So long, Leonard Cohen

A darkness falls on the tower of song


There would be no tears. It was only the latest piece of bad news this week. Sifting through twitter, scrolling down Facebook, scanning the usual news outlets. Leonard Cohen. Dead. Pictures. Tributes. Profiles.

I did think of all the bastards that are still alive, the lousy little poets, politicians and salesmen still running around. And I turned back to L Cohen. The expected quotes, histories and eulogies. Great lines from the man himself, wittily deadpan and eloquent always. Now for always.

Looking through the gallery of his years, he always seemed so apart from any trends, and yet vital enough for each generation to have left his own indelible mark on each one. So many touched by words and musings from a louche but tastily furnished penthouse in the tower of song.

He was a little older than the Woodstock crowd he joined when his unaccompanied poems couldn’t quite sell enough. A little too refined to throw any TVs out the window — it would have been off anyway while he attended to his lyrics at his desk in the corner as Marianne languidly slept.

Even when he grew his hair in the 1970s he looked more brooding Lord Byron than pouting Mick Jagger.

And then I put on the radio and they were playing one of his more recent songs, Amen. His polite bass a cracked and rumbling grace note now, he cut right through my thoughts and into my heart.

“When I’ve seen through the horror

Tell me again

Tell me over and over

Tell me that you love me then


The tears flowed.

— Enda Sheppard

About endardoo

A newspaper sub-editor for many years, I am now a blogger and freelance sub-editor. Husband of one and house daddy of two: a feisty and dramatic 17-year-old girl and a bright, resilient football nut of a boy aged 16. My website:

2 comments on “So long, Leonard Cohen

  1. Enda, that was a gorgeous piece on Leonard.


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