O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

So Long, Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen has died in California aged 82

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lee Paul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2016
so long, leonard

And now you Leonard.

Leonard Cohen was one of the ones for me. One of the ones that meant something, that meant something could change. When you don't have an older sister or brother or mom or pop into music, when you're a kid and you're beginning to find your own post-punk way beyond daytime radio one, when pop music's immense tapestry begins to roll out afore you, woven near the beginning, if you're lucky, near the top will be The Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

From it's opening moment, where Suzanne takes you down to her place by the river, right up until now, you'll never hear anything else quite like that.

From a room above a bakery where the air was full of the smell of fresh bread, there wrapped in a blanket, in the afternoon, over sugary coffee by a two bar electric fire,  from there to here all down the years,  only separated by distance and time. Suzanne, helped me think about intimacy in a way I hadn't before, Suzanne helped me understand the profundity and the privilege of sharing something someone can feel.  Then the mundane. The whistling of the kettle. The rain on the window outside. No longer certain what to say. More than any poet, Leonard Cohen sang damn sexy songs that's for sure. There's no test of time for The Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Whatever, how the hell to eulogize a poet who had all the words to begin with...

I'm still most fond of the story of Leonard Cohen refusing the most important Canadian Governor General's Literary Award and pressed about why, he simply said, with maxed-out eloquence, "I don't know".  There's the whole story here (Mordecai Richler Threatens to Punch Leonard Cohen in the Nose)

Essential Info
Photo: from Flickr by David Evers

see more stories from outsideleft's Sports Sex & Health archive »»

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Of Montreal: Contessa Under Pressure
Kevin Barnes is a man who finds the soul inside the woman inside the man on Of Montreal's latest pop masterpiece.
Lee Scratch Perry: Looney Orbiter in Dub
The Upsetter, circling the mortal plane, chuckling and grumbling, makes a pit stop on Earth with Scratch Came, Scratch Saw, Scratch Conquered
30 from... 17,16, 15 Laraaji, Tinariwen & Hannah Peel
Three more of the greats, says Jason as he works his way to #1.
Outsideleft's Top 50 of the Year So Far
Lamont's birthday list penance, he compiles The top 50 most popular stories of the year so far. Well, you read 'em
Alys in the Cities
Graham Parker's ex-sax player told me a rumor about a Francis Alys exhbition in London
Shelter Me, Already
You will fall in love with Ray LaMontagne. I'm just warning you.
Some of our favorite things...