In a brilliantly detailed analysis, the knowledgeable music essayist Polyphonic takes a deep dive into the way in which the late, great Leonard Cohen wrote love songs, using four songs from different eras by way of explanation. The first of which is “Suzanne“, a burning love song to a dear friend. The next is “Famous Blue Raincoat“, which describes the pain of an affair in third person. “Hallelujah” is about vulnerability in love and “I’m Your Man” is Cohen’s surrender to be whomever he needs to be to hold onto his love. In each of these sublime songs, Cohen prodigiously employed the use of biblical metaphors in an attempt to truly convey the beauty, power, pain and veracity of love.
No one writes love like Leonard Cohen. His musical catalog contains a wealth of songs detailing the beauty and pain of love in dozens of different ways…I honestly believe that nobody has distilled such a complex emotion into words with the same veracity and purity as Leonard Cohen, throughout his career you can see his devotion to the topic he spent his life tinkering with phrases and themes and doing everything he could to put into words something that just can’t be explained.