Music: Leonard Cohen - If it be your will (lyrics English y Espanol) - In My Secret Life - Lyrics - Bio - Links

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Leonard Cohen - If it be your will
If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

Fuente: Azlyrics
si es tu deseo
que no vuelva a hablar
y que mi voz enmudezca
como estaba antes:
no hablaré más,
lo acataré hasta
que me digas otra cosa,
si ese es tu deseo.

si es tu deseo
que mi voz sea franca
desde esta colina rota:
te cantaré
desde esta colina rota
todas esas frases que conoces.
si es tu deseo
dejarme cantar.

si ese es tu deseo,
si hay la oportunidad:
deja al río fluir,
deja a los montes regocijarse,
deja derramarse tu generosidad
en todos los dolientes corazones en el infierno.
si es tu deseo
... encontrarnos bien
y traernos cerca
y unirnos fuerte.

todos tus hijos aquí
con sus jirones de luz
todos vestidos para matar
y terminar esta noche
si ese es tu deseo
si ese es tu deseo.


 Photo By Magdalena Stokowka

Leonard Cohen - In My Secret Life ( with lyrics )

 Saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
There’s no one in sight.
And we’re still making love
In My Secret Life.

I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I’ll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of My Secret Life.

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.
Thank G-d it’s not that simple
In My Secret Life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In My Secret Life.

Leonard Cohen Home | The Official Leonard Cohen Site
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Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian Juno Award-winning[1] singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.[2] Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011 Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.

The critic Bruce Eder wrote an assessment of Cohen's overall career in popular music, writing, "[Cohen is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century."[3]

The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that "[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than two hundred of Cohen's poems … several novel excerpts, and almost sixty song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines." [4]

Early life

Cohen was born on 21 September 1934 in Westmount, an English-speaking area of Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, Marsha (Masha) Klonitsky,[5] was the daughter of a Talmudic writer, Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry.[6][7] His paternal grandfather, whose family had emigrated from Poland, was Lyon Cohen, founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Cohen, who owned a substantial clothing store, died when Cohen was nine years old. On the topic of being a Kohen, Cohen has said that, "I had a very Messianic childhood." He told Richard Goldstein in 1967, "I was told I was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest."[8]

Cohen attended Roslyn Elementary School and, from 1948, Westmount High School, where he was involved with the student council and studied music and poetry.[9] He became especially interested in the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.[9] As a teenager, he learned to play the guitar, and formed a country-folk group called the Buckskin Boys. Although he initially played a regular acoustic guitar, he soon switched to playing a classical guitar after meeting a young Spanish flamenco guitar player who taught him "a few chords and some flamenco."[9]

Cohen frequented Saint-Laurent Boulevard where he went for fun and ate at places such as the Main Deli Steak House.[10][11] According to journalist David Sax, the Main deli was where Cohen and one of his cousins would go to " the gangsters, pimps, and wrestlers dance around the night."[12] Cohen also enjoyed visiting the previously raucous bars of Old Montreal as well as Saint Joseph's Oratory, which had the closest restaurant near Westmont where he and his friend Mort Rosengarten could go for coffee and a smoke.[11] After moving out of Westmount, Cohen purchased a place in the previous working-class neighborhood of Montreal's Little Portugal on Saint-Laurent Boulevard where he read his poetry at various surrounding clubs. It is also during his time there in the small neighborhood that he wrote the lyrics to what would become some of his most famous songs.[11]

Poetry and novels

In 1951, Cohen enrolled at McGill University, where he became president of the McGill Debating Union and won the Chester MacNaghten Literary Competition for the poems "Sparrows" and "Thoughts of a Landsman".[13] Cohen published his first poems in March 1954 in the magazine CIV/n. The issue also included poems by Cohen's poet-professors (who were also on the editorial board), Irving Layton and Louis Dudek.[13] Cohen graduated from McGill the following year with a B.A. degree.[9] His literary influences during this time included William Butler Yeats, Irving Layton (who taught political science at McGill and became both Cohen's mentor and friend),[9] Walt Whitman, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Henry Miller.[14] His first published book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), was published by Louis Dudek (who taught poetry at McGill and was also a mentor to Cohen) as the first book in the McGill Poetry Series the year after Cohen's graduation. The book contained "poems written largely when Cohen was between the ages of fifteen and twenty", and Cohen dedicated the book to his late father.[9] The well-known Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye wrote a review of the book in which he gave Cohen "restrained praise".[9]

After completing his undergraduate degree, Cohen spent a term in McGill's law school and then a year (1956–57) at the School of General Studies at Columbia University. Cohen described his graduate school experience as "passion without flesh, love without climax".[15] Consequently, Cohen left New York and returned to Montreal in 1957, working various odd jobs and focusing on the writing of fiction and poetry, including the poems for his next book, The Spice-Box of Earth (1961), which was the first book that Cohen published through the Canadian publishing company McClelland & Stewart. Fortunately for Cohen, his father's will provided him with a modest trust income, sufficient to allow him to pursue his literary ambitions for the time, and The Spice-Box of Earth was successful in helping to expand the audience for Cohen's poetry, helping him reach out to the poetry scene in Canada, outside the confines of McGill University. The book also helped Cohen gain critical recognition as an important new voice in Canadian poetry. One of Cohen's biographers, Ira Nadel, stated that "reaction to the finished book was enthusiastic and admiring...the critic Robert Weaver found it powerful and declared that Cohen was 'probably the best young poet in English Canada right now.'"[9]

Cohen continued to write poetry and fiction throughout much of the 1960s and preferred to live in quasi-reclusive circumstances after he bought a house on Hydra, a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf. While living and writing on Hydra, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964), and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). His novel The Favourite Game was an autobiographical bildungsroman about a young man who discovers his identity through writing. Beautiful Losers received a good deal of attention from the Canadian press and stirred up controversy because of a number of sexually graphic passages.[9] In 1966 Cohen also published Parasites of Heaven, a book of poems. Both Beautiful Losers and Parasites of Heaven received mixed reviews and sold few copies.[9]

Subsequently, Cohen published less, with major gaps, concentrating more on recording songs. In 1978, he published his first book of poetry in many years, Death of a Lady's Man (not to be confused with the album he released the previous year with the similar title, Death of a Ladies' Man). It wasn't until 1984 that Cohen published his next book of poems, Book of Mercy, which won him the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Poetry. The book contains 50 prose-poems, influenced by the Hebrew Bible and Zen writings. Cohen himself referred to the pieces as "prayers".[16] In 1993, Cohen published Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, and in 2006, after 10 years of delays, additions and rewritings, Book of Longing. The Book of Longing is dedicated to the poet Irving Layton. Also, during the late 1990s and 2000s, many of Cohen's new poems and lyrics were first published on the fan website The Leonard Cohen Files, including the original version of the poem "A Thousand Kisses Deep" (which Cohen later adapted for a song).[17][18]

Cohen's writing process, as he told an interviewer in 1998, is "like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I'm stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it's delicious and it's horrible and I'm in it and it's not very graceful and it's very awkward and it's very painful and yet there's something inevitable about it".[19]

In 2011, Cohen was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for literature.
Recording career
1960s and 1970s

In 1967, disappointed with his lack of financial success as a writer, Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk music singer-songwriter. During the 1960s, he was a fringe figure in Andy Warhol's "Factory" crowd. Warhol speculated that Cohen had spent time listening to Nico in clubs and that this had influenced his musical style.[20] His song "Suzanne" became a hit for Judy Collins and was for many years his most covered song. After performing at a few folk festivals, he came to the attention of Columbia Records representative John H. Hammond who signed Cohen to a record deal.

