Watch Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, a 2005 Documentary

Leonard Cohen, the legendary singer, songwriter and poet, was born in Montreal, Canada, on this day in 1934. In the Book of Longing, Cohen imagines the scene:

I was born in chains but I was taken out of them. It was windy. Dried leaves crashed against the walls of the homeopathic hospital. I was alive. I was alive in the horror. The givers huddled over me like a football team. They started to give me things and then to take them away. Things that didn't fit they chucked back into the funnel of the void. The gifts were many and many were the warnings that went with them. We are giving you a great heart but if you drink wine you will begin to hate the world. The moon is your sister but if you take sleeping pills you will find yourself in the company of unhappy women. Every time you grab at love, you will lose a snowflake of your memory.

Cohen recites that passage in Lian Lunson's 2005 documentary, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. The film is a fascinating retrospective of Cohen's life and work, and features tribute performances of his songs by some of the many artists influenced by him, including Beth Orton, Nick Cave, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and U2. In celebration of Cohen's birthday, and his many gifts, we present Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man above. The film is also available for American viewers at Hulu.

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  • Carrie says:

    We saw you in the theatre when I had my baby in my tummy. I was so inspired by you that I wanted my baby to hear you live. I was stuck behind a pole so I couldn’t see you and you never never recognized me with my 9 month swollen belly. Not even your staff.

    Silly me I thought you might of made a fuss over my first child who nearly was born in your concert.

    But no notice of us and I was dissappointed.

    A little piece of me was sad that night because I used to have so much respect for you.

    I spent a lot of money on you buying your music and concerts and you gave me nothing back.

    You should have regrets at least this one…

  • kade olliver says:

    Because Mr Cohen’s career and live performance is all about you of course.

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