Leonard Cohen Explains Why Bird On The Wire “Is So Important To Me”


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The song [Bird On The Wire] is so important to me. It’s that one verse where I say that I swear by this song, and by all that I have done wrong, I’ll make it all up to thee. In that verse it’s a vow that I’ll try and redeem everything that’s gone wrong. I think I’ve made it too many times now, but I like to keep renewing it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Regrets (1973) by Alastair Pirrie. Beat Patrol: December 30, 2008. [Originally written for the New Musical Express: March 10, 1973.] Originally posted Nov 19, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There doesn’t seem to be any way to guarantee the poem…” Leonard Cohen On Poems


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The fact that the lines don’t come to the end of the page does not guarantee the poem. And the fact that there is a highly urgent and irrefutable intention to be a poet also does not guarantee the poem. So there doesn’t seem to be any way to guarantee the poem, it seems to be the verdict of the people who read it, and this itself is not secure because each generation changes that verdict on what is poetry.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Pondering His Past and ‘The Future’ by Scott Crawford (Intermission, Stanford Daily: April 8, 1993). Image atop post is the back cover of Flowers For Hitler. Originally posted Oct 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It was a strange song indeed; it was out of myself and contained the notion of reverence.” Leonard Cohen On Joan of Arc


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[Joan of Arc] was a strange song indeed; it was out of myself and contained the notion of reverence. When I recorded that song I will admit to having a strong religious feeling. I don’t think it’ll happen again.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Regrets (1973) by Alastair Pirrie. Beat Patrol: December 30, 2008. [Originally written for the New Musical Express: March 10, 1973.] Originally posted Nov 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Writing Songs, Not Slogans


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I don’t have to have a song called ‘Give Peace a Chance’. I could write a song about conflict and, if I sang it in a peaceful way, then it would have the same message. I don’t like these slogan writers.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Regrets (1973) by Alastair Pirrie. Beat Patrol: December 30, 2008. [Originally written for the New Musical Express: March 10, 1973.] Originally posted Nov 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“This song is a direct response to the boredom, to the anxiety, to the sense of weightlessness, that I feel in my daily life.” Leonard Cohen On First We Take Manhattan


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This song is a direct response to the boredom, to the anxiety, to the sense of weightlessness, that I feel in my daily life. I don’t know whether anybody else feels this way. I suspect some people do feel this way – that the world has disappeared, that the catastrophe has already taken place, that the flood has already come, that we don’t have to wait for the nuclear holocaust, that the world has been destroyed somehow. But you can’t take these ideas with you on the street.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

I’m Your Man, by Alberto Manzano (Rockdelux (Spain): May 1988)

“Hineni, Hineni; I’m Ready, My Lord” Leonard Cohen On The “Willingness To Serve”


In You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen sings “Hineni, hineni; I’m ready, my lord,” which was Abraham’s response when God called on him to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is also the name of a prayer of preparation and humility, addressed to God, sung by the cantor on behalf of the congregation on Rosh Hashanah. At the Oct 13, 2016 L.A., press event, Leonard talked about using “hineni” in the lyrics of his new album’s title song to reference a “willingness to serve” that is – in the right circumstances – universal to humanity.