The Best Leonard Cohen quotes

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No one ever captured the angst and ennui of 20th century life quite like Leonard Cohen. A musician, poet, and songwriter, Cohen’s dark lyrics and haunting voice reflected the disillusionment of an era. In this quotes compilation, read about the twists and turns of Cohen’s life, from his early days as a struggling artist to his later years as a celebrated icon. Despite personal turmoil, Cohen’s music always conveyed a sense of hope and beauty. This book offers an in-depth look at one of the most influential voices in contemporary music.

Discover the most interesting Music, Love, Feelings, Time, Life, Songs, Light quotes from Leonard Cohen, and much more.


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About Leonard Cohen

birth of the author

September 21, 1934

death of the author

November 7, 2016

occupation of the author

Singer-Songwriter, Poet

date of the author

Years Active:

genre of the author

Folk, Soft Rock

instrument of the author

Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

institution of the author



Music is the emotional life of most people. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I’m afraid to live any place but in expectation. I’m no lifeโ€“risk. โ€” Leonard Cohen

You live your life as if it’s realโ€ฆ a thousand kisses deep. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. โ€” Leonard Cohen

music is the emotional life of most people Leonard Cohen quote

We’re always experiencing joy or sadness. But there are lots of people who’ve closed down. And there are times in one’s life when one has to close down just to regroup. โ€” Leonard Cohen

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life/ And when she came back she was nobody’s wife. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I speak of a clinical depression that is the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Your heart opens and of course you’re completely panicked because you’re used to guarding this organ with your life. โ€” Leonard Cohen

This particular school of Zen has always considered itself the Marines of the spiritual world, so it has a kind of bias against conceptual thinking in favor of a very rigorous physical life. โ€” Leonard Cohen

i m afraid to live any place but in expectation i m no life risk Leonard Cohen quote

I smile when I’m angry , I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do to get by. But I know what is wrong and I know what is right , and I’d die for the truth in my secret life . โ€” Leonard Cohen

I kind of limp along like so many of us do in these realms. Occasionally I’ve felt the grace of another presence in my life. But I can’t develop any kind of spiritual structure on that. โ€” Leonard Cohen

We actually lead very violent, passionate lives and I think that we’re hungry for insights into this condition. That’s why we get all that stuff on television. It’s really where we are, really what we are. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I’ve never sold widely enough to be able to relax about money. I had two kids and their mother to support and my own life. So there was never an option of cutting out. โ€” Leonard Cohen

This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, where we have the sense that we can’t live without love. That life has very little meaning without love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

you live your life as if it s real a thousand kisses deep Leonard Cohen quote

I’ll be marching through the morning, Marching through the night, Moving ‘cross the borders Of My Secret Life. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Success is survival. โ€” Leonard Cohen


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There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t. โ€” Leonard Cohen


But you don’t really care for music do ya? โ€” Leonard Cohen

We are ugly but we have the music. โ€” Leonard Cohen

but you don t really care for music do ya Leonard Cohen quote

I listen to the radio and I like all kinds of music, you know, but I like to hear from people who have been there. Hank Williams has been there. โ€” Leonard Cohen

We used to play music for fun. Much more than now. Now nobody picks up a guitar unless they’re paid for it. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Any of the decisions that I made, if one could actually locate a shape or form, were all within a wall, the landscape of music. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Europe has] this tradition of self revelation in popular music. We have it hereโ€“it’s called Country Western Music… I think that’s where the deeper and more complex subjects are treated. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Patrick Leonard] is such a magnificent composer. I don’t think there is anybody working today with those kind of skills that could translate one of my tunes into that really beautiful chamber music. โ€” Leonard Cohen


Well I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one. โ€” Leonard Cohen

It’s you my love, you who are the stranger. โ€” Leonard Cohen

And here you are hurried, And here you are gone; And here is the love, That it’s all built upon. โ€” Leonard Cohen

We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I am not the one who lovesโ€“It’s love that chooses me. โ€” Leonard Cohen

well i am the one who loves changing from nothing to one Leonard Cohen quote

Love is the only engine of survival. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I bargain now. I offer buttons for his love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

We’ve got to learn to love appearances. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Blessed be the covenant of love between what is hidden and what is revealed. โ€” Leonard Cohen

May everyone live, And may everyone die. Hello, my love, And my love, Goodbye. โ€” Leonard Cohen

it s you my love you who are the stranger Leonard Cohen quote

A kite is A victim you Are sure of. you love it becAuse it pulls. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Maybe there’s a god above but the only thing I learned from love was how to shoot at somebody who outdrew you. โ€” Leonard Cohen

If you want a lover I’ll do anything you ask me to. And if you want another kind of love I’ll wear a mask for you. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I am not the one who loved, it’s love that chooses me. When hatred with it’s package comes, you forbid delivery. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere. โ€” Leonard Cohen

we are so lightly here it is in love that we are made in love we disappear Leonard Cohen quote

He let me be a student of a love that I will never be able to give. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Love is a fire/It burns everyone/It disfigures everyone/It is the world’s excuse for being ugly. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Love is not a victory march; It’s a cold, and it’s a broken Hallelujah. โ€” Leonard Cohen

When you’re younger, you do have that thing that you were talking about where the mouth goes dry. I mean you have reactions, and you do fall in love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

i am not the one who loves it s love that chooses me Leonard Cohen quote

A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I didn’t fall in love of course it’s never up to you but she was walking back and forth and i was passing through โ€” Leonard Cohen

A community is an alibi for the failure of individual love. โ€” Leonard Cohen

A heavy burden lifted from my soul, I heard that love was out of my control. โ€” Leonard Cohen

love is the only engine of survival Leonard Cohen quote


Maybe the culture is [particularly] shabby now. Maybe it’s because I’m over sixty, that I can feel that about everything. โ€” Leonard Cohen

