Even if it wasn’t new material, it would have a freshness, There were many songs he would rework and then re-evaluate. He wrote 50 verses for ‘Hallelujah’ and then distilled them to what they are now. Leonard was always scratching away in a notebook with that impeccable handwriting of his. If you asked him what he was working on, he’d give only a little detail away. It seemed to be a private process, and I respected that. Sometimes he’d reveal that the new song he’d brought to rehearsal was derived from an old idea. Often, they’d change shape as we worked on them. You could still hear the essence, but it was a totally different presentation of the song. It was very exhilarating to be part of that evolutionary process.
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 Apr 24, 2018.