Leonard Norman Cohen (1934 - 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist. Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s; he did not launch a music career until 1967, at the age of 33.
Leonard Cohen was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Westmount, Quebec, on September 21, 1934. His Lithuanian mother, Marsha Klonitsky was the daughter of a Talmudic writer, Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline, and emigrated to Canada in 1927. His paternal grandfather, whose family had moved from Poland to Canada, was Lyon Cohen, the founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Bernard Cohen, who owned a substantial clothing store, died when Cohen was nine years old. The family observed Orthodox Judaism, and belonged to Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, to which Cohen retained connections for the rest of his life.
His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).
I have changed my name so often
I've lost my wife and children
But I have many friends
And some of them are with me
An old woman gave us shelter
Kept us hidden in the garret
Then the soldiers came
She died without a whisper
There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
But I must go on
The frontiers are my prison
Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing
Through the graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we'll come from the shadows
Les Allemands étaient chez moi
Ils me dirent, "résigne toi"
Mais je n'ai pas peur
J'ai repris mon âme
The Germans were at my house
They said to me, "Resign yourself"
But I'm not scared
I took back my soul)
J'ai changé cent fois de nom
I changed name a hundred times)