Cohen's first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). Although Hammond was originally supposed to produce the record, he was ill and was replaced by the producer John Simon.[9] Simon and Cohen clashed over instrumentation and mixing; Cohen wanted the album to have a spare sound, while Simon felt the songs could benefit from arrangements that included strings and horns. According to biographer Ira Nadel, although Cohen was able to make changes to the mix, some of Simon's additions "couldn't be removed from the four-track master tape."[9] Nevertheless, the album became a cult favorite in the US, as well as in the UK, where it spent over a year on the album charts.[21] Several of the songs on that first album were covered by other popular folk artists, including James Taylor and Judy Collins.

Cohen followed up that first album with Songs from a Room (1969) (featuring the often-recorded "Bird on the Wire") and Songs of Love and Hate (1970). Both of these albums were produced in Nashville by producer Bob Johnston, who helped Cohen achieve the sparer sound that he'd been after on his first album; Johnston also joined Cohen on two subsequent live tours, playing organ and piano.[22]

In 1970, Cohen toured for the first time, with dates in the United States, Canada and Europe, and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival. He toured again in Europe and Israel in 1972 with some of the same band-mates, including Charlie Daniels and his producer, Bob Johnston; the band was nicknamed "The Army". Both tours were represented on the Live Songs LP. Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 was released in 2009. The 1972 tour was also filmed by Tony Palmer under the title Bird on a Wire which was shown re-cut under Cohen's guidance in 1974 but only released to the public in 2010, reconstructed according to Palmer's original version.

In 1971, the film director Robert Altman featured the songs "The Stranger Song," "Winter Lady," and "Sisters of Mercy" (all from Cohen's debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen) on the soundtrack for his Western film McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

Beginning around 1974, Cohen's collaboration with pianist and arranger John Lissauer created a live sound praised by the critics. They toured together in 1974 in Europe, and in US and Canada in late 1974 and early 1975, in support of Cohen's record New Skin for the Old Ceremony, which was produced and arranged by Lissauer. In late 1975 Cohen and Lissauer performed a short series of shows in the US and Canada with a new band, in support of Cohen's Best Of release. The tour included new songs from an album in progress, co-written by Cohen and Lissauer and entitled Songs for Rebecca. However, none of the recordings from these live tours with Lissauer were ever officially released, and the album was abandoned in 1976 (however, some of the songs that were meant for Songs for Rebecca were later rewritten by Cohen with Phil Spector for Cohen's 1977 album Death of a Ladies' Man).

In 1976 Cohen, without Lissauer, embarked on a new major European tour with a new band and changes in his sound and arrangements, again, in support of his The Best of Leonard Cohen release (in Europe retitled as Greatest Hits). Laura Branigan was one of his back-up singers during the tour, and the set-list included the unreleased songs "Everybody's Child" (a.k.a. "Blessed Is the Memory") and "Storeroom" (both released as bonus tracks to 2007 reissue of Songs of Leonard Cohen), and the new song "Do I Have to Dance All Night?" (which was released as a single with the song "The Butcher" in a single available in Europe only).[23] From April to July, Cohen gave 55 shows, including his first appearance at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival.

After the European tour of 1976, Cohen again attempted a new change in his style and arrangements; his new 1977 record, Death of a Ladies' Man (one year later, in 1978, Cohen also released a volume of poetry with the coyly revised title, Death of a Lady's Man), was co-written and produced by Phil Spector, known as the inventor of the "Wall of Sound" technique, which backs up pop music with many layers of instrumentation, an approach very different from Cohen's usually minimalist instrumentation. The recording of the album was fraught with difficulty—Spector reportedly mixed the album in secret studio sessions, and Cohen said Spector once threatened him with a crossbow. Cohen thought the end result "grotesque,"[24] but also "semi-virtuous."[25] The record was released by Spector's label, Warner, and was returned to Columbia's Cohen catalogue in the late 1980s. Cohen did not take part in the album's promotion, but in his tours of 1979, 1980 and 1985, he performed two songs from the album, "Memories" and "Iodine". However, Cohen chose not to include any of the album's songs on his later compilations More Best of Leonard Cohen and The Essential Leonard Cohen.

In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. Beginning with this record, praised in 2001 by Cohen as his favourite,[citation needed] Cohen began to co-produce his albums. Produced by Cohen and Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell's sound engineer), Recent Songs included performances by Passenger, an Austin-based jazz-fusion band that met Cohen through Mitchell. The band helped Cohen create a new sound by featuring instruments like the oud, the Gypsy violin and the mandolin. The album was supported by Cohen's major tour with the new band, and Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson on the backing vocals, in Europe in late 1979, and again in Australia, Israel and Europe in 1980. The tour was filmed by Harry Rasky as The Song of Leonard Cohen, and the film was broadcast on television in 1980.[citation needed] Cohen also gave a couple of major TV appearances in 1979, including German's ZDF television.[citation needed] In 2000 Columbia released an album of live recordings of songs from the 1979 tour, entitled Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979; the album (with a different track list) was originally rejected by the label in 1980.

During the 1970s, Cohen toured twice with Jennifer Warnes as a back-up singer (in 1972 and 1979). Warnes would become a fixture on Cohen's future albums, receiving full co-vocals credit on Cohen's 1985 album Various Positions (although the record was released under Cohen's name, the inside credits say "Vocals by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes"). In 1987, she recorded an album of Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat.[26]


In the early 1980s, Cohen co-wrote the rock musical film Night Magic with Lewis Furey, starring Carole Laure and Nick Mancuso (voice-over by Furey); the LP was released in 1985. Lissauer produced Cohen's next record Various Positions, which was released in December 1984 (and in January and February 1985 in various European countries). The LP included "Dance Me to the End of Love", which was promoted by Cohen's first video clip, directed by French photographer Dominique Issermann, and the frequently covered "Hallelujah". Cohen supported the release of the album with his biggest tour to date, in Europe and Australia, and with his first tour in Canada and United States since 1975, although Columbia declined to release the album in the United States where it was pressed in small number of copies by the independent Passport Records. Anjani Thomas, who would become Cohen's partner, and a regular member of Cohen's recording team, joined his touring band. The band performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Roskilde Festival. They also gave a series of highly emotional and politically controversial concerts in Poland, which was under martial law and performed the song "The Partisan," regarded as the hymn of the Polish Solidarity movement.[27] During the 80s, almost all of Cohen's songs were performed in Polish language by Maciej Zembaty.[28]

In 1986, Cohen appeared in the episode "French Twist" of the TV series Miami Vice. In 1987, Jennifer Warnes's tribute album Famous Blue Raincoat helped restore Cohen's career in the US. The following year he released I'm Your Man, which marked a drastic change in his music. Synthesizers ruled the album and Cohen's lyrics included more social commentary and dark humor. The album, self-produced by Cohen, remains one of Cohen's most acclaimed albums, and was promoted by iconic black and white video shot by Dominique Issermann at the beach of Normandy. Cohen supported the record with series of television interviews, and an extensive tour of Europe, Canada and US. Many shows were broadcast on European and US television and radio stations, while Cohen performed for the first time in his career on PBS's Austin City Limits show; he also performed at the Roskilde Festival again, among other dates.[29] The tour gave the basic structure to typical Cohen's three-hours two-acts concert which he used in his tours in 1993, 2008–10 and 2012. The selection of performances from the late 1980s was released in 1994 on Cohen Live. None of the concerts was released in its entirety, although some were bootlegged. Parts of one of three Royal Albert Hall concerts were used in BBC documentary The Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen, which was released on laser disc and video tape.


