Over the past 30 plus years, when ever the subject came around to music, I would often ask friends and acquaintances if they were familiar with Leonard Cohen.
These days it is simple to pull up a You Tube video, but in the past, I would sing (especially if there was alcohol involved) the first few bars of my favourite song by the great poet. The trouble with that, apart from my warbling, was that I wanted to sing them all, since one was as good as the other.
I first discovered Cohen as a teenager in Ireland in 1978. A friend from Roscommon played a cassette of his greatest hits. Since I had been writing poems since the early 70’s, I immediately felt drawn to his unique style of music. It always struck me as poetry to which music had been attached.
I daresay that only a handful of us from Donegal knew of him back then, but that number swelled in the intervening years. For some reason or other, he loved playing to audiences in Ireland. This fact, I only discovered a few years ago. Every time I would go over, which would be three or four times a year, I would scour the Dublin papers to find news of any possible concert that might be occurring when I was there.
I’m sorry to say, that I just never timed it properly. I did always think though, that it was only a matter of time until Leonard and I happened to be in Dublin at the same time. This weekend changed all that, but it will never change my love for the massive talent that was Leonard Cohen.