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November 14, 2016 / catherinebwrites



Cohen & Others In Greece

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When I first heard Leonard Cohen  I thought his music was drone-ey  and dull.     I filed him under “Whiny, white boy” and thought no more about him.

Then I married a man who knows everything there is to know about all kinds of music.  He taught me to like Country Music and Phillip Glass and world music and he tried with Leonard Cohen as well.   I admitted that some of the lyrics were interesting but, I knew in my heart, that you’d never catch me sitting down to listen to a whole evening of him droning on.

A few years ago while I was racking my brains to think of a Christmas present  for my husband, I saw an ad for a forthcoming Leonard Cohen Concert.   Perfect.  I bought two tickets and resigned myself to an evening of drone-ey,  whiny, white-boy music.

The audience was at an all a-twitter with can’t-wait excitement.   We took our seats.   The lights went down, the band started and Leonard Cohen came out on the stage.   He was wearing a coat and a hat.   He gives great coat, I thought, and the hat, well the hat, at a rakish angle, gave him Sinatra smooth vibe.   He spoke to us in that baas rumble and I knew, right there and then he was talking directly to me.   This man is sexy.

I don’t remember all the songs he sang  but the words were electrifying and the music sublime.   By the time the interval came round, me and the man from Cavan who happened to be sitting beside me, were bawling our heads off, clutching one another’s arms and telling one another that Leonard Cohen was  a GENIUS!   Meanwhile my husband observed with a satisfied grin.   I was a convert.

Just a day or two ago, as I watched a documentary about Cohen’s life, I learned that he was living on Hydra at the same time as I was travelling the Greek Islands.   I had turned up my nose at Hydra because it was overrun with artistic types and tourists.   I thought myself so superior, opting to visit only those islands that were still “genuine”.

Had I not been such a fearful travel snob I might have met Leonard Cohen.   I might have fallen I love with him.   I might have been Marianne.



Leave a Comment
  1. simonjkyte / Nov 17 2016 5:16 pm

    It is still a nice island because there are no cars – go in winter. Have loved Cohen for decades – and Mr Glass as it happens


    • catherinebwrites / Nov 18 2016 11:58 am

      Must try that sometime.


      • simonjkyte / Nov 18 2016 12:06 pm

        Yes, I might go there for Christmas. There’s a place called Icons i stay at


  2. catherinebwrites / Nov 18 2016 3:33 pm

    Will keep a note of that…thanks.


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