Connect with us

The lyricist that David Gilmour said it was the best of all time

David Gilmour
Photos by Polly Samson


The lyricist that David Gilmour said it was the best of all time

The guitarist and singer David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd in 1967, two years after the band was formed, but was a crucial element to make them become even bigger. Even though the band’s main lyricist was Roger Waters, Gilmour gave his contribution to many lyrics especially on “Dark Side Of The Moon” (1973) and “Wish You Were Here” (1975).


Over the decades, the musician had the chance to talk about many of his peers and even revealed who in his opinion is the best lyricist of all time. Rock and Roll Garage selected what he said about that artist over the years.

The lyricist that David Gilmour said it was the best of all time

In 2020, when the world had to stop because of the Pandemic, as many artists at the time, David Gilmour promoted a lot of special livestreams with his family. The main objective was to promote the new book of his wife and lyricist Polly Samson, which was called “A Theatre For Dreamers” and told a fictionalized story of the Greek island of Hydra in the 60s. She included many real characters in the book and one of them was the musician that David Gilmour said it is the best lyricist he knows, which is Leonard Cohen.

Since he appeared in the book, Gilmour and his family performed many songs of the Canadian artist. Some of them were “If It Be Your Will”, “Bird On The Wire”, “Who By Fire”, “So Long , Marianne” and “Thanks For The Dance”. Just a few days after that livestream, the Pink Floyd member talked in an interview Rolling Stone magazine about performing those tracks. He recognized that Cohen was also a brilliant guitar player.

“One thing I did learn is how bloody good he is as a guitar player. You tend to think of singer-songwriters as people who are just using the guitar accompaniment to carry the words that they’re doing. But Leonard was an absolutely brilliantly accomplished guitar player in fingerstyle things that I just cannot do. And of course, he’s about the best lyricist that I know of,” David Gilmour said.

He picked a Leonard Cohen single as the best one released in the 90s

More than two decades ago, in 2000, when the internet still was crawling compared to nowadays, David Gilmour was invited to be part of a MSN webcast. On that session of Q&A with fans he talked a lot about Pink Floyd and his solo career. But was also asked which was his favorite single from the 90s, decade that had just ended at the time. His answer was: “‘Closing Time’ by Leonard Cohen. “I spent a lot of time trying to analyse those lyrics,” he said.

He also gave the same answer in 2002, when he was asked that question during a session of questions and answers with fans in Dotmusic. “That was a great album by Leonard Cohen. I really liked the whole album and that song. I spent a lot of time trying to analyse what the lyrics meant,” David Gilmour said.

“Closing Time” is the fourth track of the album “The Future”, released by Cohen in 1992. The album made it to Top 40 charts in the United Kingdom and went double platinum in Canada. Also was successful in the United States, selling a quarter of a million copies.

Cohen said that two of his main inspirations for the album were the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Other famous songs from that record are “Always” and “Waiting For The Miracle”.

Leonard Cohen

Born in Westmount, Quebec, Canada in 1934, Leonard Cohen was a poet and novelist. He pursued those careers in the 50s and 60s. It was only in 1967 that he released his debut album.

From the late 60s until 2016 he released 14 studio albums. Plus one posthumous record in 2019. The musician died in 2016 at the age of 82, victim of leukemia, coagulation defects, and falls. He was honored in 2008 by Lou Reed, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During his speech, Reed said that he was “so lucky to be alive at the same time Leonard Cohen” was.

A very respected songwriter, Leonard Cohen is often compared with the legendary Bob Dylan. Many fans even call him the Canadian version of Dylan. Some of the songs he wrote achieved a level of fame that became even bigger than Cohen himself. The greatest example is “Hallelujah“ from his 1984 album “Various Positions”.

The track became a religious anthem that is played in churches all over the world. Many people have no ideia that Cohen is the composer and think that it’s an old religious tune.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top