One listen of the syrupy smooth voice of Canadian poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen and you can't help but be engulfed in his lyrical genius and exploration of life's darkest crevices.
This morning, it was announced that Cohen has died at the age of 82, leaving the world a breadth of poetic and musical gifts, from 'Suzanne' and 'Bird on the Wire' to 'I'm Your Man' and his most famous hit single, 'Hallelujah'.
Throughout Cohen's prolific career, he was able to strike the perfect balance between wit, sadness, self-deprecation and dark humour, ultimately touching the hearts of a generation of music lovers.
The most fitting summary of his life and career comes in the form of 'Hallelujah', when he sings:
'I did my best, it wasn't much. I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch. I told the truth, I didn't come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…'
In memory of Cohen's work, we've rounded up his most iconic words:
'Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the lights gets in.'
'True love leaves no traces, if you and I are one, it's lost in our embraces, like stars against the sun.'
'He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.'
When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you. . . It's like taking a drink of cold water when you are thirsty. Every tastebud on your tongue, every molecule in your body says thank you.
'Everybody knows that the boat is leaking. Everybody knows that the captain lied.'
'What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.'
'There's a blaze of light in every word, it doesn't matter which you heard, the holy or the broken Hallelujah.'
This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, we have the sense that we cannot live without love, that life has very little meaning without it.
'If you don't become the ocean, you'll be seasick everyday.'
'My friends are gone and my head is gray, I ache in the places where I used to play. And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on. I'm just paying my rent every day in the tower of song'
'I smile when I'm angry. I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do to get by.'
'Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act.'
'Everybody knows that the dice are loaded. Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed. Everybody knows that the war is over. Everybody knows the good guys lost. Everybody knows the fight was fixed. The poor stay poor, the rich get rich. That's how it goes. Everybody knows.'
'I think marriage is the hottest furnace of the spirit today. Much more difficult than solitude, much more challenging for people who want to work on themselves. It's a situation in which there are no alibis, excruciating most of the time … but it's only in this situation that any kind of work can be done.'
Leonard Cohen, 1943-2016.