The use of the album track "Everybody Knows" from I'm Your Man in the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume helped expose Cohen's music to a younger audience. The song also featured prominently in fellow Canadian Atom Egoyan's 1994 film, Exotica. In 1992, Cohen released The Future, which urges (often in terms of biblical prophecy) perseverance, reformation, and hope in the face of grim prospects. Three tracks from the album – "Waiting for the Miracle", "The Future" and "Anthem" – were featured in the movie Natural Born Killers, which helped Cohen reach a younger audience in the United States.

As with I'm Your Man, the lyrics on the The Future were dark, and made references to political and social unrest. The title track is reportedly a response to the L.A. unrest of 1992. Cohen promoted the album with two music videos, for "Closing Time" and "The Future", and supported the release with the major tour through Europe, United States and Canada, with the same band as in his 1988 tour, including a second appearance at the PBS's Austin City Limits. Some of the Scandinavian shows were broadcast live on the radio. The selection of performances, mostly recorded on the Canadian leg of the tour, was released on 1994 Cohen Live album, but none of the new songs from the album itself were included in the live album.

In 1993 Cohen also published his book of selected poems and songs, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, on which he had worked since 1989. It includes a number of new poems from the late 1980s and early 1990s and major revision of his 1978 book Death of a Lady's Man.

In 1997, Cohen oversaw the selection and release of More Best of Leonard Cohen album, which included a previously unreleased track, "Never Any Good", and an experimental piece "The Great Event". The first was left over from Cohen's unfinished mid-1990s album, which was announced to include songs like "In My Secret Life" (already recited as song-in-progress in 1988) and "A Thousand Kisses Deep",[30] both later re-worked with Sharon Robinson for 2001 album Ten New Songs.

In 1994, Cohen retreated to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, beginning what became five years of seclusion at the center.[26] In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the Dharma name Jikan, meaning "silence". He served as personal assistant to Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi.

Although around 2000 there was a public impression that Cohen would not resume recording or publishing, he returned to Los Angeles in May 1999. He began to contribute regularly to The Leonard Cohen Files fan website, emailing new poems and drawings from Book of Longing and early versions of new songs, like "A Thousand Kisses Deep" in September 1998[31] and Anjani Thomas's story sent on 6 May 1999, the day they were recording "Villanelle for our Time"[32] (released on 2004 Dear Heather album). The section of The Leonard Cohen Files with Cohen's online writings has been titled "The Blackening Pages".[33]
Post-monastery records: Ten New Songs, Dear Heather and Anjani's Blue Alert

After two years of production, Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, featuring a heavy influence from producer and co-composer Sharon Robinson. The album, recorded at Cohen's and Robinson's home studios, includes the song "Alexandra Leaving", a transformation of the poem "The God Abandons Antony", by the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy. The album was a major hit for Cohen in Canada and Europe, and he supported it with the hit single "In My Secret Life" and accompanying video shot by Floria Sigismondi.

In October 2004, Cohen released Dear Heather, largely a musical collaboration with jazz chanteuse (and current romantic partner) Anjani Thomas, although Sharon Robinson returned to collaborate on three tracks (including a duet). As light as the previous album was dark, Dear Heather reflects Cohen's own change of mood – he has said in a number of interviews that his depression has lifted in recent years, which he attributed to Zen Buddhism. In an interview following his induction into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame, Cohen explained that the album was intended to be a kind of notebook or scrapbook of themes, and that a more formal record had been planned for release shortly afterwards, but that this was put on ice by his legal battles with his ex-manager. He decided not to promote the album at all, but in 2005 he released a home video accompanying the song "Because Of", shot by his daughter Lorca Cohen, while there were no official album singles.

Blue Alert, an album of songs co-written by Anjani and Cohen, was released on 23 May 2006 to positive reviews. Sung by Anjani, who according to one reviewer "...sounds like Cohen reincarnated as woman...though Cohen doesn't sing a note on the album, his voice permeates it like smoke."[34] The album includes a recent musical setting of Cohen's "As the mist leaves no scar", a poem originally published in The Spice-Box of Earth in 1961 and adapted by Phil Spector as "True Love Leaves No Traces" on Death of a Ladies' Man album. Blue Alert also included Anjani's own version of "Nightingale", performed by her and Cohen on his Dear Heather, as well the country song "Never Got to Love You", apparently made after an early demo version of Cohen's own 1992 song "Closing Time". During the 2010 tour, Cohen was closing his live shows with the performance of "Closing Time" which included the recitation of verses from "Never Got to Love You". The title song, "Blue Alert", and "Half the Perfect World" were covered by Madeleine Peyroux on her 2006 album Half the Perfect World, while the third covered song, "Crazy To Love You", was included in the album's Japanese edition.

Before embarking on his 2008–2010 world tour, and without finishing the new album which has been in work since 2006 (new song, "The Street", was recited by Cohen in 2006 on KCRW radio, and he also played two new songs from a demo tape, "Book of Longing" and "Puppets"[35]), Cohen contributed few tracks to other artists' albums – new version of his own "Tower of Song" was performed by him, Anjani Thomas and U2 in 2006 tribute film Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man (the video and track were included on the film's soundtrack and released as B-side of U2's single "Window in the Skies", reaching No 1 in Canadian Singles Chart), in 2007 he recited "The Sound of Silence" on album Tribute to Paul Simon: Take Me to the Mardi Gras and "The Jungle Line" by Joni Mitchell, accompanied by Herbie Hancock on piano, on Hancock's Grammy-winning album River: The Joni Letters, while in 2008 he recited the poem "Since You've Asked" on album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins. According to the press release for his 2012 album Old Ideas, song "Amen" was recorded in 2007.
Lawsuits and financial troubles

Sylvie Simmons explains, in her 2012 biography on Cohen that Kelley Lynch, Cohen's longtime manager, "took care of Leonard's business affairs … [and was] not simply his manager but a close friend, almost part of the family."[36] However, Simmons notes that in late 2004, Cohen's daughter Lorca began to suspect Lynch of financial impropriety, and when Cohen checked his bank accounts, he noticed that he had unknowingly paid a credit card bill of Lynch's for $75,000 and also found that most of the money in his accounts was gone (including money from his retirement accounts and charitable trust funds). Cohen would discover that this theft had actually begun as early as 1996 when Lynch started selling Cohen's music publishing rights despite the fact that Cohen had no financial incentive to do so at the time.[36]

On 8 October 2005, Cohen sued Kelley Lynch, alleging that she had misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen's retirement fund leaving only $150,000.[37][38] Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates.[37] These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline "Devastated!" in Canada's Maclean's magazine.[38] In March 2006, Cohen won a civil suit and was awarded US $9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records.[39] As a result it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the awarded amount.[40]

In 2007, US. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock dismissed a claim by Cohen for more than US $4.5 million against Colorado investment firm Agile Group, and in 2008 he dismissed a defamation suit that Agile Group filed against Cohen.[41] Cohen has been under new management since April 2005.

