12 March 2012

A Song for the Irving Layton Centenary

Irving Peter Layton
(né Israel Pincu Lazarovitch)
12 March 1912 – 4 January 2006
He is the light of our generation and after his 130 or 140 years are over and the man's removed from his work so that nothing lies between the reader and the work, the universe Irving created will shine forever.
– Leonard Cohen, 1997


  1. Cohen gets hardly any of those notes right. He needs an accompanist. What was the reason for singing that jingle?

  2. Wish I knew, John. I suppose he got caught up in the moment. Not his best performance, but I'll take Cohen hitting all the wrong notes over Céline Dion hitting all the right ones any day.

    I like the idea of two old poets appearing together on MuchMusic. Such a thing would never happen today.

  3. A little late with some info, but we were in Toronto for either a tribute event for Irving or a PEN Int'l thing, or the launch of his latest book. Moses Znaimer, a former student of Irving's, brought us to MuchMusic where Denise Donlon interviewed these two. It was fun, to put it mildly.

    1. Thank you, Anna. Being in St Marys, I missed all the Layton festivities. The wonderful thing, of course, is that the centenary was acknowledged at all. In this country such a thing is fairly miraculous. Says something about the man that it was.