Friday, April 13, 2012

A to Z Challenge: My Favorite Storytellers-- L

OK, I am cheating again a bit because there were too many "C" last names to choose from, and I HAVE to work this storyteller into my list. It is a nice follow up from K, because this guy also isn't a novelist (well, not exclusively). So lets welcome the first song-writer to our list, because L is for...

Leonard Cohen

Don't think you know Leonard Cohen's music. Well, you probably do, as his music has been covered by  more than 1,000 artists, including Justin TImberlake, Jennifer Warnes, and Joan Baez. His is one of the most profound and prolific writers of our time.

But don't take my word for it, read and love this passage from Suzanne, my favorite Leonard Cohen song:

"Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers from salvation army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
on our lady of the harbor
As she shows you wear to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
They are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror."

I love Cohen, like I love Dali, for making a dream coherent through words or paint. Its astounding.

And for those of you who don't think you know Cohen, see Watchmen? Know that scene with Malin Atkinson and Ioan Gruffud with the song "Hallelujah" playing in the background? Yup. Cohen.

Any Cohen lovers? Or any other songwriters that count as storytellers?


  1. When you say his music has been covered, do you mean like he wrote the song then someone else produced it, or he published the song first and someone else re-produced it under their name?

    1. Someone else re-recorded under their own name.

  2. Wow, how poetic. I think any great musician is also a great storyteller. "Cats in the Cradle" comes to mind, as do many Indigo Girls songs (Closer to Fine, Love Will Come to You).

    1. Cats in the Cradle is a wonderful example of story through song (and a song I listen to at least once a week). I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Lightning Crashes by Live as well.

  3. This is a very poetic post! I really like reading what you have to say. You have a great theme for the A to Z challenge.

  4. Love Cohen's music. I first heard "Suzanne" done by Judy Collins--she did a beautiful version. One of my favorites is "Everybody Knows"--so sardonic. This song was used very effectively in Atom Egoyan's film Exotica.

    A favorite song story-teller of mine is Steve Forbert.

    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. Ooooo I don't know the Judy Collins version. I will have to check it out. I am sort of shocked to say that the very best Cohen cover I've heard is Justin Timberlake's Hallelujah, which he did as part of Hope for Haiti. It will make you cry!