Another Maestro Passes, Songs Never Die.

Encountering Suzanne

One day a few decades ago while living photo of Leonard Cohen on album cover in the staff residence of Purdysburn Hospital where I trained, a guitar-backed voice drifted along the corridor and filled the atmosphere of my little box room with such a haunting power that I literally stood still to listen. It was my first encounter with Leonard Cohen singing Suzanne.

My friend Edyth had just bought an LP of this master of lyrics and beautiful melancholic melody and once my obligatory cassette tape copy was manufactured, Leonard Cohen became my ‘go to’ artist for many years to come.

To date there is much commentary around Cohen’s prophetic words and their poignancy for the conditions of contemporary humanity but my purpose here is to pay tribute to an artist who enriched my life and helped strengthen my spirit, and to declare both sadness that his life has ended as well as joy that his songs will live forever. Like David Bowie, another Maestro lost this year, his work is woven into my Self in a multitude of ways. Yet professing this devotion often brought forth responses that were characteristically stereotyped comments along the lines of darkness, gloom, foreboding and nihilism. Not for me, though. I have always found Leonard Cohen’s songs enchanting and uplifting. They always bring me joy.

Warm Words

Laura Barton’s obituary for Cohen on The Guardian’s music blog takes the same view. To describe him as a ‘miserabilist’ is ‘to miss entirely the warmth of his words’, which, she elaborates, ‘run at the same temperature as blood.’ What animates Leonard Cohen’s offering is the joy beyond pain, the lesson in the challenge, the solution within the problem, the beauty within the chaos. As Barton reminds us, he echoes the wisdom of Rumi in his song Anthem 

 ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’.

So to the songs that stick with me most:

  • The Partisan
  • Famous Blue Raincoat
  • Suzanne
  • Hallelujah
  • So Long Marianne
  • The Sisters of Mercy
  • Lady Midnight
  • Who By Fire
  • Dance Me to the End of Love
  • Hey, that’s no way to say Goodbye

Tibetan Book of the Dead Narration

Some time ago I found a documentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead perfectly enriched by Leonard Cohen’s voice as the narrator, so this is what I’m watching now as  my memorial to another Maestro gone from the world. Check it out, it’s a profound exploration of life meaning and enrichment of the human spirit through meditative practice and Buddhist teachings. There is an empathy and wisdom in Cohen’s voice that makes this film a celebration of life in the midst of physical death. I wish him well on his journey and thank him for the songs.

 

Songs Never Die

 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Another Maestro Passes, Songs Never Die. – lampmagician
  2. lampmagician
    Nov 13, 2016 @ 14:35:15

    Reblogged this on lampmagician.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

complexwales.wordpress.com/

Creating the space for other people to do something useful.

just write 4radio

The Site for Radio Drama Writers by John Morrison

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Bullet Point Reading

Key Takeaways From Books!

Witchcraft & Wicca

Children Of Artemis

Tim Verdouw

Product Reviews

Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado

Academic, Critic, and Editor

The Bookworm Shelf

Come forth into a fairytale world.

ADITI MALIK

Parenting Educator

irishjournalamcp.wordpress.com/

Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

A Pearl Clutcher

cultural commentary from a pearl-clutching hysteric

Edoardo Magnotta

Benvenuti nella Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale

FM Design

Contemporary architectural design for hospitality, heritage, retail and home

Web Design and Content Creation

Web Design, SEO & Copywriting in Kent

Charlotte Sheridan

Coaching Psychologist, Writer and Photographer

No Wasted Ink

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

Children's Book Writer

A resource for writers

Jimmy's Internet Marketing Business Blog

Using Internet Marketing to drive new clients to your business

TV Channel Info

Resources for TV Channel Developers

DAILY MOTIVATION

Be your true self.

Dr. Eric Perry’s Blog

Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

FM Design

contemporary interior and exterior design for hospitality, arts venues and commercial retail

Positiveshores

shared experiences of mental health and wellbeing support through the eyes of a youth mentor and teacher aide

IMSuccess.me

Internet Marketing - Product Reviews and Trending Articles

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

Townlands of Ulster

Exploring County Down with my camera, one townland at a time

The Familiar Strange

A blog. A podcast. A social fact.

CinePunked

Love Film | Talk Film | Know Film

Roberta McDonnell

Writing | Researching | Marketing

The Ogham Stone

The Best Writing By New and Established Writers

wake up and smell the humans

The website of Sean Crawley

Asylum

John Self's Shelves

ALEPOLL'S ART

Artwork and Illustrations by Alessandra Pollicini

The Book Addict's Guide to MBTI:

Literary, Historical & Fictional MBTI

Christoph’s Content Corner

Content strategy, livestreaming/podcasting and content marketing tips

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'

Wildly and Dangerously Free

The Map is not the Territory, the Word is not the thing it describes

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

spanishwoods

thoughts from the forest

%d bloggers like this: