Leonard Cohen … Just Because


Leonard Cohen’s music was a theme of my Vía de la Plata pilgrimage. It started a few days in, when I saw a bird sitting on a barbed wire fence and Like a Bird on a Wire started to play in my head.

Anthem was another song that often ran through my head when I was feeling discouraged—and one I heard at the bar in Alberguería. It has possibly the best chorus ever:

There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

And then there was Hallelujah. I heard it in a grocery store in Mérida, and it made that gloomy day a little brighter. I had a wonderful time in Alberguería because I stuck around to hear Hallelujah, and couldn’t seem to leave. I heard it again in Santiago, played by protesters in the Praza de Obradoiro.

The Solitary Walker collected some of Leonard Cohen’s thoughts on this amazing song. Here’s a snippet:

… [R]egardless of what the impossibility of the situation is, there is a moment when you open your mouth and you throw open your arms and you embrace the thing and you just say “Hallelujah! Blessed is the name.” And you can’t reconcile it in any other way except in that position of total surrender, total affirmation.

(If you got this by e-mail, you might have to click through to the post to see the videos.)

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Posted by Anna-Marie Krahn at 10:21 am
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3 Comments

3 Responses to Leonard Cohen … Just Because

  1. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen are my sublime musical quartet, the musical backdrop to much of my life. Very nice to hear how Cohen kept recurring, and helped you along the Via de la Plata. One certainly needs some help on that route (particularly in the middle of winter) …

  2. Tom Iacobelli says:

    Thanks for the blog and some of the music links. Juust returnig home form Le Puy France to Santiago and then walking the “Eye of God”. I’m having major emotinal blues and crying spells. Not feeling depressed but so grateful for the experiences and all the relatinships with my fellow seekers. Some saddness about having to leave them physically and say good bye but I still carry them in my heart and soul with me. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not going crazy or that these feelings and emotions are not that uncommon upon returning. This site has been helpful to me to understand and process this experience. The Leonard Cohen links are so appreciated!! In Gratitude.. Tom