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‘Here Lived & Loved Leonard Cohen’ – Hydra Hoteliers Pay Tribute

Photo source: The Leonard Cohen Files

Photo source: The Leonard Cohen Files

Paying tribute to the man that “lived his best creative years on Hydra, the rocky island that he deeply loved and was inspired by”, the Hydra Hotels Association proposed that November 11 be marked every year on the Saronic isle in memory of Leonard Cohen.

The association, representing the island’s hotel owners, also suggested the Municipality of Hydra honor the late songsmith with a street in this name with the inscription “Here lived and loved Leonard Cohen”.

The Canadian songwriter, poet and novelist purchased a rundown three-storey house on the Greek island in 1960, at the age of 26. Cohen repeatedly said that it was the smartest decision he had ever made. In a letter to his mother, Cohen described the Hydra house:

leonard_cohen_hydra“I suppose it’s about 200 years old and many generations of seamen must have lived here… All through the day, you hear the calls of the street vendors and they are really rather musical… I get up around 7 generally and work till about noon. Early morning is coolest and therefore best, but I love the heat anyhow, especially when the Aegean Sea is 10 minutes from my door.”

At his Hydra sanctuary, Cohen would come to create some of his most lauded works including “Bird on a Wire” inspired by the simplicity of the Greek island.

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“Today we say farewell to a great man… His music will be with us always: to soften our days, to smooth our burdens and inspire us to live and love…,” the association said in a statement released after the Canadian songwriter died on November 7.

cohen_chydra_1“Leonard Cohen was one of a kind. A kind that today is almost extinct. An artist, a pilgrim, an old soul,” the statement continues.

“He researched the true meaning of love, through poetry, music, meditation, feeling, mind and body.”

“In a world in turmoil and universal crisis on all levels and on inner values, his presence and songs are a heaven to our soul,” the statement concludes.


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