The birds are singing, the leaves are sprouting on the trees and the sun is finally shining after a cold, gray April -- I think Audiofile should celebrate. But how? Hmm. Of course! A giveaway contest! And what better prize than the music of my old running mate, Leonard Cohen? "Famous Blue Raincoat." "Suzanne." "Bird on a Wire." Those beautiful songs bring back a flood of warm-weather memories: moonlit nights filled with ouzo and guitars at Leonard's house on the Greek island of Hydra; reading poetry in the bars along his native Montreal's Rue St. Catherine; meditating high atop the San Gabriel Mountains at his favored Zen center.
OK, I've never hung out with Leonard Cohen, and his music is probably better suited to winter than spring, but it was 40 years ago that the novelist, poet and songwriter first revealed his sensual, melancholy musical vision to the world. To mark the occasion Audiofile has some nice Cohen-related goodies up for grabs. All you have to do to give yourself a chance to win is explain, in 60 words or fewer, what your favorite Leonard Cohen song is and why. Whether it's "I'm Your Man," "Hallelujah," "First We Take Manhattan" or any of the songs I mentioned earlier, there's a wealth of brilliant material to choose from.
Whoever best presents his or her case will receive an autographed copy of Cohen's 2006 poetry collection, "Book of Longing." One runner-up will win new remastered editions of Cohen's classic first three albums (1967's "Songs of Leonard Cohen," 1969's "Songs From a Room" and 1971's "Songs of Love and Hate") as well as a copy of smoky-voiced chanteuse Anjani's "Blue Alert" -- which was produced by Cohen and comes newly enhanced with DVD extras.
Other than length, there aren't any guidelines for entries. Your praise could take the shape of a personal anecdote, a haiku or a reworking of a Cohen lyric -- just keep it under 60 words. You have until Tuesday, May 8, at 5 p.m. EDT to send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include your name and address in the e-mail. The winning entries will be posted on Audiofile on Friday, May 11. Good luck!
-- David Marchese