So Long, Leonard


I was in my early twenties, still living in my mother’s home.

I was sitting at my computer, and I was listening to Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man. It was released in 1988, and became a favourite of college kids. Cohen had embraced drum machines and synthesizers on the album, and songs like “First We Take Manhattan,” “Everybody Knows” and “Tower of Song” had helped introduce him to a new audience.

On this night, I was listening to I’m Your Man like I’d done countless times before. I knew it fairly well, to say the least. For some reason though, on this particular night, when the song “Take This Waltz” began playing, I paused whatever I was doing and just listened.

And I started to weep.

I’m not talking about a tear or two. This was outright weeping. For no clear reason. Maybe it was the melody. Perhaps it was the lyrics, which amazingly enough, weren’t written by Cohen. Instead, he had adapted a poem from Federico Garcia Lorca to music. It’s a beautiful lyric with beautiful music.

Powerful enough to move one to tears.

Leoanrd Cohen has passed away at the age of 82, two weeks after releasing his last album, You Want It Darker. I’m listening to it right now. It’s another brilliant piece of work.

I saw him perform many times. I have all his albums.

I will miss him dearly.

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