On 1 March 2012, Sylvie Simmons notes that Kelley Lynch was arrested in Los Angeles for "violating a permanent protective order that forbade her from contacting Leonard, which she had ignored repeatedly. On April 13, the jury found her guilty on all charges. On April 18 she was sentenced to eighteen months in prison and five years probation."[36] Cohen told that court, "It gives me no pleasure to see my onetime friend shackled to a chair in a court of law, her considerable gifts bend to the services of darkness, deceit, and revenge. It is my prayer that Ms. Lynch will take refuge in the wisdom of her religion, that a spirit of understanding will convert her heart from hatred to remorse."[36]

Book of Longing

Cohen's book of poetry and drawings, Book of Longing, was published in May 2006; in March a Toronto-based retailer offered signed copies to the first 1500 orders placed online. All 1500 sold within hours. The book quickly topped bestseller lists in Canada. On 13 May 2006, Cohen made his first public appearance in thirteen years, at an in-store event at a bookstore in Toronto. Approximately 3000 people turned up for the event, causing the streets surrounding the bookstore to be closed. He sang two of his earliest and best-known songs: "So Long, Marianne" and "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye", accompanied by the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith. Also appearing with him was Anjani, the two promoting her new CD along with his book.[42]

In 2006, Philip Glass composed music to Cohen's 2006 book of poetry Book of Longing. Following the series of live performances which included Glass on keyboards, Cohen's recorded spoken text, four voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and bass-baritone), and other instruments, and as well the screenings of Cohen's artworks and drawings, Glass' label Orange Mountain Music released a double CD with the recording of the work, entitled Book of Longing. A Song Cycle based on the Poetry and Artwork of Leonard Cohen.[43]


Recurring themes in Cohen's work include love, sex, religion, depression, and music itself. He has also engaged with certain political themes, though sometimes ambiguously so.
Love and sex

"Suzanne" mixes a wistful type of love song with a religious meditation, themes that are also mixed in "Joan of Arc". "Famous Blue Raincoat" is from the point of view of a man whose marriage has been broken by his wife's infidelity with his close friend, and is written in the form of a letter to that friend. "Everybody Knows" is about sexual relationships during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s in which "the naked man and woman are just a shining artifact of the past."

Cohen is Jewish, and he has drawn from Jewish religious and cultural imagery throughout his career. Examples include "Story of Isaac", and "Who by Fire", the words and melody of which echo the Unetaneh Tokef, an 11th-century liturgical poem recited on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Broader Jewish themes sound throughout the album Various Positions. "Hallelujah," which has music as a secondary theme, begins by evoking the biblical King David composing a song that "pleased the Lord" and continues with references to Bathsheba and Samson. The lyrics of "Whither Thou Goest", performed by him and released in his album Live in London, are adapted from the Bible (Ruth 1:16–17, King James Version). "If It Be Your Will" also has a strong air of religious resignation.

Having suffered from depression during much of his life[citation needed] (although less so recently), Cohen has written much (especially in his early work) about depression, self-harm and suicide. "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" are songs about suicidal characters (though another interpretation of "Dress Rehearsal Rag" suggests that the reference to cutting with a razor could be self-harm rather than suicide),[original research?] and the darkly comic songs "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong" and "Stories of the Street" mention suicide. The song "Teachers" mentions girls who use scalpels to harm themselves, and in "The Butcher", Cohen writes, "Well, I found a silver needle, I put it into my arm. It did some good, it did some harm." An atmosphere of depression pervades "Please Don't Pass Me By" and "Tonight Will Be Fine."

Themes of political and social justice also recur in Cohen's work, especially in later albums. In "Democracy," he both acknowledges political problems and celebrates the hopes of reformers: "from the wars against disorder/ from the sirens night and day/ from the fires of the homeless/ and the ashes of decay/ Democracy is coming to the USA." He has made the observation in "Tower of Song" that "the rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor/ And there's a mighty judgment coming." In the title track of The Future he recasts this prophecy on a pacifist note: "I've seen the nations rise and fall/ .../ But love's the only engine of survival." In "Anthem", he promises that "the killers in high places [who] say their prayers out loud/ [are] gonna hear from me."

War is an enduring theme of Cohen's work that—in his earlier songs and early life—he approached ambivalently. Challenged in 1974 over his serious demeanor in concerts and the military salutes he ended them with, Cohen remarked, "I sing serious songs, and I'm serious onstage because I couldn't do it any other way...I don't consider myself a civilian. I consider myself a soldier, and that's the way soldiers salute."[86] In "Field Commander Cohen" he imagines himself as a soldier of sorts, socializing with Fidel Castro in Cuba—where he had actually visited at the height of US-Cuba tensions in 1961, allegedly sporting a Che Guevara-style beard and military fatigues. This song was written immediately following Cohen's front-line stint with the Israeli air force, the "fighting in Egypt" documented in a passage of "Night Comes On." In 1973, Cohen, who had traveled to Jerusalem to sign up on the Israeli side in the Yom Kippur War, had instead been assigned to a USO-style entertainer tour of front-line tank emplacements in the Sinai Desert, coming under fire.

Deeply moved by encounters with Israeli and Arab soldiers, he left the country to write "Lover Lover Lover." This song has been interpreted as a personal renunciation of armed conflict, and ends with the hope his song will serve a listener as "a shield against the enemy." He would later remark, "'Lover, Lover, Lover' was born over there; the whole world has its eyes riveted on this tragic and complex conflict. Then again, I am faithful to certain ideas, inevitably. I hope that those of which I am in favour will gain."[87] Asked which side he supported in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Cohen responded, "I don't want to speak of wars or sides ... Personal process is one thing, it's blood, it's the identification one feels with their roots and their origins. The militarism I practice as a person and a writer is another thing.... I don't wish to speak about war."[88]

His recent politics continue a lifelong predilection for the underdog, the "beautiful loser." Whether recording "The Partisan", a French Resistance song by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d'Astier, or singing his own "The Old Revolution," written from the point of view of a defeated royalist, he has throughout his career expressed in his music sympathy and support for the oppressed. Although Cohen's fascination with war is often as a metaphor for more general cultural and personal issues, as in "New Skin for the Old Ceremony," by this measure his most militant album.

Cohen blends pessimism about political/cultural issues with humour and, especially in his later work, with gentle acceptance.

Awards, titles and honours

    1964 the Québec Literary Competition Prize (awarded 1923–70 by the Province of Québec) The Favourite Game (Cohen's first novel)
    1968 Governor General's Award (English language poetry or drama) for Selected Poems 1956–1968. (Refused)
    1970 Honorary degree from Dalhousie University
    1984 The Golden Rose, the main award at the international television festival Rose d'Or in Montreux, for I am a Hotel, made-for-TV short musical film written by Cohen and based on his songs.
    1985 Canadian Author's Association Literary Award for Poetry for Book of Mercy
    1986 Genie Award for Best Original Song for "Angel Eyes" from Night Magic (with Lewis Furey)
    1988 Columbia Records Crystal Globe Award from CBS for I'm Your Man. The award is for artists who sell more than five million copies of an album in foreign territories
    1989 Nominated for Juno Awards for Canadian Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year
    1991 Officer of the Order of Canada
    1991 Induction into the Juno/Canadian Music Hall of Fame
    1991 Nominated for a Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year.
    1992 Honorary degree from McGill University, Montreal.
    1993 Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. The video for Closing Time, directed by Curtis Wehrfritz, won for Best Video. He was also nominated as Producer of the Year (with co-producer Leanne Ungar, for "Closing Time").
    1993 Governor General's Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
    1994 Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year and was nominated for the Juno Award for Album of the Year (for The Future). The video for The Future, directed by Curtis Wehrfritz, was nominated for Juno Award for Best Video.