He knew that hair couldn’t feel; he kissed her hair. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I like life on the road. It’s a lot easier than civilian life. You kind of feel like you’re in a motorcycle gang. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I couldn’t feel so I learned to touch. โ€” Leonard Cohen

he knew that hair couldn t feel he kissed her hair Leonard Cohen quote

I always loved those little creatures [hummingbird], always feel blessed when they appear nearby. There’s a magical quality to them. I finally put one in a song. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Redundant Thematics

In Leonard Cohen Statements


There’s a deep tribal aspect to my own nature. So when I’m in contact with those deep resources, of course I feel a very special kind of nourishment. โ€” Leonard Cohen

One of the reasons I’m on tour is to meet people. I consider it a reconnaissance. You know, I consider myself like in a military operation. I don’t feel like a citizen. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Well it’s true, ever since I stopped eating meat I feel a lot better among animals, I feel I can be much more honest when I pat a dog. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I never had the sense that there was an end: that there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot. โ€” Leonard Cohen

i couldn t feel so i learned to touch Leonard Cohen quote

Do not believe the truth. The truth is tiny compared to what you have to do. โ€” Leonard Cohen

The less I was of who I was, the better I felt. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I think culture’s always been violent, and it is something we find very entertaining. Not only does it reflect our social reality, but it also reflects our psychic reality. โ€” Leonard Cohen


There is a blaze of light in every word, it doesn’t matter which you heard. โ€” Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. โ€” Leonard Cohen

there is a blaze of light in every word it doesn t matter which you heard Leonard Cohen quote

I dreamed about you baby. It was just the other night. Most of you was naked Ah, but some of you was light. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Pay attention to the cracks, because that’s where the light gets in. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. โ€” Leonard Cohen

In our rags of light, all dressed to kill. โ€” Leonard Cohen

So much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos… So ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. โ€” Leonard Cohen

there is a crack in everything that s how the light gets in Leonard Cohen quote

It’s not a cry you can hear at night. It’s not somebody who has seen the light. It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah. โ€” Leonard Cohen

In the broken places, the light shines through. โ€” Leonard Cohen

When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Friend, when you speak this carefully I know it is because you don’t know what to say. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I don’t remember lighting this cigarette and I don’t remember if I’m here alone or waiting for someone. โ€” Leonard Cohen

pay attention to the cracks because that s where the light gets in Leonard Cohen quote


The fact that my songs take a long time to write is no guarantee of their excellence. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Rust rust rust in the engines of love and time. โ€” Leonard Cohen

It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again. โ€” Leonard Cohen

When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you. โ€” Leonard Cohen

It just takes a long time for me [to write a song]. I’m very slow. And it comes, kind of, by dribbles and drops. โ€” Leonard Cohen

the fact that my songs take a long time to write is no guarantee of their excellence Leonard Cohen quote

One is given to selfโ€“dramatization from time to time. I intend to live forever. โ€” Leonard Cohen

A sip of wine, a cigarette, And then it’s time to go. I tidied up the kitchenette; I tuned the old banjo. I’m wanted at the trafficโ€“jam. They’re saving me a seat. โ€” Leonard Cohen

There’s always a nice tune [on radio]โ€“helps you get the dishes done . I like to get the news from time to timeโ€“not too often. I don’t feel deprived. โ€” Leonard Cohen

But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags that time cannot decay, I’m junk but I’m still holding up this little wild bouquet: Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked By the winds of change and the weeds of sex looks like freedom but it feels like death it’s something in between, I guess it’s closing time. โ€” Leonard Cohen

rust rust rust in the engines of love and time Leonard Cohen quote


I think that any songwriterโ€“and I think that Bob Dylan knows this more than all of usโ€“you don’t write the songs anyhow. โ€” Leonard Cohen

The sweetest little song: You go your way I’ll go your way too! โ€” Leonard Cohen

I would say the hummingbird really deserves the royalties on [some of my songs]. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I swear by this song and by all that I have done wrong, I will make it all up to thee. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I’ve often said if I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. โ€” Leonard Cohen

the sweetest little song you go your way i ll go your way too Leonard Cohen quote

When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself. โ€” Leonard Cohen

My sense of proprietorship has been so weak that actually I didn’t pay attention and I lost the copyrights on a lot of the songs. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Women stand for the objective world for a man. They stand for the thing that you’re not and that’s what you always reach for in a song. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I always felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to get a song together. โ€” Leonard Cohen

Other people singing my songs is something that I’ve never been casual about. I’ve always been very touched by it and I always go into immediate critical suspension. โ€” Leonard Cohen

i would say the hummingbird really deserves the royalties on some of my songs Leonard Cohen quote

Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song. โ€” Leonard Cohen

If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. It’s a mysterious condition. It’s much like the life of a Catholic nun. You’re married to a mystery. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I hope we [with Patrick Leonard] can come up with something orchestral with some spoken material. And I also, God willing, hope that perhaps another record of songs also might emerge, but one never knows. โ€” Leonard Cohen

I’ve always held the song in high regard because songs have got me through so many sinks of dishes and so many humiliating courting events. โ€” Leonard Cohen

LEONARD COHEN Quotes Take Away

Leonard Cohen was an accomplished musician, poet, and songwriter. But what many people may not know is that he was also a brilliant philosopher. In fact, some of his most famous quotes are about the art of selling. Weโ€™ve collected a few of our favorites for you to ponder as you work on your own sales goals. We hope they inspire and motivate you in your journey to becoming a successful seller. And if you need any help getting started, be sure to check out our courses. They can teach you everything from how to close a sale with ease to mastering the art of negotiation.

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