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On the Passing of Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen

338 words

My first encounter with a Leonard Cohen song was in October of 1982. I had invited a Polish exchange student to a party in my fraternity house room. He came with an acoustic guitar and played and sang Cohen’s “Suzanne,” a song from the 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen. It was my third year at Alliance College. I was struck by the sublime beauty of the song. I wanted to hear this man sing. At the time he was at a low point in his career, with very little audience beyond Europe, especially beyond Poland, where he was adored. So it was difficult to find an album in northwestern Pennsylvania. However, I was able to find his first two albums at the record store in the Eire mall.

When I got back to Cambridge Springs, the home of Alliance College, I ran up to my room and placed his first album on the turntable. What a disappointment: his voice was awful, monotonous and morose. Yet his lyrics had the literary sensibility of a well-schooled poet, which I later learned he was. I began listening to his first two albums daily for two years and drove everyone crazy at the fraternity house.

Cohen was my first teacher in the craft of poetry, which I learned by osmosis, not knowing at the time I would become a poet. I listened to him regularly for 20 years. I stopped in 2002 after having become awakened to the Jewish question. I came to the conclusion that his songs had become an addiction and should be listened to rarely, although I still considered him one of the greatest song writers since the 1960s, up there with Cat Stevens and Tom Waits.

I doubt Cohen cared about the future of white homelands, but was rather a quintessential Jew, who wrote and sang songs to make a living. Some say he’d even been a C.I.A. operative, having gone to Cuba during the 1959 Castro revolution. (

Hereunder are some of his best songs:





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  1. inspector general
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    He wrote some great ones. I perform “Suzanne” “That’s No Way to Say Good-bye”, “Sisters of Mercy” often. I agree with your assessment. Fine poet, but a strange droning voice–which occasionally was just what the song needed.

  2. ex occidente
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Incidentially, I had these lines from a Cohen song on my mind these last couple of days:

    First we take Manhattan,
    then we take Berlin.

    May it this time become true for our side.

  3. John McKenna
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I respect his work, his poetry and his understated delivery. Whether Jewish in origin or not one must still remain objective of the worthiness of his work. While there are aspects of his song writing that tell tales of engaging in degeneracy he most certainly one of the more dignified performers in our time a trait I’d rather see amongst our own rather than those desperately clamouring for attention.

    Leonard changed his faith many times but like of his persuasion seems to settle for universalism and that is the predominant message of his work. That is what I find myself in most disagreement with.

  4. Satiros
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    “First we take Manhattan then we take berlin”
    The whole jewish century in one phrase 🙂

  5. Peter Quint
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I only know one of his songs, but when I heard it I knew that this was someone who knew what was really going on. This is the first stanza of his song “Everybody Knows,” which is about the white man’s loss of WWII, and jewish domination:

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows

  6. oberwart
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    It seems he was a snake on the personal level:

  7. Posted November 12, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Obviously art should be appreciated regardless of the background of the artist – if it’s good, it’s good. The few Cohen songs I know, I all like.

    However, there’s one song of his I’m aware of with a very anti-White undertone, which makes me doubt he was as apolitical as the article indicates.

    “The Future”

    Give me back my broken night
    my mirrored room, my secret life
    it’s lonely here,
    there’s no one left to torture
    Give me absolute control
    over every living soul
    And lie beside me, baby,
    that’s an order!
    Give me crack and anal sex
    Take the only tree that’s left
    and stuff it up the hole
    in your culture
    Give me back the Berlin wall
    give me Stalin and St Paul
    I’ve seen the future, brother:
    it is murder.

    Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
    Won’t be nothing
    Nothing you can measure anymore
    The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
    has crossed the threshold
    and it has overturned
    the order of the soul
    When they said REPENT REPENT
    I wonder what they meant
    When they said REPENT REPENT
    I wonder what they meant
    When they said REPENT REPENT
    I wonder what they meant

    You don’t know me from the wind
    you never will, you never did
    I’m the little jew
    who wrote the Bible
    I’ve seen the nations rise and fall
    I’ve heard their stories, heard them all
    but love’s the only engine of survival
    Your servant here, he has been told
    to say it clear, to say it cold:
    It’s over, it ain’t going
    any further
    And now the wheels of heaven stop
    you feel the devil’s riding crop
    Get ready for the future:
    it is murder

    Things are going to slide …

    There’ll be the breaking of the ancient
    western code
    Your private life will suddenly explode
    There’ll be phantoms
    There’ll be fires on the road
    and the white man dancing
    You’ll see a woman
    hanging upside down
    her features covered by her fallen gown
    and all the lousy little poets
    coming round
    tryin’ to sound like Charlie Manson
    and the white man dancin’

    Give me back the Berlin wall
    Give me Stalin and St Paul
    Give me Christ
    or give me Hiroshima
    Destroy another fetus now
    We don’t like children anyhow
    I’ve seen the future, baby:
    it is murder

    Things are going to slide …

    When they said REPENT REPENT …

    • uh
      Posted November 15, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Seems to me he’s saying kali yuga is coming, and I’d prefer a strong regime or total annihilation to all these hipsters and abortions. Sounds all right to me.

  8. True Will
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    His song ‘The Future’ certainly provides valuable insight into the psyche of the culture-distorter.

    “in opposing their enemies and conquerors were ultimately satisfied with nothing less than a radical revaluation of their enemies’ values, that is to say, an act of the most spiritual revenge…” F.N

  9. Leo
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I recommend that you listen to the first two albums from the late 1960s:

  10. Leo
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s his first album from 1967:

  11. rhondda
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    He is a Canadian Icon. I adore his voice. If he sounds morose, you could say that is the Canadian winter coming through loud and clear. As for his womanizing, well, well that really is moralistic judgement considering most artists are married to their art and not a human being. That can generally be said of most artists in this day and age. (I said most, not all)
    I listened to his last record ‘ so you want it darker’ on Hallowe’en as I was handing out candies to the kids. It seemed to me it was a farewell and he was cutting all the ties. There were some real ‘jolts’ in it and I went to bed thinking he was going to die soon and he knew it. So it was not a shock to me when he did. He got a lot of people through dark times by being willing to go there and express that angst in a form that made you feel not alone in this dark time and I will say this, I always judged a man by his response to Leonard Cohen.

  12. Oil Can Harry
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    IMHO The Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1967) is one of the greatest albums of all time.

    I like Cat Stevens a lot, dislike Tom Waits.

  13. The_Brahmin
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Art and Politics are intertwined, interwoven in the same tapestry. In an ascendant culture, Art, Politics, Foundational Myths and Heroism speak to each other and resonate with each other. Objectivity? Who cares.

    In a disintegrating, cacophonous civilisation, no constituent of it resonates with any other. Art, Politics, Literature, Mythical Heroes are all disparate and in a sense nothing has any organic identity left. That’s where the West is right now – an infected, deracinated, fragmenting civilisation with a soul that is cleaved.

    No wonder there are so many admirers of Leonard Cohen even among the so called Alt Right.

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