    1996 Ordained a Rinzai Buddhist monk.
    2001 Nagroda Muzyczna Fryderyk, the annual Polish music award, for best foreign album (Ten New Songs).
    2002 Nominated for Juno Award as Best Songwriter Cohen (with Sharon Robinson) for "Boogie Street", "In My Secret Life", and "You Have Loved Enough").
    2002 Nominated for the Juno Award for Best Video for "In My Secret Life", directed by Floria Sigismondi. Ten New Songs nominated for Best Pop Album, and he was nominated for Best Artist.
    2002 SNEP Award Cohen for more than 100,000 copies sold of Ten New Songs in France.
    2003 Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour.[102]
    2004 Inclusion in Canada Reads 2005 with Beautiful Losers
    2005 Induction into the Canadian Folk Music Walk of Fame.
    2006 Induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
    2007 Grammy for Album of the Year as a featured artist on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters.[103]
    2008 Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Lou Reed who described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters."[104].[105]
    2008 Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec.[106]
    2009 Long Listed for the Polaris Music Prize for Live in London[107]
    2009 Nominated for Mojo Honours Lists for Best Live Act category.[108]
    2009 Meteor Music Award for Best International Live Performance for his 2008 show in Dublin's IMMA's Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
    2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
    2010 A second Meteor Music Award for Best International Live Performance for his 2009 show in Dublin's O2.
    2010 Porin Award in Croatia in category of foreign video programme, for his Live in London DVD.[109]
    2010 Induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
    2011 Glenn Gould Prize[110]
    2011 Prince of Asturias Awards, Literature, Spain
    2012 Inaugural PEN Award for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence. Chuck Berry received same award.[111][112]
    2012 Prix Denise-Pelletier
    2013 Juno Award, Artist of the Year.[113]


Main article: Leonard Cohen discography
Studio albums
Title     Release date
Songs of Leonard Cohen     27 December 1967
Songs from a Room     April 1969
Songs of Love and Hate     March 1971
New Skin for the Old Ceremony     August 1974
Death of a Ladies' Man     November 1977
Recent Songs     September 1979
Various Positions     December 1984
I'm Your Man     February 1988
The Future     24 November 1992
Ten New Songs     9 October 2001
Dear Heather     26 October 2004
Old Ideas     31 January 2012


    Six Montreal Poets. New York: Folkways Records, 1957.[114]

Tribute albums
Title     Release date
Famous Blue Raincoat     1987
I'm Your Fan     1991
Tower of Song     1995
Famous Blue Cheese     2005
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man     2006
Cohen – The Scandinavian Report     2009



    Let Us Compare Mythologies. Montreal: Contact Press [McGill Poetry Series], 1956.[115] reissued 2007
    The Spice-Box of Earth. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1961.[115]
    Flowers for Hitler. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1964.[115]
    Parasites of Heaven. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1966.[115]
    Selected Poems 1956–1968. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1968.[115]
    The Energy of Slaves. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972. ISBN 0-7710-2204-2 ISBN 0771022034 New York: Viking, 1973.[115]
    Death of a Lady's Man. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1978. ISBN 0-7710-2177-1 London, New York: Viking, Penguin, 1979.[115] – reissued 2010
    Book of Mercy. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1984.[115] – reissued 2010
    Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs. London, New York, Toronto: Cape, Pantheon, McClelland & Stewart, 1993.[115] ISBN 0-7710-2230-1
    Book of Longing. London, New York, Toronto: Penguin, Ecco, McClelland & Stewart, 2006.[115] (poetry, prose, drawings) ISBN 978-0-7710-2234-0
    The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen. London: Omnibus Press, 2009.[115] ISBN 0-7119-7141-2
    Poems and Songs. New York: Random House (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets), 2011.
    Fifteen Poems. New York: Everyman's Library/Random House, 2012. (eBook)


    The Favorite Game. London, New York, Toronto: Secker & Warburg, Viking P, McClelland & Stewart, 1963.[115] Reissued as The Favourite Game. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart [New Canadian Library], 1994. ISBN 978-0-7710-9954-0
    Beautiful Losers. New York, Toronto: Viking Press, McClelland & Stewart, 1966. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart [New Canadian Library], 1991. ISBN 978-0-7710-9875-8 McClelland & Stewart [Emblem], 2003.[115] ISBN 978-0-7710-2200-5

Film and television

    Cohen was the subject of the 1965 documentary Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen, directed by Donald Brittain and Don Owen and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. This film, which pre-dates Cohen's career as a songwriter, explores his career as a well-known Canadian poet.[116] Cohen also appeared in Owen's 1967 film The Ernie Game, which was entered into the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.[117]
    Cohen's music also appeared the following year in the 1966 NFB animated short Angel.
    In 1968 Cohen performed on the BBC, both on the Julie Felix Show and in his own special, split into two thirty-minute shows. The first clip still exists, while the second is only available as a bootleg CD.[118]
    Cohen makes a cameo appearance performing "The Stranger Song" in the Canadian film The Ernie Game (1968), which is based on the stories of Bernard Cole Spencer.
    Cohen's music was popular among the directors of the New German Cinema, and appeared in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) and Werner Herzog's Stroszek (1977).
    Cohen's 1970 performance at the Isle of Wight Festival was filmed by Murray Lerner, but remained unreleased until 2009 when it was released as Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970, and included Lerner's 2009 documentary material.
    Robert Altman's 1971 western McCabe and Mrs. Miller used three Cohen songs on its soundtrack, as well the instrumental parts of The Stranger Song performed by Cohen. Multiple record singles were released during the film's distribution.[119]
    In 1972, Cohen's European tour was filmed by British director Tony Palmer; the re-edited material appeared in 1974 under the title Bird On a Wire and exists only as a bootleg VHS tape. Palmer's authorised and restored film was released in 2010.[120]
    In October 1979, Cohen recorded a show for German TV show RockPop Special, available only as a bootleg. The show is often rebroadcast by the German satellite TV channel 3Sat.[121]
    The Song Of Leonard Cohen, a 1980 documentary by Harry Rasky, featuring Irving Layton, includes highlights from Cohen's 1979 European tour and tracks from the LP Recent Songs.
    In 1983, Cohen wrote and starred in made-for-TV short musical film I am a Hotel, based on his songs. It won the Golden Rose award at the Rose d'Or television festival in Montreux in 1984.
    In 1985, Cohen co-wrote and co-composed Night Magic (starring Carole Laure) with fellow Quebecker, Lewis Furey.
    Cohen is subject of the BBC documentary Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen, filmed during his 1988 tour.[122]
    Cohen appeared as villain Francois Zolan in the "French Twist" episode of the American television series Miami Vice (season 2, episode 17), originally broadcast on 21 February 1986.
    In 1988, Spanish TV station RTE televised the full version of Cohen's show in San Sebastian, 20 May, later aired in number of European countries and still rerun on the Spanish TV. It remains the only completely televised Cohen show.
    In 1989, Cohen gave his first major performance on US television on Austin City Limits[123] (recorded in November 1988). He performed for the show again in July 1993. Both programs have been often rebroadcast by the PBS.
    "Everybody Knows" and "If It Be Your Will" play prominent parts in the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume
    Three of Cohen's songs from his album The Future ("Waiting for the Miracle", "Anthem", and "The Future") are used in Oliver Stone's 1994 film Natural Born Killers. Songs from this album have also appeared in the films Wonder Boys (2000), starring Michael Douglas and The Life of David Gale (2003), starring Kevin Spacey.
    In 1994, Cohen narrated NFB-produced documentary The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
    Cohen's years at the Mt. Baldy Zen Centre were the subject of 1997 French documentary Leonard Cohen: Spring 96 by Armelle Brusq, released on DVD in 2009.
    In 2001, Cohen's song Hallelujah was used on the soundtrack of Shrek, in a version by Rufus Wainwright.
    The Favourite Game (Le Jeu de l'ange), based on his novel of the same title, was released in Canada in 2003.
    Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man was released in 2006. It features a 2005 tribute concert to Cohen, "Came So Far For Beauty", held at the Sydney Opera House and produced by Hal Willner. The film, directed by Lian Lunson, has appearances by Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Antony of Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, and a performance of "Tower of Song" by Cohen and U2. The film also features Cohen recalling significant parts of his life and career.
    Cohen is the subject of a two-part documentary, Leonard Cohen: Under Review 1934–1977 (2007) and Leonard Cohen: Under Review 1978–2006 (2008), available separately on DVD.
    In the 2011 Malayalam film Pranayam, the paraplegic character portrayed by Mohanlal is an ardent fan of Cohen. The song, I'm Your Man is included in the film.

