So today is Leonard Cohen’s birthday! I found out about that, of course, on Twitter.
I’ve had the great privilege of seeing Cohen live three times: once, some 20 years ago in Milan, and then twice on the current tour – a year ago in Munich and a few weeks ago in Belgrade.
There are very few artists for which I could say they have had such an effect on my life and thinking as Cohen has, ever since my aunt and uncle brought his “Greatest hits” down to Jelsa with them for a summer holiday when I was in my early teens. In the ol’ student days, many a party would wind down with me singing and playing (yep quite a while ago) everyone’s favourites from the first albums while all the other guys were sneaking away with the girls…
Well anyway – here’s to you, Maestro. I raise my glass once again and salute your birthday, and all the innumerable ladies fromyour songs – Suzanne of course, but also Marianne and Nancy and Joanne of Arc and Lady Midnight and the Gipsy’s wife and the Sisters of Mercy and all the others. Yes we *have* kept your songs alive through all these years and our kids are learning them too. That gift of a golden voice has not been given to you in vain. Thank you.