It’s actually a perfect fit: The New Yorker and Leonard Cohen; a venerable magazine with a long-standing interest in poetry, and a songwriter who was a published poet long before he wrote his first song. Starting today, The New Yorker streams the opening song from Cohen’s forthcoming album, “Old Ideas.”
The song, “Going Home,” is a subtly playful meditation on inevitability: of aging, of duty and, to get all abstract about it, a lightening of being. Cohen purrs out the lyrics in a voice grown deeper and richer, and you can almost see the hint of a smile flickering about the corners of his mouth when he sings, “I’d love to speak to Leonard/He’s a sportsman and a shepherd/He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit.”
In addition to streaming the song here, The New Yorker is publishing the lyrics as a poem in its Jan. 23 issue (on newsstands today, a press release informs us).
“Old Ideas,” Cohen’s 12th studio album in a career stretching to 1967, is due Jan. 31 on Columbia. Listen here to “Show Me the Place,” another song from the album.