LEONARD COHEN - HAPPENS TO THE HEART
A letter from Daniel
My contribution to this body of work comes from my love for the man who never wavered from his first love, the lyrical pilgrimage that Leonard embarked on carried him through a life of devotion. Isn’t that the way it should be? Certainly the way I’d like it to be for me. Young Adam Cohen was in touch to see if I’d help him frame his father’s last lyrical readings. I was on the plane to Montreal the next day.
Let’s talk about ‘Happens To The Heart’. Adam had already gotten a good start with the framing, that I then added to by way of a piano melody response to Leonard’s repeating lyric declaration, ‘What Happens to the Heart?’. Likely a question that we should all be asking.
Adam kept Leonard’s readings coming at me and I liked that I got to be the innocent one. My ears were fresh, my input was fast and my advice to Adam was clear and pure. I sang, I dubbed, I spun, I played the piano, played the bass and waved my arms to keep any dust from collecting on me. I left my dust at home cause I knew Adam would have his own dust to deal with. It’s just the way it goes with record making, the process eats away at innocence. I was the innocent man, if anyone can believe that. For me to be innocent and to be loving is what my friend needed. It’s been said that I carry a tool bag that might just help to keep soul content intact, that was my job, bodyguard to soul! I worked with Adam over the course of half a dozen or so visits, the details of my contribution are all there somewhere in the end. My love for Leonard is there to the end.
Some time back, on the outskirts of Dublin I stood in a field with my friend Bono, listening to Leonard Cohen in concert. Bono and I said very little, we just let the tears roll and thanked the stars that we were there for the offering.
May the offerings live on.
- Daniel Lanois
2019 © Daniel Lanois