I’m writing this week's “Song of The Week” blurb from my parent’s home in Ottawa on Remembrance Day. A lot to think about with the passing yesterday of perhaps our country’s most renowned poet singer songwriter Leonard Cohen — and remembering those brave souls who gave their lives for our freedom. Leonard Cohen’s uninhibited freedom of expression was the gift he shared with the world, so in his honour I think it would only be right to choose his most famous song “Hallelujah”. There are a multitude of musical and written interpretations of this brilliant composition, and that’s what makes it such a beautiful piece of work. When something can connect so many people, yet mean something different to each and every individual, it holds a special power.
Leonard Cohen is the same age as my 82 year old father, and the news hit him particularly hard this morning. Not only has he travelled the years musically with Leonard Cohen, he actually went to summer camp with him and recalls being in the infirmiry at one point on the same occasion. Ironically they met again years later when my father began presenting concerts at his Ottawa coffee house, Le Hibou. Leonard Cohen performed there in the 60’s for an audience of twelve, and that included my mother and father. “Hallelujah”, which translated means an expression of worship or rejoicing, may not be locked into the memory of many of your older adult exercise participants — however the word Hallelujah resonates with all of us and somehow just hearing that word can lift one’s spirits. So in honour of Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah” is this week’s song of the week.