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.