How I have been champing at the bit to write about this spiritual anthem and finally it has arrived in alphabetical cadence. It titled an earlier post ‘Leonard Cohen’s ‘Come Healing’ and 5 other contemporary spiritual masterpieces‘. There are scant singer-songwriters who you could argue get better with age, but Leonard is one of them. Not to mention Bob Dylan who astonishingly nailed a Sinatra cover record, but that’s for another occasion.
There is no better place to start delving into Come Healing than reflecting on these lyrics:
Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
Of cruelty or the grace
And then there is this:
O, troubledness concealing
An undivided love
The heart beneath is teaching
To the broken heart above
To this day, like Dylan’s early lyrical prowess, I am astounded how Cohen wrote those words above. Also I adore the Webb sisters’ harmony in this song. I think in terms of spiritual nourishment, at least for me Cohen has provided something extraordinary here, you could say ‘scriptural’. That is why it heads my spiritual anthem chart. In decades to come, if we last that long as a human species, (and that’s a big ‘if’) this song will be studied in schools and dissected endlessly like Dylan’s Tambourine Man and Blowing in the Wind.
The thing is Dylan wrote those songs in his early 20’s and Cohen in his 70’s with Come Healing and Show Me The Place and Different Sides. That’s a true poet right there.
Come Healing is in Old Ideas – the twelfth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen released in January 2012. According to wikipedia: ‘It is Cohen’s highest-charting release in the United States, reaching number 3. 44 years after the release of his first album. The album topped the charts in 11 countries, including Finland, where Cohen became, at the age of 77, the oldest chart-topper, during the album’s debut week.’
A deep place seems to exist in us all – underneath all the chaos and brokenness of this earthly realm. We need brokenness in order to know wholeness. I spoke about the Stockdale paradox recently which we need to keep reserves of in these precarious times. Come Healing like that paradox is a constant reminder to us of what is meaningful when it all comes down to it.