New Yorker To Print Lyrics Of & Stream Leonard Cohen’s “Going Home” From Old Ideas Album
On January 16, 2012, “Going Home” will become, thanks to The New Yorker, the third song from Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas album available for online listening (“Show Me The Place” and “Darkness,” are currently available at their respective links).
The Old Ideas album itself will be officially released in the US and Canada on January 31, 20111
New Yorker And Leonard Cohen Bonded By Poetry
Long known for its publication of poetry, The New Yorker will not only include the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s “Going Home” in its January 23rd print edition (on newsstands January 16th) but will also stream the song on its website – a first for the 86 year old institution.2
New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, who has been listening to Cohen since 1967, said that he is “thrilled” that the periodical will be presenting Cohen’s work in this manner, characterizing it as another step taken in acknowledging the power and achievement of singer-songwriters. Muldoon goes on to say,
The New Yorker has been publishing lyrics over the past years by Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon…Cohen is in some elite company, including his own!
The New Yorker has also featured Cohen’s poetry, most recently publishing “The Street” in the March 2, 2009 issue.
Leonard Cohen Poetry and Music Publications
Of course, Cohen was a successfully published poet a decade before he became a singer-songwriter. His first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, appeared in 1956 while his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released in 1967.3 His most recent book, “Poems and Songs,” comprising selections from Cohen’s music and poetry, was published in 2011 by Random House’s Everyman’s Library, a series which also includes such poets as Keats, Byron, Pushkin, Dickinson, Frost, Donne, and Browning. Having already gone through a second printing, a new edition of “Songs and Poems” will be released later this winter.
Cohen Wins Literary Honors
Recently, Cohen’s work has been receiving literary recognition throughout the world. In October 2011, Cohen became the only musician ever honored with the Prince Of Asturias Award For Letters, the highest literary award granted by Spain. The Jury for the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters voted
… to confer the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters on the Canadian poet and novelist Leonard Cohen for a body of literary work that has influenced three generations of people worldwide through his creation of emotional imagery in which poetry and music are fused in an oeuvre of immutable merit. The passing of time, sentimental relationships, the mystical traditions of the East and the West and life sung as an unending ballad make up a body of work associated with certain moments of decisive change at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century.4
Cohen’s Prince Of Asturias Awards speech, How I Got My Song, itself a momentous performance, epitomizes Cohen’s contribution to the literary arts.
In February, PEN New England will honor Leonard Cohen and Chuck Berry with its first annual award for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence. Conferring that award were judges Salman Rushdie, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Paul Muldoon, Smokey Robinson, and Bono.
Cohen is also the winner of the 2011 Glenn Gould Prize, an international award bestowed in memory of noted Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. Jury Chair Paul Hoffert said,
The jury was unanimous in selecting Leonard Cohen as the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize laureate. His poetry and music transcend national boundaries and cultures by touching our common humanity. His unique voice is nonetheless the common voice of people around the globe telling our stories, expressing our emotions, reaching deeply into our psyches. Like Glenn Gould, his work touches audiences far outside his main genre. Hallelujah!
- For release dates in other countries, see Old Ideas Album Worldwide Release Dates [↩]
- To clarify, the “86 year old institution” is The New Yorker. Mr Cohen, on the other hand, is a “77 year old icon” and, in any case, has previously had his songs streamed. [↩]
- Leonard Cohen’s complete list of published books includes the following
Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956)
The Spice-Box Of Earth (1961)
The Favourite Game (novel; 1963)
Flowers For Hitler (1964)
Beautiful Losers (novel; 1966)
Parasites Of Heaven (1966)
Selected Poems 1956-1968 (1968) & Poems 1956-1968 (UK 1969)
The Energy Of Slaves (1972)
Death Of A Lady’s Man (1978)
Book Of Mercy (1984)
Stranger Music (1993)
Book Of Longing (2006)
Poems and Songs (2011) [↩]
- The Prince of Asturias Foundation web site, accessed 28 July 2011 [↩]