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Leonard Cohen Birth Anniversary: 5 Songs by the Legendary Musician One Must Listen to

On Leonard Cohen’s 85th birth anniversary, here's looking at 5 songs by the musician one must listen to.

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Updated:September 21, 2019, 11:50 AM IST
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Leonard Cohen Birth Anniversary: 5 Songs by the Legendary Musician One Must Listen to
REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN)

A Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist, Leonard Cohan, who was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was born on September 21, 1934. Having pursued a career as a poet and novelist till the early 1960s, he moved to music at the age of 33 and gave stellar albums like Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967. He also gave albums such as Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).

On Leonard Cohen’s 85th birth anniversary, here's looking at 5 songs by the musician one must listen to.

Hallelujah: Originally released on his album Various Positions, the song found greater popular acclaim through a recording by John Cale. The song then inspired a recording by Jeff Buckley. The song is considered as the "baseline" of secular hymns and has also been featured in the 2001 film Shrek. The song evokes both early rock and roll and gospel music.

Suzanne: While it was first published as a poem, Cohen's recorded version with his warm, clipped voice, accompanied by an acoustic guitar is considered to be a classic. According to a report in The Guardian, the muse of the songs was Suzanne Verdal who was dating someone else at that time.

So Long Marianne: Written after the singer was smitten by Marianne Jenses, the song is about a man who’s in love with his partner but also in love with his own wanderlust

Bird On A Wire: Written as a simple country song, Cohen had described his composition as a Bohemian song. The song is featured on 1969’s excellent Songs From A Room. The song is a hope for redemption by the singer.

Dance me to the end of love: A waltz-like composition, a Guardian report said it was inspired by a tale he’d heard of prisoners at concentration camps who were forced into playing music to soundtrack their fellow detainees being led to the crematorium, Cohen later said the song has a wider appeal.

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