Leonard Norman Cohen, poeta, novelista y cantautor canadiense, nació el 21 de septiembre de 1934 en Montreal. Es miembro de la Orden de Canadá y de la Orden Nacional de Quebec. El 1 de junio de 2011 fue galardonado con el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras que le fue entregado el 21 de octubre de 2011.1


Leonard Cohen nació en una familia judía de clase media del barrio de Westmount en Montreal; la madre era lituana y su padre, Nathan Cohen, de ascendencia polaca; ambos eran propietarios de una tienda de corte y confección. El padre falleció cuando el joven poeta contaba solo nueve años de edad. Según la tradición familiar, los Cohen descendían de los Kohanim. "Fui querido como un mesías", contó Cohen a Richard Golstein en 1967, "y se me decía que descendía de Aarón" ("cohen" significa "sacerdote" en hebreo). En su adolescencia aprendió guitarra y luego formó un grupo de inspiración country-folk, Buckskin Boys.

Buen estudiante, cursó estudios de secundaria en el Instituto Herzliah. En 1951, Leonard Cohen ingresó en la Universidad McGill de Montreal y entre 1956 y 1957 estudió en la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York, como su ídolo Federico García Lorca en 1929.2 Su primer poemario, Let Us Compare Mythologies, apareció en 1956 editado por las McGill Poetry Series, aunque sólo era un estudiante de primer ciclo.

En 1961, The Spice Box of Earth le hizo célebre en los círculos de poesía canadiense. Después se instaló en la isla de Hydra, en Grecia, con la novelista sueca Marianne Jensen, y publicó las novelas The Favourite Game (1963) y Beautiful Losers (Los bellos fracasados) (1966). Entre ellas, otro poemario famoso, Flowers for Hitler (Flores para Hitler, 1964).

The Favourite Game es la novela de aprendizaje o bildungsroman autobiográfico de un joven que busca su identidad en la escritura. Por el contrario, Beautiful Losers, que puede quizá considerarse también una novela de aprendizaje, no conduce al éxito del personaje principal («AntiBildungsroman»), ya que de un modo postmoderno muy contemporáneo destruye la identidad de los personajes principales combinando lo sagrado con lo profano, la religión y la sexualidad en una lengua rica y lírica, pero a pesar de todo cruda.

Después de su experiencia griega Cohen se fue a vivir a los Estados Unidos y comenzó a cantar en los festivales folk de dicho país. En 1966, Judy Collins hizo de su canción Suzanne un gran éxito. La canción alude a Suzanne Verdal, la vieja esposa de un amigo íntimo, el escultor Armand Vaillancourt. John H. Hammond hizo firmar a Leonard Cohen con Columbia Records y su primer álbum, Songs of Leonard Cohen, salió a la venta en 1967 con una versión de Suzanne.

En 1970 realiza su primera gira europea, muy colocado por todo tipo de drogas.3 El 4 de mayo de 1970, día de la Masacre de la Universidad Estatal de Kent, en Estados Unidos, Neil Young dedicó al hecho una canción (Ohio) que fue prohibida en todas las emisoras americanas y Leonard, furioso, se vengó saliendo al escenario en Hamburgo chocando sus talones y haciendo el saludo nazi; además, se puso a bailar sobre una pierna al estilo judío cantando una canción en yiddish; un tipo con una pistola intentó asesinarlo pero fue detenido por la seguridad del concierto, el resto de la audiencia le gritaba e insultaba y salió vivo de milagro; varios músicos de la banda amenazaron con abandonarlo si persistía en sus improvisados actos de agit-prop; durante esa gira, además, hizo (para desesperación de su manager) otra gira paralela por manicomios de Inglaterra, Estados Unidos y Montreal en que cantaba y hablaba durante horas con los internos.4

El 18 de septiembre de 1972 nace en Montreal el hijo de Leonard Cohen y la fotógrafa Suzanne Elrod, Adam Cohen, también músico; esta unión le dará luego una hija, Lorca Cohen. En 1977, Death of a Ladies' Man es producido por Phil Spector, lejos del minimalismo habitual del artista. Recent Songs, más clásico, sale a la luz en 1979, y en 1984 Various Positions, un álbum muy espiritual que contiene el célebre Hallelujah. Columbia rehúsa lanzar el álbum en los Estados Unidos, donde Cohen ha tenido siempre un éxito mucho menor que en Europa y Canadá. En 1986 aparece en un episodio de Dos policías en Miami. En 1988, I'm Your Man marca un cambio en su trayectoria en cuanto a escritura y composición. Los sintetizadores están muy presentes y la escritura se ha vuelto mucho más comprometida y adopta tintas de humor negro. En los noventa, su pareja más estable fue la actriz Rebecca De Mornay. En 1993, su hijo Adam sufrió un accidente de coche y entró en un coma presuntamente irreversible. Leonard viajó a Toronto y pasó cuatro meses a su lado, en el hospital, leyendo la Biblia para él, día tras día. Una noche, cuando se disponía a salir, escuchó de repente a su espalda la voz de Adam: "Papá ¿me puedes leer un poco más?".5

En 1994, después de la promoción de su álbum The Future, Leonard Cohen se retira a un monasterio budista en Mount Baldy, un centro de meditación zen cerca de Los Ángeles. En 1996, Cohen es ordenado monje budista zen, como Jikan Dharma con el significativo nombre de «El silencioso». Parte finalmente de Mount Baldy en la primavera de 1999. Durante este periodo no produjo ninguna canción, pero volvió a componer después, lo que condujo a su álbum Ten New Songs en 2001, muy influido por Sharon Robinson, y Dear Heather en 2004. Dear Heather es el fruto de la colaboración de Cohen con la cantante de jazz Anjani Thomas.

En 2005, Leonard Cohen denuncia ante la justicia a su antigua representante, Kelley Lynch, por desvío de fondos (5 millones de dólares). En marzo de 2006, Cohen obtiene sentencia a su favor, pero Lynch ignora la sentencia y se da a la fuga. En 2006, Cohen hace aparecer un nuevo libro de poemas, Book of Longing; además de coescribir el disco de Anjani Thomas Blue Alert. Paralelamente se estrena el documental Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. Se trata de una semblanza que recoge entrevistas recientes realizadas para las necesidades de este filme, y actuaciones en vivo de diversos artistas (Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker) para un concierto en su homenaje. Hace su primera aparición pública en una librería de Toronto el 13 de mayo de 2006, cantando So Long, Marianne y Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye, acompañado por The Barenaked Ladies y Ron Sexsmith. En 2007 Philip Glass musicaliza su Book of Longing y ofrece el primer texto de la obra recitado por el propio Leonard Cohen el 1 de junio de 2007 en Toronto, en el Luminato Festival.

Leonard Cohen reside actualmente en el barrio portugués de Montreal, su ciudad natal. En 2008 volvió a la escena, con 73 años, para una gira mundial, siendo recibido con entusiasmo por crítica y público a pesar del elevado precio de las localidades, ocasionado por sus desastres financieros (la fuga de su representante con todos sus ahorros). En 2009 se pone a la venta Live in London, que recoge la grabación de uno de los conciertos de esta gira.

