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Goodbye Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen died last night at 82. One of the most prolific, poetic and visionary songwriter of all times.

“I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens”, Leonard Cohen told the French weekly Les Inrockuptibles just three weeks ago. The statement of his departure, published on Facebook last night, crushed the entire music community. After the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, 2016 is a fatal year for music, seeing the death of one of the most revered singer and songwriter of all times at age 82.

Leonard Cohen hat
Leonard Cohen in 2012 © NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/GettyImages

Joking on his own death

Leonard Cohen’s death has left a great void that his latest album You Want It Darker, released last month, had foretold. Like Bowie. But Leonard was ready to pass away. In the last period he used to say it. With his unique brand of humor, the Canadian songwriter told the New Yorker: “I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable”. With the same sense of humour he retracted: “I intend to live forever, I want to stick around until 120”.

Songs, poems and love letters

At the beginning of this year Cohen sent a letter to his muse and longstanding friend Marianne Ihlen, just two days before she passed away. “Well, Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye, old friend. Endless love, see you down the road”.

Discovered by the same talent scout of Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen was also a famous poet and novelist. Before his musical debut in 1967, with the album Songs of Leonard Cohen, he had already written two novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers. Cohen kept on writing poems that brought inspiration for all generations for all his life, producing eternal songs such as SuzanneHallelujahSo Long, Marianne and Everybody Knows. He was ushered in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Featured image: Leonard Cohen in Melbourne, 2013 © Graham Denholm/WireImage

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