Song of the Day, November 13: Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye by Leonard Cohen

CohenHeyToday’s song is an early classic from a master storyteller. Leonard Cohen was 33 when he released his first album, returning to music after years as a poet and novelist. Songs of Leonard Cohen is an amazing collection, featuring many songs that would become folk standards either in their original versions or as covers. Although Cohen is noted for lengthy songs, complex stories, and deep near-spoken vocals, this song is something quite different.

Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye features a fairly high vocal, even by Cohen’s early standards. It’s also quite brief, not even three minutes, and very direct. It stands out because of all these things, a straightforward declaration of disappointment told with remarkable clarity. Over an almost tidal roll of acoustic guitar, Cohen narrates the wonders of love that he expected to last, pausing at intervals to call out his departed lover in clear terms.

Enjoy this wonderful 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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