El 18 de septiembre de 2009 tuvo un desvanecimiento durante un concierto en Valencia.6 Apenas un mes después, el 20 de octubre, se ponía a la venta el disco Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970, un CD + DVD que recogía la histórica actuación de Cohen en el Festival de la Isla de Wight en 1970 ante 600.000 personas.

El 14 de septiembre de 2010 se pone a la venta Songs From The Road, un CD + DVD que recoge 12 temas grabados en diferentes actuaciones de la gira mundial que llevó a cabo entre 2008 y 2009.

Ganó el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras de 2011.7 8 En el discurso al recibir el Premio Príncipe de Asturias hizo referencia a la influencia española en su obra, que incluye las enseñanzas de un guitarrista español, a Federico García Lorca y a la guitarra española Conde que posee desde finales de la década de 1960.9

En 2012 Leonard Cohen publica su nuevo LP, Old Ideas, que se considera la obra más madura, íntima y personal del poeta y cantante. El álbum añade, en su edición en español, una traducción libre de las letras realizada por Joaquín Sabina. El disco salió al mercado el 31 de enero de 2012 y alcanzó durante su primera semana el número 1 de ventas en España.

Conocido especialmente por su faceta de cantautor, sus letras son muy emotivas y líricamente complejas; Sus tres ejes temáticos predominantes, el amor, la religión y las relaciones de pareja, deben más a los juegos de palabras y metáforas poéticas que a las convenciones de la música folk. Cohen canta con una voz peculiarmente grave, ha influido en muchos otros cantautores y sus canciones han sido interpretadas por muchos otros artistas. A causa del pesimismo que irradia su música, la prensa lo ha considerado "el depresivo no químico más poderoso del mundo".

Los temas recurrentes en la obra de Cohen son el amor y el sexo, la religión, la depresión psicológica, y la música en sí; aunque también ha abordado otros asuntos políticos, lo ha hecho a veces de modo ambiguo.

El amor y el sexo son temas habituales en la música popular; la experiencia de Cohen como novelista y poeta le dota de una sensibilidad especial para tratarlos. Suzanne, probablemente la primera canción de Cohen que atrajo la atención de públicos amplios, mezcla cierto tipo de amor con la meditación religiosa, mezcla que igualmente se produce en Joan of Arc. Famous Blue Raincoat ofrece el punto de vista de un hombre cuyo matrimonio se ha roto debido a la infidelidad de su esposa con un amigo de él. La canción está escrita en forma de carta a ese amigo, al que escribe: “Supongo que te echo de menos, supongo que te perdono. Debes saber que tu enemigo está dormido y que su mujer es libre” (“I guess that I miss you/ I guess I forgive you... Know your enemy is sleeping/ And his woman is free”), mientras que en Everybody Knows toca varios temas entre ellos retoma su sentido espiritual y trata posiblemente en una estrofa de la cruda realidad del sida aunque no directamente. En Sisters of Mercy evoca el amor auténtico (agape más que eros) que encuentra en una habitación de hotel con dos mujeres de Edmonton y Chelsea Hotel #2 describe su aventura con Janis Joplin de un modo bastante poco sentimental.

Álbumes de estudio

    1967: Songs of Leonard Cohen
    1969: Songs from a Room
    1971: Songs of Love and Hate
    1974: New Skin for the Old Ceremony
    1977: Death of a Ladies' Man
    1979: Recent Songs
    1984: Various Positions
    1988: I'm Your Man
    1992: The Future
    2001: Ten New Songs
    2004: Dear Heather
    2012: Old Ideas

Álbumes en directo

    1973: Live Songs
    1994: Live in Concert
    2001: Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979
    2009: Live in London
    2009: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
    2010: Songs From The Road


Álbumes recopilatorios

    1975: The Best of Leonard Cohen
    1997: More Best of Leonard Cohen
    2002: The Essential Leonard Cohen
    2011: The Complete Studio Albums Collection


    1991: I'm Your Fan
    1995: Tower of Song
    2005: Disparen a Cohen
    2006: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
    2007: According to Leonard Cohen / Según Leonard Cohen


    Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man Dir. Lian Lunson (2005)
    Live in London (2009)
    Songs From The Road (2010) - Incluye un documental grabado por su hija Lorca.


    Let Us Compare Mythologies (poesía), 1956
    The Spice-Box of Earth (poesía), 1961
    The Favourite Game (novela), 1963
    Flowers for Hitler (poesía), 1964
    Beautiful Losers (novela), 1966
    Parasites of Heaven (poesía), 1966
    Selected Poems 1956–1968 (poesía), 1968
    The Energy of Slaves (poesía), 1972
    Death of a Lady's Man (poesía), 1978
    Book of Mercy (poesía), 1984
    Stranger Music (poemas y canciones), 1993
    Book of Longing (poemas y dibujos), 2006

Libros traducidos

    Flores para Hitler, Visor
    El libro del anhelo, Lumen
    La energía de los esclavos, Visor
    La caja de especias de la tierra, Visor
    Comparemos mitologías, Visor
    Parásitos del paraíso, Visor
    Memorias de un mujeriego, Visor
    Poemas escogidos + Nuevos poemas, Editorial Plaza y Janés
    El libro de los salmos, Editorial Fundamentos
    Canciones, Editorial Fundamentos
    Canciones II, Editorial Fundamentos
    El juego favorito, Editorial Fundamentos
    Los hermosos vencidos, Editorial Fundamentos
    Un acorde secreto, Editorial Celeste
    Canciones y nuevos poemas (parte 1), Editorial Edicomunicaciones
    Canciones y nuevos poemas (parte 2), Editorial Edicomunicaciones

Libros acerca de Leonard Cohen

    Abel, David F.: Leonard Cohen, melodía poética. Editorial La Máscara
    Manzano, Alberto: Conversaciones con un superviviente. Editorial Lenoir.
    Manzano, Alberto: Leonard Cohen. Editorial Unilibro
    Manzano, Alberto: Soldado de la vida. Editorial Celeste
    Manzano, Alberto: Palabras, poemas y recuerdos de Leonard Cohen. Ediciones Alfabia (2009)
    Nadel, Ira: Leonard Cohen. Editorial Cátedra
    Simmons, Sylvie: Soy tu hombre. La vida de Leonard Cohen Editorial Lumen (2012)
    Vassal, Jacques: Leonard Cohen. Editorial Júcar
    (En francés) Tordjman, Gilles: Leonard Cohen. Le Castor Astral (2006)

Su influencia en otros artistas: datos eruditos

Sus canciones cantadas por otros artistas:

