a crack in everything


Maria Popova, collecting pieces of Leonard Cohen’s life and lyrics:

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Western world was ablaze with the euphoria of a blind faith that democracy was coming to the East. I was there — that’s not what happened. Cohen, too, saw things differently.

One of his most beloved lyric lines, from the song “Anthem” — a song that took Cohen a decade to write — remains what is perhaps the most meaningful message for our troubled and troubling times: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It springs from a central concern of Cohen’s life and work, one which he revisited in various guises across various songs — including in “Suzanne”, where he writes “look among the garbage and the flowers / there are heroes in the seaweed,” and in the iconic “Hallelujah”: “There’s a blaze of light / In every word / It doesn’t matter which you heard / The holy or the broken Hallelujah”.