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A talented Canadian writer, poet, singer and artist



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What relevance does Leonard Cohen have to New York or Central Park (and therefore B&B)?
 You might be surprised.

fanfic

Late in the evening of July 21, 1967 (8:30 pm - 10:30 pm), Leonard Cohen took the stage in his first public performance.
The event was the Rheingold Music Festival, held at the Wollman Rink in New York's Central Park.
It ran several nights a week over June, July and August, featuring 82 jazz, blues and folk artists.
Cohen is billed with Judy Collins, but was introduced by Joni Mitchell.
Both singers helped launch his career.


Read more about the festival HERE


rink  poster fest 1967


Leonard Cohen's poetry and songs speak to all of us.
They naturally resonate with fans of B&B too ...


Dance

Angie


In Streams of Light

Cindy Rae


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Tribute Cross-Stitch

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"Only in Canada could somebody with a voice like mine win 'Vocalist of the Year'"

(First words of his speech accepting the Juno Award for Best Male Vocalist in Canada -1992)

There's no doubt he deserved awards for his many wonderful, immortal poems turned to song
...

 Suzanne (1967)

mp3
transcript
Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye (1967)

mp3 transcript
So Long Marianne (1968)

mp3 transcript
Bird on the Wire (1979)

mp3 transcript
First We Take Manhattan (1986)

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Dance Me to the End of Love (1988)

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Hallelujah (1991)
mp3 transcript
Democracy  (1992)
mp3 transcript
A Thousand Kisses Deep (1998)
mp3 transcript
And from another Canadian, Nancy White, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Leonard Cohen from 1990

"Leonard Cohen's Never Gonna Bring My Groceries In"


mp3 transcript


She also wrote a slightly more serious song ...


GET DOWN OFFA THAT!

Nancy White wrote this song for the CBC Radio One
Birthday special and performed it on Leonard's
65th birthday on September 21, 1999.


Oh, Leonard's up the mountain now
He's in some monastery
So, damn it all
He's more than ever
Out of reach to me
But, hey, what could I say
To a wise old monk like that
Hey, Leonard, does this robe make me look fat

Oh, Leonard's up the mountain now
He rises before dawn
But even though he's far away
He's not really gone
I see him in The Globe and Mail
I see him on TV
As yet another hapless video crew
Goes panting up the path to Mt. Baldy

And we catch him in the kitchen
Washing out his humble bowl
As he tries to purge his body
Of the nights of rock 'n' roll
And ladies all around the world say
"We don't mind the Zen"
But, Leonard, let your hair grow long again

It seems to me the world has lots of monks and meditators
And some come up with brand-new thoughts
And some are just translators
But what the world needs now is Leonard Cohen as he was
'Cause nobody loves women truly madly deeply
Like our Leonard does

Oh, Leonard, how we crave your love
We're waiting at some station
Pretending we're the ones receiving your sweet admiration
We're not religious but if you walked in we'd say, "Amen"
But, Leonard, let your hair grow long again
And for the record from The Sisters
Happy, holy, sacred, awesome birthday, Brother Len

~


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Recitation



You came to me this morning and you handled me like meat.
You’d have to be a man to know how good that feels, how sweet.
My mirrored twin, my next of kin, I’d know you in my sleep
and who but you would take me in, a thousand kisses deep.


I loved you when you opened like a lily to the heat,
you see I’m just another snowman standing in the rain and sleet,
 who loved you with his frozen love, his second hand physique,
with all he is, and all he was,

A thousand kisses deep.

I know you had to lie to me, I know you had to cheat,
to pose all hot and high behind the veils of shear deceit,
our perfect porn aristocrat so elegant and cheap,
I’m old but I’m still into that,

A thousand kisses deep.

I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, it' s in between I freeze.
Been working out, but its too late, it’s been to late for years.
But you look good, you really do, they love you on the street.
If you were here I’d kneel for you,
a thousand kisses deep.

The autumn moved across your skin, got something in my eye,
a light that doesn’t need to live, and doesn’t need to die.

A riddle in the book of love, obscure and obsolete,
till witnessed here in time and blood,

A thousand kisses deep.

And I'm still working with the wine, still dancing cheek to cheek,
the band is playing Auld Lang Syne, but the heart will not retreat.

I ran with Diz and I sang with Ray, I never had their sweep,
 but once or twice they let me play

A thousand kisses deep.

I loved you when you opened like a lily to the heat,
you see, I'm just another snowman standing in the rain and sleet,
who loved you with his frozen love, his second hand physique,
with all he is, and all he was,

A thousand kisses deep.

But you don’t need to hear me now,
and every word I speak, it counts against me anyhow,

A thousand kisses deep.

~

Listen to the audio HERE

In 1966, Leonard Cohen visited the 92nd Street Y in New York City to read several poems and perform one song that would become an all-time classic. In this excerpt, Cohen reads two poems – “For E.J.P” and “You Have the Lovers” – and performs “The Stranger Song,” which became popular in 1967, with the release of Cohen’s debut album 'Songs of Leonard Cohen'.
Listen to the recording HERE

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I Have Not Lingered In European Monasteries
(from "The Spice-Box of Earth"
)

I have not lingered In European monasteries
and discovered among the tall grasses tombs of knights
who fell as beautifully as their ballads tell;
I have not parted the grasses
or purposefully left them thatched.

I have not held my breath
so that I might hear the breathing of God
or tamed my heartbeat with an exercise,
or starved for visions.
Although I have watched him often
I have not become the heron,
leaving my body on the shore,
and I have not become the luminous trout,
leaving my body in the air.

I have not worshipped wounds and relics,
or combs of iron,
or bodies wrapped and burnt in scrolls.

I have not been unhappy for ten thousands years.
During the day I laugh and during the night I sleep.
My favourite cooks prepare my meals,
my body cleans and repairs itself,
and all my work goes well.

~


images

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videos



You Want it Darker (2016) Closing Time (1992) Everybody Knows
Sound of Silence (reading Paul Simon) Chelsea Hotel (Elegy for Janis Joplin) (1967) The Gypsy's Wife (for Natalie Wood)

In 2014, a wedding ceremony in Oldcastle, Ireland, featured a singing pastor who adapated his own version of Cohen's Hallelujah.
Watch the video HERE


The last interview, September 2016, with David Remnick of The New Yorker,  HERE





links

Official Site  Concordance
 Wikipedia  Facebook
Cohencentric
A poignant closing commentary comes from Maclean's magazine, a Canadian publication which often featured him.
This article is about the production of his last album,  "You Want it Darker"
released in September 2016
. Read it HERE

Browse the Maclean's archive on Leonard Cohen HERE


 





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