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September 21: Leonard Cohen

September 21, 2010

Poet, songwriter, and performer Leonard Cohen was born on this date in Montreal in 1934. He is an inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as into the American Rock and roll Hall of Fame. His best-known, widely covered songs include “Bird on a Wire,” “Suzanne,” and “Hallelujah;” Lou Reed has described him as belonging to the “highest and most influential echelon of songwriters.” An observant Jew, Cohen entered a Zen monastery in 1994 and remained there in seclusion for five years, during which time he was ordained as a Buddhist monk with the name Jikan, meaning “silence.” In 2005, he was the subject of a film, “I’m Your Man,” which captured a tribute concert to him in Sydney, Australia. In 2008, Cohen conducted his first concert tour in fifteen years.

“And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah” —Leonard Cohen

Click here for an interesting commentary on Leonard Cohen by Joysa Winter.

Watch a documentary about Leonard Cohen’s early years, 1934-1977: