Arts & Entertainment

Beyond "Hallelujah": A Playlist

Getting to know Leonard Cohen, a writer’s singer
IMAGE K&K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns
Comments

Leonard Cohen, who passed away earlier today, leaves a complex body of work behind, produced through five busy decades as a singer-songwriter, a novelist, and a poet. He had a deep and mournful voice that served him well as a singer, but it was really his poetic sensibility that set him apart.

His song “Hallelujah,” for example—which has been covered over 200 times since it was first released in 1984—is a ballad to end all other ballads. As a song, it was majestic (Rufus Wainwright led a choir of 1500 people in singing it in Toronto earlier this year); as a poem, it was able to be both spiritual and thoroughly human: “Your faith was strong but you needed proof/ You saw her bathing on the roof/Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you/ She tied you to a kitchen chair/ She broke your throne, and she cut your hair/ And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah”

(Recordings of Cohen doing spoken word are few and far between, and the few left behind show that we’re all the poorer for this. Poems like “Marita” and “The Hypnotist”, read in Cohen’s baritone, are the very essence of the “poetic despair” that he was so known for.)

To honor the man, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist with a few of our favorite Leonard Cohen songs, with a couple of bonus covers.

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Kristine Fonacier
Editor-in-Chief of Esquire Philippines
View Other Articles From Kristine
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
Details are scarce, but Vince Gilligan is returning to write and direct.
 
Share
The Pilot Watch Mark XVIII features stripped-down good looks and a case made of an entirely new material.
 
Share
Say goodbye to your 9-5 with advice from someone who's living the dream
 
Share
Captain America and Iron Man look very, very different
 
Share
It aims to be the prime app for first time Internet users.
 
Share
The rising business tycoon from Davao plans to raise P18.5 billion from the offering.
 
Share
It's the first time athletes will receive international sporting medals for competitive video gaming.
 
Share
Esquire takes the Ghibli out for a quick spin
 
Share
Load More Articles
Connect With Us