Leonard Cohen, the singer and songwriter who died last week, got a moving tribute in the latest episode of Blank on Blank, the video series that animates forgotten or lost interviews from the past.
This episode, titled “Leonard Cohen on Moonlight,” features a rare conversation with the “Hallelujah” singer from Dec. 4, 1974 on WBAI FM. The video opens with the singer reflecting: “I don’t feel any compulsion just to stand under the spotlight night after night or year after year unless I have something to say.” At the interviewer’s request, he reads his poem “Two Slept Together” and tells the story of how he wrote the song “Sisters of Mercy.”
The video animates Cohen’s likeness and the stories told in his poem and story. “Two Slept Together” is a surreal, meandering poem that comes alive in Cohen’s low, lilting voice. The tale behind “Sisters of Mercy” is strange and captivating, and ends with Cohen being inspired to write the song in the middle of the night by moonlight.
In the clip, Cohen also reads an excerpt from a novel he was working on, which has never been published. Blank on Blank has published the transcript as the full video interview on their website. Watch the interview and hear “Sisters of Mercy” below: