Leonard Cohen At The Twitter End: The Post-Thanksgiving Edition


Guest Author: Helen Ketcham

Helen “Legs” Ketcham is an ex-cancan dancer turned bauxite prospector who augments her income by carving extraordinarily difficult jigsaw puzzles exclusively from willow trees grown along the shores of the Danube River. She has contemplated publishing a book of essays on the metaphysics of mediastudies, three novels, and a slim volume of poetry and has purchased a jacket with patches on the elbows in anticipation of these events, but has never smoked a pipe. She currently lives with her two dogs, a cat named Slim, two spouses, both of whom are also named Slim, and an indeterminate number of children of indeterminate parentage. In her spare time, she pens articles on Leonard Cohen, Lady Gaga, and Herman’s Hermits and home brews exotic, asparagus-infused beers.

Leonard Cohen In The Twittersphere

DrHGuy was kind enough to invite me to put together some of the Leonard Cohen-related posts I’ve found on Twitter, the microblogging site (limit per tweet: 140 characters [at time of original posting]). I agreed with scary alacrity; these tweets offer a unique window into the ways that Leonard Cohen’s work has been woven into the lives of his fans.

Thanks For The Tweets

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving (in the United States, at least; we’re tardy compared to the Canadians), I offer a selection of tweets on Leonard Cohen, Family, and Thanks.

  • Family life with the addition of Leonard Cohen can be sublime: thoughts of my mother and her consoling bosom. the smell of homemade cheesecake and the sound of Leonard Cohen
  • Que mi padre me reciba con los macarrones churruscados y leonard cohen a toda paleta es lo más bonito que han hecho hoy por mí.
    [My father welcoming me with fried macaroni and Leonard Cohen playing full blast is the nicest thing that anyone’s done for me today.]
  • One time when I was small mum and I just cuddled each other to sleep listening to Leonard Cohen, it was the most wonderful thing.

As anyone who’s ever been in a family can imagine, it can also be… awkward.

  • Is there anything more embarrassing than hearing your dad cover Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Future’ — “Give me crack & anal sex.”
  • My mother has called my program to request Leonard Cohen. I really wish she wouldn’t try to force class in amongst the trash I play.
  • Yes, my grandmother now sings dirty (modified) Leonard Cohen lyrics to my cat. What have I created?

Twitter gives us glimpses into the early education of the next generation of Leonard Cohen’s fans:

  • Let your 5-year-old listen to Leonard Cohen singing “Everybody Knows” and there will be a LOT of questions. “His dog just died?”
  • Reading #LeonardCohen poetry to my 3-month-old. She listens. She smiles.
  • My daughter dancing to Leonard Cohen in the sunlight. Beautiful.

More than a few Cohen fans would like to be on familial terms with him, or feel as though they already are:

  • Ahora que no tengo abuelos me gustaría que el Sr. Leonard Cohen me adoptara como nieto.
    [Now that I don’t have grandparents I’d like Mr. Leonard Cohen to adopt me as a grandson.]
  • My mum’s dinner guest just revealed he hates Amy Winehouse and Leonard Cohen and I feel as though he just insulted my family #pleaseleave

But Mr. Cohen does, of course, have a family of his own:

  • Leonard Cohen please do a duet with Adam Cohen please please please

This heartfelt triple plea can only be followed by equally heartfelt triple thanks:

  • LeonardCohen inimitabile. grazie grazie grazie
    [Inimitable Leonard Cohen, thank you thank you thank you]

The thankfulness extends to the man’s country:

  • Canada, thanks for Leonard Cohen, @J_Bekk, @DanielleLaPorte, Ryan Gosling, basketball, manners, maple syrup. Please take @justinbieber back?

But this appreciation, I think, says it all:

  • Dear Leonard Cohen, thank you for being punk rock and awesome. xoxo, Ariel


Note: Although Twitter is a public site, accessible worldwide, I have chosen to remove the @usernames which identify the accounts from which these tweets originated. If one of these gems is yours, I hope you won’t mind too much having your work attributed to the greatest and most prolific writer the world has ever known. I refer, of course, to “Anon.”

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 Dec 8, 2013.

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