The Inspiration behind Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”

In his 1992 album, Leonard Cohen introduced the song “Anthem” that became an anthem of hope. Even now, people are turning to the song during hard times in their lives. What is the inspiration behind the song anyway?

Cohen is not that fond of explaining his music on his own as his music already does that.

Cohen explained that the song was about finding the silver lining in every situation, mostly bad. “Ring the bells that can still ring.”

If you think about it the inspiration of the song is something that most people feel and that is hope.  In the song, Cohen shared a message about mankind not being perfect but still being able to take on the challenge of life.

“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Cohen in a way fought for imperfection. It truly is a perfect metaphor of almost everything in life both good and bad.

One line of the song that was open to many interpretations was the one with the killers praying out loud in high places. Some people said Cohen was talking about politicians and their immorality.

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In the song, Cohen had a line the reads “But like a refugee.” In the present, people found a new meaning in this line as immigration and deportation became world issues that go against human rights.

“Anthem” continues to share its timeless message to people all over the globe. Cohen said the song is a “philosophical ground” to always keep in mind. To this day the song is being sung all over the globe not to only pay tribute to Cohen but to also see the goodness in all.

Years after the song was released and a couple after Cohen’s death, people from all over would post videos singing the song and most of them would use nothing but an acoustic guitar. There are even musicians who created solo acoustic guitar   arrangement of the song.

Needless to say, Cohen’s songwriting skills are cemented in music history, and he’ll continue inspiring musicians and people for years to come.

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