Song of the Day, July 1: Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen

CohenImYMToday’s song is the magical closing track to Leonard Cohen’s brilliant eighth album, 1988’s I’m Your Man. A smart reinvention that draws on all his strengths while breaking new ground, it’s a flawless set of eight compelling tracks. After telling tales of heartbreak, isolation, despotism, paranoia, and more, Cohen grows reflective as he rounds out the set.

Tower of Song puts the singer in a professional prison, trapped by his own career and accomplishments. It’s a nice conceit, crafted with Cohen’s trademark wit. Delivered in a melodic deadpan, it shows off the wry nuance of his unique voice. He ponders his place in the musical pantheon while considering the congenial isolation of the travelling life. Nothing sums it up quite like these lines:

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

Enjoy this brilliant song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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