Leonard Cohen Traces Process From “Waiting For The Miracle” To “I’ve Cried Enough for You” To “I’m Your Man”

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I’m Your Man, that started off as a song about ‘waiting for the miracle.’ It had some funny lines in it like waiting for the miracle, there’s nothing left to do / I haven’t been this happy since the end of World War II. But I couldn’t sing it. I wasn’t waiting for the miracle, or maybe I was and I didn’t like the victimized position. Then it became a song called I’ve Cried Enough for You, where I was talking to myself, you know, I’ve never seen the sky so blue the grass so green the day so new / I can’t believe it but it must be true / I’ve cried enough for you. And that didn’t work. ‘Cause what I was really trying to say was, ‘I’ll do anything for you.’ But it took two or three more writings and recordings of the song to get to I’m Your Man, which is just a perfect little song. It was hard to get to those truths.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988

Leonard Cohen On Being Called “A Romantic”


Is it a misconception that all your songs are overly romantic?

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Well, if you examine the work I think you’ll find quite a realistic take on the whole matter. The notion I get of ‘romantic’ is someone who cherishes illusions. I think just a partial study of my songs — if anyone was actually bored enough to undertake such an enterprise — will discern that the illusions are few and far between. But if people want to call me romantic . . . there are worse things to be called.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy. Q, 1991. Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

“I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer.” Leonard Cohen


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I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer. When I was a kid I always had this fantasy of singing with a band. We’d have get-togethers and I’d sing ‘Racing with the Moon,’ stuff like that. I just don’t think one would have bothered to write if one could have really lifted one’s voice in song. But that wasn’t my voice. This is my voice.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

“Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough” By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Photo by Johann Agust Hansen.

Leonard Cohen Responds To “Why I Write the Same Old Song”

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I think any artist — writer, singer, or painter — has only one or two paintings that he does over and over. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Yakety Yak” by Scott Cohen (1994). Ad image atop this post contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted May 21, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Explains Why There Are Two Limos In Chelsea Hotel #2

Why are there two limos [in Chelsea Hotel #2]?

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One for each of us. We’re both waiting to leave. We’re both killing time or something.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

Leonard Cohen Differentiates Songwriting And Torture

Question: In song-writing, the idea of longing, of being in search of an answer, of questing for some unquestionable truth, is often, I think, seen as signifying a state of frustration and unhappiness, and even delusion – which maddens me. The potter and the sculptor shape, hone, rework – and these habits and routines are rarely likened to serving a sentence, or being forced endlessly to stare into the same abyss. Rather, the pursuit seems noble, stoical, and capable of producing a state of serenity. Do you accept that the song-writer is, of all artists, the most likely to be labelled ‘Tortured’?

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As I write this, there are human beings being tortured. Let us not trivialize the unspeakable horror by adding songwriting to the category.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. While portions of that questionnaire were incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016); this specific response was not used in the final article.

Leonard Cohen Lists Possible Responses To “For You’ve Touched Her Perfect Body With Your Mind:” “You say ‘Yeah, that’s the way it is,’ or you puke.”

Perhaps your most famous line is, “For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind” from “Suzanne.” Is it special to you?

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People have quoted that a lot. It’s one of those lines where you either say, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it is,’ or you puke.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

“[Songwriting] comes down to nudging the guy next to you and saying, ‘That’s the way, isn’t it?’” Leonard Cohen

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How did I ever get into this racket? I dunno! What am I exactly doing in it? I don’t know. I haven’t got a clue. I think it just comes down to nudging the guy next to you and saying, ‘That’s the way, isn’t it?’ They can either agree or not agree. One is continually trying to affirm something with the man in the next seat. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

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From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).  Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. Originally posted Feb 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric