BootLeg Betty

Tracking The Source Of Lullaby In Blue

Cohencentric.com
Leonard Cohen Clarifies His Work On Lullaby In Blue Before He Gave To Adam Who Bestowed It On Bette Midler
Posted on March 14, 2018 by DrHGuy

Bette Midler recorded Lullaby In Blue on her 1998 Bathhouse Betty album, describing it as her favorite of the tracks:

I’ve never heard a pop song about a person who gives their child up and is missing the child… The first time I heard that song, I burst into tears. I had to pull over to the side of the road. 1

On the album, the song is listed as having been co-written by Adam Cohen and Brock Walsh.

A reader referencing I’m Your Man by Sylvie Simmons (Ecco: 2012), however, points out that Leonard Cohen originated the song:

Leonard [Cohen] gave his son [Adam Cohen] a song that he had been “working on for years” and knew he’d “never get around to doing,” “Lullaby In Blue.”

How similar the iteration Leonard Cohen gave Adam is to the final version Bette Midler song is unknown.2

DrHGuy Note: That’s where things stood when this entry was posted. About eight minutes after it went online, I heard from Leonard Cohen, who was then ensconced at the Regina Encampment, where a concert had been canceled because of wide-spread illness among the Unified Heart Touring Company. As Joey Carenza posted on March 10, 2013, Cohen & crew were “bunkered in Regina and on the mend.”

Well, it turns out that Leonard found time during this hiatus to check in on my online ramblings and respond to “How similar the iteration Leonard Cohen gave Adam is to the the final version Bette Midler song is unknown:”

Dr Heck,

The tune and the words are Adam’s

All I gave him were the words:

The child I never knew
My lullaby in blue

Warm Regards,

Leo

And thus is another seemingly unanswerable query concerning the life and times of Leonard Cohen answered. It’s just another day at the premier Leonard Cohen blog noir.

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