The 5 Best Leonard Cohen Songs

Above: Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
Above: Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Like the best medicine, the greatest music allows us to recover, reflect, and recoup. Legendary singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen, was a man who made this type of music. A catalogue spanning five decades, Cohen crafted some of our era’s most moving, introspective, and powerful works of art. This is why it’s painfully ironic, that when the Canadian icon passed away yesterday, he gave fans any sort of grief. After all, here was a man who spent his entire adult life, producing music that only healed the listener.

When an icon like Cohen passes away, the loss is easier when we remember the greatest aspect of music – that it exists as its own entity, and does so beyond the composer’s lifetime. For fans of Leonard Cohen, the one thing that we will always have, is his art. When we turned to his music before, it was there for us, and when we do so again today, it remains in the very same place. Just like Leonard Cohen, and all of the great artists that died this year, everything that they gave us is unflinching. Prince, David Bowie, and Leonard Cohen are eternal through their music, and we will have them forever if we choose to listen.

Today in our mourning, it only seems appropriate that we turn to Leonard Cohen’s discography. He was one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, and likely of all time. In honour of his life, here are some of Leonard Cohen’s greatest and most essential songs.

5. “So Long, Marianne”

Before reaching worldwide acclaim, Cohen found himself in Greece with his forever muse, Marianne Ihlen. The two lived together humbly on the isle of Hydra, where Cohen retreated into his novels, poetry, and music – much of which became inspired by this intense love. When his work suddenly took off, his newfound lifestyle proved a strain on the relationship, and justifiably, Marianne moved on from the burgeoning star. Still, Cohen held a substantial place in his heart for Ihlen, and just this past year, wrote a touching letter to his former lover before she died.

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Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan is a writer from Toronto. His favourite things in the world are music, movies, and mini dachshunds. Give him a follow on Twitter at @aidandaoust, where he’ll also accept your mixtape submissions.

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