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So Long, Leonard Cohen


To suggest that the life of Leonard Cohen was anything short of remarkable would be an understatement by anyone’s standards. Poet, songwriter, accidental fashionista, Buddhist monk, wheeler and dealer, lover and friend, forever a gentleman, and never far from the sharpened edges of comedic wit, the man lived as great men do – with a profound love for the beautiful things, an acceptance of the inevitable, and an enthusiasm to share it all with a world in desperate need of something with which to relate.

Leonard Cohen has been known as the songwriter’s songwriter since his debut release Songs of Leonard Cohen back in 1967, in which the artist opens the record with ‘Suzanne’ – a song and story that would follow him throughout his vast career as one of the greats, and considering this was merely track one of album number one, it seems as if it were an opening statement suggesting that it was only the beginning of something special. The following 50 years would see this proven time and time again.

The man’s legacy has been honoured and emulated by an uncountable amount of artists throughout the years, so much so that a concert/documentary was made in 2005 titled I’m Your Man,, which included the likes of Nick Cave, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and U2, each performing their own respective renditions of Cohen’s work in an evening of humble gratitude for the man’s genius.

In July of this year, Cohen heard word of an old friend who was in her final days. The friend in question was the inspiration behind the song ‘So Long Marianne’, and Cohen wasted little time in penning this touching and rather telling letter:

“Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”

So long Marianne, and so long Leonard Cohen. And thank you. Trev Moran

Read Trev Moran’s review of Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker, here