Thursday, June 25, 2009

Leonard Cohen

For my 75th birthday my daughter gave me a 2 part disc of the essential songs of Leonard Cohen. He chose from his repertoire and though I am not sure why, he didn't include some of the favorites. I suppose he's entitled, since he is my age and therefore taking the long view, thinking elegiac thoughts and trying to clean up his legacy. He is my favorite poet. He sings from the heart; he is not obscure;he pronounces his words so you understand easily; and his music is exciting and novel. His books are a diary of his life and the changes that have been wrought as he has evolved into a Canadian Icon. Though some of his poetry is dirty and some opaque, there is a constant sense of honesty and humanity, a constant sense of humility, uxoriousness and at times despair with the world and himself. Welcome to the world of candour, I say. That's why he speaks to so many! Who would have 'thunk' that success would be reinvented for him in this day and age with it's love of virtual reality. Few, and then, least of all him! His modesty becomes him at the present time. The pianist makes fun of his voice and says his songs are for men. A man's songster! That may be the case, but Jennifer Warnes and kd Lang are acolytes as well. That may be the case but the attendance at his concerts belie that opinion. Whatever he has, he has it in spades!

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