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Friday, 11 November 2016

Farewell My Friend




2016 hasn't been a good year for stars of the entertainment business. First there was David Bowie, then Prince, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood, and now Leonard Cohen.

I came into Cohen's world quite late. Around 1994, when an old neighbour of mine lent me his copy of 'The Future'. I played it a couple of times and was hooked.  A bleak musical look into how the world might be if we go on the way we are. Some deep and meaningful lyrics. Not just the usual "I love you baby" songs.

So I searched out his back catalogue and found great songs like 'Suzanne', 'First We Take Manhattan', 'The Tower of Song', and of course 'Hallelujah'. Songs about love, death, power, alienation. Certainly something special in all those lyrics of his.

Sadly I woke up this morning to the news that Leonard hadn't. But at 82, it wasn't unexpected. In fact I read somewhere that he was getting prepared for it. His latest and 14th album "You Want It Darker" was only released three weeks ago.

I was going to put the album on my Christmas present list, but out of love and respect for the Canadian poet, I bought it today and am plying it whilst writing this. The title track is quite religious in a way and illustrates through words the state of the world today. It even includes the line "I'm ready my Lord", which probably means that I am now prepared for death and waiting to go.

Besides not making anymore albums, I'm sad that I never got to see him in concert. So I'll just have to make do with videos on YouTube, and pretend that I'm in the audience.

So he's now taken up residence in the Tower of Song, where I'm sure his gravelly voice will be welcome to those that like his style of music.