And she will learn to touch herself so well/ as all the sails burn down like paper/ And he has lit the chain of his famous cigarillo.
"And she will learn to touch herself so well/ as all the sails burn down like paper/ And he has lit the chain of his famous cigarillo.

Leonard Cohen, the whispering titan of singer-songwriters, and one of the only living music artists whose song lyrics are worth reading in a book, celebrates his 82nd birthday today. This fact is all the more resonant and delightful in light of how much time we've spent mourning our beloved artists this year. In a demonstration of his artistic and human vitality, Cohen released a new single today, the Gregorian (actually mystic Hebraic)-inflected, death-suffused "You Want It Darker." It sounds like a lot of his better latter-day music, which I am fine with.

Sponsored
Justice is on the ballot in November
Vote Carolyn Ladd by November 3rd for a more progressive justice system

But on a day that has already seen a lot of people sharing one of the many versions of the misunderstood anthem "Hallelujah"—invariably performed with lachrymose piety, instead of with the wry irony that rescues the song's supplication from bathos—I wanted to provide a few lesser-known Cohen numbers (and a few greater) for people who may not be familiar with the full breadth of his 50-year body of work, or for people—like Cohen himself, apparently—who are ready for "Hallelujah" to enter the moratorium zone.

"One of Us Cannot Be Wrong"

"Winter Lady" (odd video inclusive)

"The Partisan"

"The Butcher"

"The Old Revolution"

"Story of Isaac"

"Famous Blue Raincoat" (the greatest loneliness song ever written)

"Dress Rehearsal Rag" (the best suicidal ideation song ever written)

"Joan of Arc"

"Field Commander Cohen"

"I Tried to Leave You"

"A Singer Must Die"

"Came So Far For Beauty"

"The Gypsy's Wife"

"If It Be Your Will"

"Everybody Knows"

"First We Take Manhattan"

"Tower of Song"

Support The Stranger

"The Future"

"Democracy"

"Land of Plenty"