“In a good song, we find the answer to all life’s questions.” Leonard Cohen On The Essence Of Songs

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.



Leonard Cohen


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.

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