Reply
Honored Social Butterfly

The Nobel Prize for Songwriting Goes to. . .

in 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."  This may end up being a pretty short list, but. . .which other songwriters could be considered for a Nobel Prize for Literature?  Any genre,any nationality, and repeats are encouraged.  

0 Kudos
881 Views
5
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

len.jpg

 

Leonard Cohen

 

Let's start with his early days as a writer.  At university in the 1950s, he studied and wrote poetry and novel writing, published his work and won literary awards.  In the 1960s he moved into songwriting.  His ability was recognized by such prominent singers as Judy Collins (who recorded his "Suzanne" and who pushed him into singing), James Taylor  and Joan Baez.  His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), became a cult hit.  Jennifer Warnes, who started as his backup singer, later became one his most frequent interpreters.

 

His songs started appearing in movies, beginning with McCabe and Mrs. Miller; his songs were considered vital to the film's success.  Throughout the '70s and '80s Cohen toured, recorded, and wrote songs for dozens of other singers, including Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley and John Cale.  

 

Inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2010, Cohen was the songwriter's writer, to be sure, but he had quite a bit of success on his own.  His deep, gravelly voice often seemed the vehicle his songs required, expressing the rough and real side of life.  Rolling Stone called him "the Poet of Brokenness."  His writing was bold; unafraid that listeners would take offense or misunderstand, he wrote about everything from religious ecstasy to drugs.  His lyrics often combined the sublime with the profane, as in one of his best loved and most often recorded songs--I'll bet you've heard it even if you didn't know it was his:  "Hallelujah."

Even Bob Dylan attempted it.  By the way, Dylan said of Cohen's work, "These are more than songs.  These are prayers."

 

He kept on writing, recording and touring, through 2016, when he died at age 82.  Fifteen albums, 16 books of poetry, 2 novels, 48 awards, including a Lifetime Grammy and an honorary Doctor of Letters.    

 

His songs have been analyzed to the corpuscle; there's just too much to discover in them.  Listen to one today and you may think you've got it figured out, but tomorrow you'll find another meaning.  And like any true writer, he wouldn't reveal what he intended them to mean.  I wish I could tell you how much he meant to so many musicians, even those who don't know he influenced them--people who were mentored by someone who'd studied Cohen.  But really, what matters are the songs themselves.  Here are just a few of the best-loved (no particular order): 

 

*"Suzanne"

 

*"Bird on a Wire"

 

*"Sisters of Mercy"

 

*"Famous Blue Raincoat"

 

*"Anthem"

 

*"Who By Fire"

 

*"The Future"

 

*"Democracy"

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 Kudos
577 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

Would also say Crosby, Still, Nash&Young 

should get one 💜

0 Kudos
705 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

Paul Simon

 

A lot of people rank him right behind Dylan. Simon is poetic, thoughtful, multidimensional, and downright brilliant. 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

Lennon & McCartney, excellent choice!  Macca could also be there on his own merit.

I will add Gordon Lightfoot to the list. He has an outstanding catalogue of pure poetry and storytelling, and is the pride of Canada. It has been said that Dylan admired him a lot.

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

Dylan was my first choice, totally deserving.

I would have to list Lennon&McCartney as

deserving because, well we all know why

lol 💜💜

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

"I downloaded AARP Perks to assist in staying connected and never missing out on a discount!" -LeeshaD341679

AARP Perks

Test Your Knowledge, Score Big. New Game Each Day!

AARP's new Right Again! Trivia game - part trivia, part puzzle, all fun! Special opportunities for AARP Members and Rewards participants. Play Now.

AARP Right Again! Trivia

AARP Rewards

Sync your smartphone or favorite tracker with AARP Rewards to earn points for hitting steps, swimming and cycling milestones Sync Now.

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health