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So Long, Leonard Cohen

I’m not big on giving Nobel prizes for literature to songwriters, even those like Dylan whose music I’ve been a lifelong fan of. If, however, one was to make an exception because the lyrical content of a songwriter’s works meet the bar of great literary poetry…I think Leonard Cohen was the one who should have been considered.

Richard Gehr of Rolling Stone wrote a great overview of Leonard Cohen’s importance, which included this: "Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet."

Here are two lesser known songs culled from Mr. Cohen’s 50-plus year career: A live version of Dance Me to the End of Love, which comes from his 1984 album Various Positions; and You Want It Darker, the title track from his final, recently released set of songs. I also threw in one of my favorites, Sisters of Mercy, from Songs of Leonard Cohen, his 1967 debut album. The video is of Cohen doing his classic So Long, Marianne, live in London in 2008.

Leonard Cohen, So Long, Marianne, London 2008