How Leonard Cohen Sought Out Spiritual Truth Through His Songs
In the book “Leonard Cohen: The Mystical Roots of Genius,” Harry Freedman explores the frequent references to religious texts in the singer-songwriter’s lyrics.
By Tom Morris
November 11, 2021
2 minute read
British author and journalist Harry Freedman first conceived of the idea for his new book, Leonard Cohen: The Mystical Roots of Genius (Bloombsbury), while driving along the A40 highway in the United Kingdom, where he lives. Suddenly, “Hallelujah,” a song written by Cohen for his 1984 album Various Positions that’s since become an often-covered secular hymn, came on the radio. “For some reason I listened more carefully than I usually do, and I realized that he was singing about the Bible story of King David committing adultery,” Freedman says. “I thought, This guy is singing about things you don’t normally hear.”
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