We are waking to the sad news today that lovely Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
As he will always have a great many fans here, David and Polly included, I hope you won’t mind me taking a moment and a little more white space to give thanks for that gravelly baritone, his humour and his wisdom.
How very privileged I feel to have seen him perform. There was so much love and affection emanating from the audience that evening, and every evening, and so warmly was it received by the shy gentleman on stage; it was something very special indeed. As Hardeep Phull writes today in the New York Post, ‘he offered up a show that ripped out hearts, left grown men and women crying, and, even in the biggest arenas, made it feel as if he were whispering in your ear.’ To say it was one of the most beautiful and spiritually uplifting moments I’ve ever experienced would not be a silly exaggeration made for the sake of memorialising someone who has just died in this fickle age of social media. It was truly magnificent, as I know many of you reading this will agree because many times we have fondly reminisced together.
Here’s a New Yorker piece discussed in the chatroom recently, by David Remnick, which you might appreciate today as you listen to that gift of a golden voice. Warning: it will reduce you to tears.
And if you don’t know, his fourteenth studio album – You Want It Darker – was released last month and is certainly worthy of your time, precious as that is as death reminds us.
Rest in peace, lovely Leonard.