Leonard Cohen tunes


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Ladies man!


Leonard Cohen didn’t venture into songwriting until 1967; before that, he mainly released poetry and novels.

His first four albums contained sensational material, a treasure waiting to be discovered by serious songwriters. Let’s take a look at the highlights from this 1967-1974 period.

On his debut album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen, we find Suzanne, Sisters Of Mercy, and So Long, Marianne. The follow-up, Songs from a Room (1969), featured two notable tunes, Bird on the Wire and The Partisan (a cover).

Cohen’s third album, Songs Of Love And Hate, was released in 1971, and one tune stands out here Famous Blue Raincoat.

In 1974, his album New Skin for the Old Ceremony introduced the legendary Chelsea Hotel #2, which apparently is about Janis Joplin. Who By Fire is also pretty good.

In 1977, he teamed up with Phil Spector and released Death Of A Ladies’ Man. The album didn’t have any notable tunes, and the same goes for his next release, Recent Songs.

However, in 1984, Cohen made a comeback with Various Positions, which included his biggest tune yet, Hallelujah. Ranked at #259 as the greatest song of all time, it has been covered by many artists, most famously Jeff Buckley’s 2004 version.



The album Various Positions also features Dance Me To The End Of Love, which was covered well by Madeleine Peyroux, and also released in 2004.

In 1988, Cohen released his last great album, I’m Your Man. The production may be questionable, but the songwriting shines through in First We Take Manhattan, Everybody Knows, I’m Your Man (title track), and Take This Waltz.

First We Take Manhattan was released by Jennifer Warnes before Leonard’s synth version. Jennifer also recruited Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I’m Your Man also includes my favourite Leonard Cohen lyrics in Tower Of Song. The first two verses go like this:

Well, my friends are gone, and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love, but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day in the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams, how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
Oh, a hundred floors above me in the Tower of Song

Following I’m Your Man, Cohen released a further seven albums. Some had great titles (Popular Problems, You Want It Darker), and some had great lyrics, but none married a melody to become another Leonard Cohen classic.



Leonard Cohen Tunes | Related Pages


Bird on the Wire

Bird on the Wire chords

You can learn how to play Bird on the Wire by Leonard Cohen using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

A | E |
Like a bird on the wire…


Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance Me To The End Of Love chords

You can learn how to play Dance Me To The End Of Love by Leonard Cohen using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

Cm | Cm | Gm | Gm |
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin…


Famous Blue Raincoat

Famous Blue Raincoat chords

You can learn how to play Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

Bm7 | G |
It’s four in the morning, the end of December…



Hallelujah

Hallelujah chords

You can learn how to play Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

G5 | Em7 |
I heard there was a secret chord…


So Long, Marianne

So Long, Marianne chords

You can learn how to play So Long, Marianne by Leonard Cohen using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

| A | A | Bm | Bm |
Come over to the window, my little darling…


Leonard Cohen on the web

Listen to Leonard Cohen on Spotify.

Biographies

Artist and Band biographies

Behind every single tune you learn, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalogue of music, waiting to be discovered.

Find out more about these great women and men, and let their tunes guide you to success with these Artist & Band biographies.


About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article about Leonard Cohen tunes was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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