Just a few weeks ago I posted about Leonard Cohen’s new song, “You Want it Darker”.
Now, last night word came of his death.
His music and lyrics always had a Jewish background. Lately this had become even more so.
I have been posting about David, so we can remember how his most famous song “Hallelujah” starts off, “I’ve heard there was a secret chord/ That David played, and it pleased the Lord….”
His songs were not triumphant in the sense that many Christians expect religious songs to be. There was usually a kind of sadness to them. I confess that sadness often matched my mood. I have read that Cohen suffered from depression. I don’t know. But I suspect that people who have a streak of sadness in them get diagnosed that way even if they are perfectly healthy–part of our therapeutic and pop-psychology culture.
He had read, no doubt, about one who was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Should we diagnose that man, the servant of the Lord, as suffering from depression?
Rather, it seems to me that sadness as well as joy and thanksgiving are, at various times, appropriate responses to life.
Here is a worthwhile article about Cohen.