    Kiko Veneno incluye en su disco Dice la gente (Warner, 2010 ) una versión libre, y en español, de Bird on the wire titulada Pájaro en el cable.
    La letra de "Take this Waltz" (álbum I'm your Man, 1988), es una adaptación del poema "Pequeño vals vienés", de Federico García Lorca, al que Cohen admira; de hecho su hija se llama Lorca en honor al poeta granadino. La canción ha sido interpretada por Enrique Morente y Lagartija Nick, en su álbum Omega (1996), y por Ana Belén en su álbum Lorquiana (1998).
    Christina Rosenvinge interpretó un cover en español de "Famous blue raincoat", titulada "Impermeable azul".
    "Hallelujah" ha sido interpretada por multitud de artistas, entre otros Enrique Morente. Quizás la versión más conocida es la de Jeff Buckley, en su álbum Grace (1994). Cabe destacar que el grupo IL DIVO, en su álbum "The Promise" (2009) hacen una adaptación al español de Hallelujah.
    En el álbum Omega, de Enrique Morente y Lagartija Nick, se interpretan cuatro canciones de Leonard Cohen: "First we take Manhattan", "Priests", "Hallelujah" y "Take this waltz".
    La canción "Priests" de Cohen nunca salió al mercado cantada por él. Tan solo ha sido grabada por Enrique Morente (bajo el título "Sacerdotes"), Richie Havens y Judy Collins.
    "Who By Fire" (álbum New Skin For The Old Ceremony, 1974), es interpretada por Enrique Bunbury en un sencillo extraído de su álbum Pequeño.
    "Who By Fire" también es interpretado por el grupo Human Drama en su álbum "Fourteen Thousand Three Hundred Eighty Four Days Later: Live."
    "Who By Fire" también es interpretado por el grupo Coil en su álbum "Horse Rotorvator"
    "Who By Fire" también fue interpretado por la ya finada cantante Lhasa de Sela
    "Dance me to the end of love" interpretada por Human Drama en su álbum "cause and effect"
    "First we take Manhattan" ha sido interpretada por REM en su álbum de versiones y caras B "The Real Ultra Rare Tracks" así como por el grupo de gothic metal "Sirenia".
    Nacho Vegas suele interpretar en directo la "Canción del extranjero", versión en español de "The stranger song".
    Nick Cave grabó una versión del tema de Leonard Cohen Avalanche (que aparece en Songs of Love and Hate) para su disco From Her to Eternity.
    "Famous Blue Raincoat" ha sido versionada por la cantautora Marissa Nadler en el disco Songs III: Bird on the water.
    "Famous Blue Raincoat" ha sido versionada por el cantautor uruguayo Eduardo Darnauchans, en el original inglés, con la particularidad de que en su acompañamiento se utiliza un bajo de seis cuerdas, usado como guitarra (interpretado por Shyra Panzardo).
    "I'm your man" también es interpretada por el cantante Michael Bublé en su álbum "Call me Irresponsible"
    "Memories" (del álbum Death of a Ladies' Man) es interpretado en vivo por The Last Shadows Puppets, integrada por Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) y Miles Kane (The Rascals), en su concierto Electric Proms.
    Neil Diamonden su álbum Rainbow del año 1973 versifica la canción de Cohen "Suzanne"
    Jorge Drexler toca una milonga con la letra de la canción "Dance me to the end of love" en el disco Cara B.

Leonard Cohen en las canciones de otros artistas:

    Leonard Cohen es mencionado en la canción "Pennyroyal Tea" de Nirvana, en "Los restos del naufragio" de Enrique Bunbury, y en "Testimonio" de Hilario Camacho.
    "Famous Blue Raincoat" (álbum Songs Of Love & Hate, 1971) inspiró a Nacho Vegas su canción "Al norte del norte" (álbum Actos inexplicables, 2001).
    Joaquín Sabina ha declarado que su canción "En pie de guerra" (álbum Alivio de luto, 2006) es una versión “libérrima” y en español de "There is a War" (1974).
    El músico argentino Kevin Johansen le ha dedicado la canción "Everybody Says" de su álbum "Logo", publicado en 2007.
    El final de la canción "La barbarie (Aleluya Nº 8)", de Luis Eduardo Aute (álbum A día de Hoy, 2007), hace referencia al tema de Cohen "The Future" (1992).
    Luca Prodan inspira su canción ”Perdedores hermosos” (álbum homónimo, 1996) en la novela de Cohen Beautiful Losers.
    Leonard Cohen es mencionado en "Canciones que no hablan de amor", tema de Diego Vasallo, recogido en su álbum Criaturas (1997).
    La canción "The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song" de Jeffrey Lewis, artista del movimiento Anti-folk neoyorquino, remite a Cohen, a su Chelsea Hotel #2 y al encuentro sexual que en ella describía.
    El cantautor sevillano Manuel Cuesta incluye "Chelsea Hotel" en su último disco, "La vida secreta de Peter Parker". Es una traducción y adaptación de la canción "Chelsea Hotel nº 2", como homenaje a Cohen.
    El cantante zaragozano Enrique Bunbury menciona a Leonard Cohen en su canción "Los restos del naufragio".
    La canción Up with the birds de Coldplay (del álbum Mylo Xyloto, 2011) contiene versos de Anthem, de Leonard Cohen.

Sus canciones en el cine:

    "There is a war" y "Lover, lover, lover" aparecen en la película The Backwoods Bosque de sombras 2007 de Koldo Serra
    "Suzanne" aparece en la BSO de la película Salvador Puig Antich, de 2006.
    "Hallelujah", interpretada por John Cale, sirve de fondo en la primera versión de la película Shrek (2001) para la escena de los preparativos para la frustrada boda de la princesa Fiona y Lord Farquaad, para el final de la película Los Edukadores (2005) y la versión de Cohen, es utilizada para la película Watchmen del 2009, adaptación de la Novela Gráfica homónima de Alan Moore y Dave Gibbons, en la escena de sexo entre Nite Owl II y Silk Spectre II, en la serie Scrubs, el episodio 4 de la primera temporada, la canción aparece como final del episodio.
    "First we take Manhattan" es utilizada en los créditos finales de la película Watchmen en el 2009.
    "The Partisan" aparece al final de la película El Lobo (2004), de Miguel Courtois.
    "Waiting for the miracle" y "The Future" forman parte de la BSO de la película Natural Born Killers (1994), de Oliver Stone.
    "Everybody knows" tiene un gran protagonismo en la película Exótica (1994), de Atom Egoyan y en Suban el Volumen (1990).
    "I'm your man" está incluida en la BSO de The Secretary (La secretaria), así como en la película Querido Diario (1993), de Nanni Moretti.
    En la BSO de la película El Mundo según Barney (2010) se incluyen las canciones "I'm your man" y "Dance Me To The End Of Love" .
    También se utilizan canciones suyas ("The Stranger Song", "Sisters of Mercy" y "Winter Lady") en la película McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971; en español, Del Mismo Barro).
    La canción "Hallelujah", es utilizada en unos de los capítulos de la serie "Dr. House" y en la serie "The O.C.". Así como en la película "Shrek"
    La canción "Suzanne" abre una de las partes en que está dividida la película Breaking the waves (1996) de Lars Von Trier.
    La canción "The Land of Plenty" aparece en la película de Wim Wenders Tierra de abundancia.
    La canción "A Thousand Kisses Deep" aparece en la película "El buen ladrón (The good thief)" de Neil Jordan.
    La canción Waiting For The Miracle aparece en Jóvenes Prodigiosos (Wonder Boys) dirigida por Curtis Hanson en el año 2000.
    La banda sonora de Fata Morgana, de Werner Herzog, contiene música de Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen en la literatura:

    Su álbum Songs of Love and Hate es mencionado en una novela en catalán titulada Crònica del Caos (2006).
    José Agustín Ramírez Gómez menciona a Leonard Cohen en su libro Cerca del fuego (1986), específicamente en el cuento "La rueda de la fortuna".
    Miguel Delibes hace referencia a sus canciones en el libro El disputado voto del señor Cayo (1978).
    En Libro de Manuel, Julio Cortázar menciona las canciones de Cohen.

Otras influencias:

    El grupo de rock gótico The Sisters of Mercy toma su nombre de la canción de Cohen del mismo nombre.
    La canción "Memories" fue interpretada por el grupo inglés The Last Shadow Puppets en su gira de otoño 2008.

Music: Leonard Cohen - If it be your will (lyrics English y Espanol) - In My Secret Life - Lyrics - Bio - Links

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Mis blogs son una casa abierta a todas las culturas, religiones y países. Se un seguidor si quieres, con esta acción usted está construyendo una nueva cultura de la tolerancia, la mente y el corazón abiertos para la paz, el amor y el respeto humano.

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