The Origins Of “Listen To The Hummingbird” From The Posthumous Leonard Cohen Thanks For The Dance Album

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Listen to the hummingbird
Whose wings you cannot see
Listen to the hummingbird
Don’t listen to me.

Listen to the butterfly
Whose days but number three
Listen to the butterfly
Don’t listen to me.

Listen to the mind of God
Which doesn’t need to be
Listen to the mind of God
Don’t listen to me.

 

Leonard Cohen

 

The posthumous Leonard Cohen album, Thanks For The Dance, will be released Nov 2019.  One of its tracks, “Listen To The Hummingbird” is based on a poem Leonard had been working on for years. (Also See Leonard Cohen’s Hummingbird: A Guest Post By Dianne V. Lawrence) It was first publicly mentioned as a “sweet little song … that [Leonard Cohen had] been working through,” quoted in Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016). Leonard recited these lines at the Oct 13, 2016 You Want It Darker Event in Los Angeles.

Leonard Cohen Recites “Listen To The Hummingbird”
Video by Allan Showalter

 

Other tracks from the Thanks For The Dance album are discussed at

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Oct 27, 2016.

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