I first heard Cohen’s songs when I was in college. A date played him in the car, and I was immediately mentally flogging myself for not having heard his music before. I wondered how I had wasted the first eighteen years of my listening time with any other musician. His ability to combine various types of music such as choirs and foreign fair was unprecedented.
Cohen’s music was not a typical date soundtrack, and though I didn’t choose to have a second date with the guy who turned me onto him, I’ve always been grateful for his making the introduction. There are traces of Leonard in so much of the music we enjoy today. He was the first one to bring the song Hallelujah to mainstream masses. Cohen originally found that song when visiting friends and listening to their album collection. The song was virtually unknown until he performed his timeless rendition. There have been many renditions of it done since and it even made it onto the Shrek soundtrack for kids to enjoy.
A well-loved artist, many celebrities have expressed their sorrow. “Thanks for quiet nights, the reflection, the perspective, the wry smiles and the truth.” Actor and musician, Russell Crowe tweeted.
No death is easy, however this loss is felt by so many. Oddly, Cohen himself commented on death in his article in The New Yorker this past October. “I am ready to die. I hope that it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”
He may have been ready, but we were not. One hopes that during a week when there has been so much turmoil, Cohen’s death will be sufficiently memorialized. He deserves nothing less than our taking time to mourn, and pay homage in our own way to such a legend.