this is about something else for someone else. I’ve told you what it’s all about for me.

Interviewer: In the evening at the concert in Amsterdam, Leonard recounts the story of the two girls again, but adds:

Leonard Cohen: It’s not an allegory, it’s exactly what happened.

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23,. [Via Google Translate]. Photo by Sam Gray and copyrighted by Sam Gray with all rights reserved.  Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.

“Why Don’t You Try is, like many of my songs, written for a woman. It’s not about meeting or saying goodbye, but about who you stay with.” Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23, 1974. [Via Google Translate]. Photo by Pete Purnell. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.

Note: Leonard Cohen’s thoughts on his music, organized by song title, can be found at Leonard Cohen On His Songs

Q: What do you think rock is? Leonard Cohen: “I think it’s a huge collection of bundled energy that is constantly growing and coming from all kinds of different musical forms and all kinds of different ideas and philosophies. Exactly what it is cannot be explained.”

More of Leonard’s thoughts on rock music can be found at “Rock is where I feel at home. Besides, I like disguises” Leonard Cohen On His Music Being Categorized As Rock.

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23, 1974. [Via Google Translate]. The image atop this post is the cover of Rock & Folk No. 131, Dec 1977 (illustration by Dominique Lechaud) from the private collection of Dominique BOILE. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.

“I always used to work hard [at songwriting]. But I had no idea what hard work was until something changed in my mind… I don’t really know what it was. Maybe some sense that this whole enterprise is limited, that there was an end in sight… That you were really truly mortal.” Leonard Cohen (1992)

From a 1992 interview with Leonard Cohen published in Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo. Da Capo Press: 1997. Photo by Paul Zollo. Originally posted Aug 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Writing songs is] a tedious process at the beginning but then it becomes obsessional.”Leonard Cohen

flwrshitler

What is your writing routine like?

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I usually carry a notebook, jot down a few things. A musical phrase arises. I try to marry them. A tedious process at the beginning but then it becomes obsessional and the hours go by.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Online Web Chat October 16, 2001. Image from back cover of Flowers for Hitler by Leonard Cohen, Jonathan Cape (UK): 1973. Photo by Sophie Baker.

“[My life] doesn’t have many events, so the song has to come out of some other place. It’s not an event and it’s not a message, it’s another kind of colour.” Leonard Cohen

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My life seems empty. I’m not saying this in any sense of despair. I mean the quality is empty. It doesn’t have many events, so the song has to come out of some other place. It’s not an event and it’s not a message, it’s another kind of colour.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Behind The Enigma By Tony Wilson. New Musical Express: March 25, 1972. Photo by Lars Sandblom.