Having read a recent Guardian newspaper Great Lyricists supplement on Leonard Cohen, I was reminded not only of the genius of his songs/poetry, but also his sense of humour. I know he is widely considered to be one of the most depressing singers of recent times, and his music is often unkindly referred to as ideal to commit suicide to.
However there is a lighter side to Cohen as illustrated by my one of my favourite lines at the very beginning of First We Take Manhattan, his hit single from the 1988 album I’m Your Man; “They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom, For trying to change the system from within”. And in “Tower of Song,” Cohen sings ironically that he was “born with the gift/ Of a golden voice”
It would be a mistake to pretend that it is all sweetness and light. A listen to Dress Rehearsal Rag on Songs Of Love And Hate from 1971 is not for the faint hearted.
But Cohen is also something of a romantic, as proved by my favourite line of all from Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye on the 1967 album Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “Your hair on the pillow like a sleepy golden storm”.