“My sense of proprietorship [of my songs] weakens as I get older. I’m happy the songs exist, that I know them & I know the chords and how to sing them.” Leonard Cohen

Cohen said he is more interested in the next song than pondering the legacy of his past work. He talked about how puzzled he was by McCartney’s decision a few years back to change the credits on certain Beatles classics to “McCartney & Lennon” as opposed to the familiar “Lennon & McCartney,” as if anyone didn’t know who wrote “Yesterday.” Cohen said he views his work from a different vantage point — his most famous songs now belong as much to the audience and to other singers as they do to him.


I find I’m feeling much friendlier to my earliest work than I ever did. There was a certain time when I knew that the audience wanted to hear ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,’ but I didn’t want to play [them]. Now I really do. I think that contrary to Sir Paul’s experience, my sense of proprietorship weakens as I get older. I’m happy the songs exist and that I know them and I know the chords and how to sing them.


Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen reborn in the U.S.A. by Geoff Boucher at Pop & Hiss, the L.A. Times music blog: February 27, 2009. Photo taken at the July 31, 2009 Leonard Cohen concert in León by Indiana Caba

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 Mar 24, 2018.

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