Cohen, You and Your Voice…

A personal note on Leonard Cohen and his voice. By MUHAMMED NOUSHAD.

When I first heard “I am your man..” I knew my ears were hearing something completely new. It easily found its deep way down to my soul’s longing. More than lyrics, what penetrated was the voice, and the almost arhythmic rendering. Who owns this magical, mesmerising voice? Could a voice like this ever exist? I remember searching for him on the internet and listening to him, often in midnights, during exhausting workloads. He relieved me, liberated me, with his elegant, impeccable manly voice. I am afraid I won’t ever describe his voice: just impossible as so matchless was he. I haven’t heard any other man singing like him, at least in English.

Leonard Cohen was an accidental discovery for me, like it happened about many other favourite personal singers. They just happen to you, when you need them. They bring you new stories, new wisdom, new worlds; and revive old memories and moods. After hearing about the death of this great artist, poet, singer and novelist, symbolically on the day of Donald Trump’s victory, I was going through the moving, depressed obituaries his friends had written. They all talked about his obsession with darkness as a writing theme. On the other hand, those who knew him personally claimed that he was a man of great humour and positivities. The interviews available on the internet also show him a beautiful, witty person. Deep inside, he might have always been searching for the perennially grey, dull, sad subtexts of destiny, love, sex, power and death. Religion and mortality were very dominant in his songs. More than dark, his lyrics, like him, were just mystical. And that makes him irresistible.

I am tempted to quote his friend Leon Wiesltier, remembering him in The New York Times: “He lived in a weather of wisdom, which he created by seeking it rather than by finding it. He swam in beauty, because in its transience he aspired to discern a glimpse of eternity: There was always a trace of philosophy in his sensuality. He managed to combine a sense of absurdity with a sense of significance, a genuine feat. He was hospitable and strict, sweet and deep, humble and grand, probing and tender, a friend of melancholy but an enemy of gloom, a voluptuary with religion, a renegade enamored of tradition.”

Goodbye, gentleman!

Here is a collection of his songs:

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