Good songs have the ability to touch the heart in its pains and failures. But they also help to wash dishes or serve as a backdrop to romance. They can do everything. They have the power to appease, to give courage. When a song seems to speak of suffering, it is because you are suffering yourself. In fact, I was rather in a good mood and feeling good about myself when I wrote the songs in Old Ideas. But I think that in all the songs that we love deeply, there is always a certain sadness. The joyous Jingle Bells, sung slowly, can become very melancholy. Happy Birthday sung by Marilyn Monroe turns into haunting erotic invitation … A song is like tofu: it takes the flavor and taste of the broth in which it is soaked. In a good song, we find the answer to all life’s questions.
From Les bonnes vieilles idées de Leonard Cohen by Hugo Cassavetti (Telerama: Jan 16, 2012) via Google Translate. Photo by googoojue.
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 July 2, 2018.