Videos by American Songwriter
“A thought occurred to me that Leonard will not always be around, says New York singer-songwriter Richard McGraw, whose new song,”Leonard Cohen R.I.P. (The Song)” is a preemptive eulogy. “This was sad and disturbing. The song came quickly after that.”
“I’m not sure why I wrote it,” McGraw continues. “It’s strange to feel deeply for someone you don’t know personally. That said, his work and life have had a profound impact on me, much like a parent or any loved one. Maybe I wrote it to be closer to him. Maybe I wrote it as a way to deal with the loss. All of this may seem a little creepy I realize, because he isn’t dead yet.”
McGraw’s song can be found on his fourth album, Popular Music, which you can purchase here. The album also finds McGraw covering Lady Gaga, Rick James, The Who, REO Speedwagon and Bob Seger.
“I usually make records then hope they sell,” McGraw explains. “This time I started out with the intentions of selling music. I chose songs that already sell like a Lady Gaga song for example. The problem became, how do I do a Lady Gaga song and still respect myself? What started out as a scheme to make money, later became an art, the art of selling out: aiming for commercial success while staying true to my heart and my aesthetic.”
Leonard Cohen’s new album, Old Ideas, is due in January.