Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leonard Cohen

If I got the cats now, I'd name them Leonard Cohen.  One would be Leonard and the other one would be Cohen, I'm not picky on which would be which.  I know Townes Van Zandt (who wrote Pancho and Lefty, the song from which the cats get their names) has been extremely influential, but for me personally, Mr Cohen has had a far greater influence.

I started paying attention to music with types like Springsteen, Bowie and early Everything But the Girl.  Moved through the Cowboy Junkies, Holly Cole, John Hiatt, Aztec Camera, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat and others to hit upon good ole Leonard when I lived in South Carolina.  I think many of my favorite artists name Cohen as a major influence.  There's a tribute CD called Tower of Song, where multiple artists sing Cohen songs that I listened to non-stop for months on my 45-minute commute from Camden to work at Sumter and back.  Lest you think I'm all sad music and stuff, I've also been through the Weakerthans, the Shins, the Killers, Faithless, Jane's Addiction, Rilo Kiley, Magneta Lane, and even more hellacious bands. 

Cohen's quite the lyricist. His songs are the ones that grow and change with the listening.  Years later, I hear different things than I heard when I listened to them before.

I have so many favorites - just now I've spent too much time looking at lyrics trying to decide which to post, so gotta just put something up. Here's a few lines from a song called, "Hallelujah,"  for the rest, you'll have to look it up, or listen to Leonard Cohen sing it.

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah


  1. I sometimes miss cats, but I do not miss catboxes, so I guess I'll have to adjust the thought one way or another. Glad you have yours and they've proven to be effective! You could probably change their names...do cats actually come when you call their names?? Or just when you shake their Friskies?!?!?

  2. Did you see the Leonard Cohen special on PBS?

    Real good stuff.

  3. Karen Sue - my cats do know their names and come when called. They are attention whores. I made the multiple name mistake on one of my first cats, I named him something, and then named him Joe Palooka, but in the end he was just Kitty.

    Kate - I had no idea! I'll have to see if Netflix has it. I've seen a movie about him called I'm Your Man.

  4. That could be it. It was recent, maybe done in '08, in London. I saw it over the summer on Vermont public television.