Grammy-winning artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen gifted the world with a lot of beautiful songs. Believe it or not, Cohen was initially gunning to become a writer.
But he was not that lucky with the pages before so he shifted his focus elsewhere, writing folk songs.
Here are Cohen’s five greatest songs of all time.
Cohen tackled religion and religious beliefs with his music. That is evident with his 1984 track “Hallelujah” from his 7th studio album “Various Positions.”
The song was covered by a number of global artists including John Cale and Jeff Buckley, dozens of artists then followed and “Hallelujah” became an anthem in the music industry.
Hearing the first line “Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord” all the way to the ensemble singing “Hallelujah, Hallelujah” will always get you.
So Long, Marianne
Just like other artists, Cohen found his muse and that person, is Norwegian woman Marianne Ihlen. The result of their affection for each other, “So Long, Marianne.” Cohen and Ihlen were together from 1960 to 1967.
When they grew apart, Cohen came out with his debut album “Songs of Leonard Cohen” and in it, was the song for Marianne. In July 2016, Marianne died from leukaemia, three months later Cohen passed away.
Cohen fans can’t help but tear up when they hear the lines from the song “Now so long, Marianne. It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.
Bird on a wire
Just like for “So long, Marianne,” Marianne Ihlen encouraged Cohen to write one of his signature songs “Bird on a wire.” In 1960, Cohen and Ihlen were living together at the Hydra island in Greek.
One day, Cohen saw a bird resting on a wire and the resulted to the hit song released back in 1968 from his “Songs from a room” album. Many people say, to see Cohen perform “Bird on a wire” live is truly a gift from God.
Suzanne Verdal from Montreal became the muse of many poets, but it was Cohen who got it right. Cohen shared some of his fondest memories with Verdal like indulging with tea and oranges that come all the way from the country of China.
The song was the first track of Cohen’s debut album “Songs of Leonard Cohen” in 1967 together with “So long, Marianne.” Verdal knew Cohen before fame. The two never got together but it is safe to say that Verdal had a big impact on Cohen’s life.
Famous Blue Raincoat
Truly one of Cohen’s mysterious song throughout his music career. Most of his songs were inspired by the real-life experience and this one is no different. The story behind the song is not that dramatic, a thief stole Cohen’s raincoat and then “Famous blue raincoat” came in 1971 from his album “Songs of love and hate.”
Democracy (BONUS) – “Democracy” from his 1992 album “The Future” is also a song you have to listen to. You know why? Listen to the song and you’ll find out why.