The Passing of Leonard Cohen - לאונרד כהן הלך לעולמו
In the lyrics of the title song from the 1967 film "To Sir With Love", Lulu sings "How can you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume..."
The film and the song were very popular. The single played on the radio day and night for months. I didn't really understand the lyrics at the time. To me it was just a great song that was sung by a super cool person.
Today, these words come back to me. I was raised -- or more accurately, I raised myself on Leonard Cohen's music. He was the first poet I read seriously. He was the first folk singer I listened to that wrote his own songs. He informed my teenage angst. He brought a wry smile to my face with his dry wit and I loved him for his bravery to sing about who he was, not who he thought he should be. No way to thank him.
I am sad since there will be no more new songs but the body of work he leaves behind is remarkable and honest.
My personal favorite is Joan of Arc. She resists the darkness, but is attracted to it and finally succumbs. Not sure why this speaks to me but I am going to listen to it when I finish this post.