This song demonstrates what is so damn good about Cohen’s music especially in the latter epoch of his career. I could have Did I ever Love You on repeat and never tire hearing it. The contrasting musical interlude between the slow verse and fast-rollicking chorus sections hits my musical taste-buds like few other songs. It can feel confusing to the listener upon first listen because of this juxtaposition between the two styles and moods.
Someone wrote on the Cohen forum that ‘it seems to present “various positions” on the matter at hand (manic-depressive positions, though they may be, but that is now something that I love about it!)’. I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.
Did I ever Love You is the first song presented here from Cohen’s 2014 album Popular Problems. I have another song from that record which I am yet to write about that I hold in the highest esteem and dedicated to my daughter when she was baptised. I’ll let you guess which one that was. The more I hear Did I Ever Love You the more I love it. It also has this fascinating country-style sound which tickles my senses.
Popular Problems is the thirteenth studio album from Cohen and received uniformly positive reviews from critics. The album peaked at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 20,000 copies in its first week.
The thing about Did I Ever Love You and many other songs from Leonard is how they draw you in. The song expresses our inability to communicate feelings of love and despair, and of wanting and needing someone. It appears both parties are still longing for each other, although they probably haven’t seen or heard from one another in a very, very long time.