A Tribute to Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

2016 has been an incredibly rough year from a personal, political, and musical standpoint. As the months wind down in this difficult year, a bit of heartbreak was devoted to mourning this week's loss of Leonard Cohen. As I did when we lost David Bowie at the start of the year, I wanted to say just a few words about what Mr. Cohen has meant to me over the years, as I'm sure he has meant something to many of you.

As with many of my musical learnings, I first learned of Leonard Cohen while poring over the imported British music rags I obsessively hoarded. There was always reverence when it came to Leonard. Deservedly so, of course. This beautiful, imperfect man made beautiful, pretty much perfect songs about a life that was full of regret, bittersweetness, honesty, and something a bit holy. It's really not a surprise that Cohen also had a gift for writing poetry; so many of his songs are essentially poems set to music. And his voice. Oh, heavens. What a voice. Who among us hasn't shed tears as the truth of Leonard Cohen's voice washed over us? His voice and his words could connect to so many, could connect to me in so many ways. To call his songs moving doesn't really do them justice, it just begins to scratch the surface, but it's true nonetheless.  

In losing Leonard Cohen, the music-loving world has truly lost some of its collective soul. But what a privilege to have been alive at the same time, as with all of our lost legends, to breathe the same air and feel some amazing things because of the genius that lived inside this person. Thank you, Leonard, for what you shared with us for so many years. You are missed, and you and your music will always be loved. 

[posted 11.12.16]


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