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Leonard Norman Cohen


"Ring the Bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in." The quote comes from a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Norman Cohen called "Anthem" which was on his 9th studio album, The Future. While researching the quote, many sources say the line, "There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in," came from a story in a Jack Kornfield book on Buddhism titled A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life. However, the book came out in 1993, and Cohen's album came out in I dug deeper. Finally, we came across a 1992 interview of Cohen by Paul Zollo which dispels the myths including one about referencing Bob Dylan. Zollo: Is "Anthem" in any way an answer to Dylan’s song "Everything is Broken?" Cohen: I had a line in Democracy that referred specifically to that Dylan song "Everything is Broken" which was, "The singer says it’s broken and the painter says it’s gray," But, no, "Anthem" was written a long time before that Dylan song. I’d say '82 but it was actually earlier than that that that song began to form. Zollo: Including the part about the crack in everything? Cohen: That’s old, that’s very old. That has been the background of much of my work. I had those lines in the works for along time. I’ve been recycling them in many songs. I must not be able to nail it.