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Leonard Cohen

We did not get a chance to see Leonard Cohen live, but I have listened to him for a long time. I bought Songs of Leonard Cohen a couple of years after it was released.

One of the songs on the album was Sisters of Mercy, which Cohen wrote here in Edmonton. As he told the story, he sat in his hotel room, looking out the window, and below he saw nuns walking to and from their convent. He determined they belonged to the Sisters of Mercy and wrote this song.

Leonard Cohen also wrote Hallelujah. My favourite version is by kd lang, another Canadian artist. We have many songs from various stages of her career.

Kathy and I have attended concerts by kd lang (another great Canadian artist) and her version is spell-binding. She has a pure voice and sings with so much power I have goose bumps.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

25 responses »

  1. Love KD. She’s fantastic and I also like her version best. 🙂 I’v been listening to her for ages. Amazing voice.

  2. KD Lang brings feeling into the 21st century. Moves me in an unencumbered way. Thank you Ivon for sharing both wonderful artists and poets. 🙏

  3. I hadn’t heard the Leonard Cohen song you’ve highlighted, Ivon – easy listening and mellow.
    As for KD Lang: What a remarkable rendition of this beautiful melody/song. Her breath control must be amongst the best in the world… An absolute delight.

    • I think the album it was on was published in 1968 and was his first as he transitioned from being a poet to sharing his lyrics musically. His early voice was rich.

      kd is a favourite of mine and has been for years as she transitioned from channeling Patsy Cline (her words), to jazz, and back to torch and twang country. I have seen her live several times over the years and she is a wonderful live performer.

  4. KD is terrific. I was lucky enough to see Leonard perform live a few years ago. One of my favorite concerts. Cheers!

    • I spoke to someone who saw Leonard live and they made similar comments. They said he interacted so well with the audience.

      kd is a great performer and has a different audience here, in Edmonton her hometown. than other places. I have seen her in both settings.

  5. Beautiful songs, and beautiful artists both. I was so lucky to see Cohen live twice – once in Victoria in about 92 when “The Future” came out, and then much later about 2012 in Vancouver … Fran and myself were there. He gave it his all for at least 3 hours, and I can only describe it as a religious experience. Apparently it took him a few years to write Hallelugh, unsure on which verses to include and always changing them. If you listen to Cohen’s recorded version compared KD Langs, they sing different verses. His book “Stranger Music” includes all 7 verses. I didn’t know the history behind the Sisters of Mercy. So many amazing songs by Cohen… indeed, music as prayer.

  6. Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs. I hadn’t heard KD Lang’s version before. Thank you for sharing, I really like it.

  7. Pingback: Leonard Cohen – muddled musings of a mangled mind

  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  9. K d lang was my favorite rendition of this great, timeless piece, until I heard Pentatonix do it!!!


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