Happens To The Heart

Album: Thanks for the Dance (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track of Leonard Cohen's posthumous album Thanks For The Dance. Cohen's son Adam produced the record, fulfilling his father's wish to finish some songs they'd written together.

    Adam Cohen started with the abandoned tunes "The Night of Santiago," "Moving On" and "Happens to the Heart," which Adam called his father's piece de resistance. "I've rarely seen more devotion to or almost obsession with a song," he told Mojo magazine. "There are more verses than I know off and we attempted it on many occasions. Had he been satisfied with it, it would have been on You Want It Darker."
  • The song is a defiant statement of intent.

    I was always working steady
    But I never called it art


    Adam Cohen told Apple Music: "I think it's one in a long line of songs that have his essential thesis in life, which is the broken hallelujah: Everything cracks, and this is what happens to the heart."
  • Directed by Sia collaborator Daniel Askill, the video draws inspiration from Leonard Cohen's experience as a Buddhist monk.

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