I had bought his latest album, You Want It Darker, just two weeks before his death. In the first of the nine songs, which has the same name as the album, he sings in his distinctive, deep throaty voice that he is ready to go home: “Hineni, Hineni, I’m ready my Lord.”
In this song, the 82 year old returns to his Jewish roots; and the first time I heard it, these words moved me deeply: “Here I am, Here I am, I’m ready my Lord!” When his last CD appeared in stores in Israel, Cohen told the Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot that he was ready to leave his life on earth behind. He told how he had asked the cantor from the synagogue of his childhood in Montreal to join him in singing the last verses of Hineni on the album.
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