“You Want It Darker” A Momentous Leonard Cohen Album Coming This Fall


drk800I first heard “You Want It Darker” a week ago. My immediate reaction was that the tracks were dramatically more, well, dramatically more dramatic than the songs on his most recent albums. This is the first Leonard Cohen album since “The Future” that overwhelmed me the first time I heard it. Since then, traces of lyrics and chords have continued to resonate and now I am convinced that “You Want It Darker” will be not only one of the finest albums in Leonard’s oeuvre and an outstanding album in the field of popular music but also a touchstone for songs that aspire to address the most basic human concerns — life, death, love, hate, spirituality – with self-awareness, bravery, and honesty.

The “You Want It Darker” Info Compendium

And, you don’t have to take just my word for it. Information about “You Want It Darker,” including reports by others who have heard the album already,  is continuously collected and updated at  Info & Updates: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker.  This site also offers a preview of the title song, links to the complete lyrics of that track and “Steer Your Way,” release date, tracklist, comments on and the history of the cover art, and more.

Video: Leonard Cohen’s New Song On Peaky Blinders – “You Want It Darker”


pkxxUpdate: “You Want It Darker” is the title song from the new Leonard Cohen album coming out this fall. All information available about the You Want It Darker album  by Leonard Cohen is collected and updated at Info & Updates: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker

You Want It Darker” is the new Leonard Cohen song heard during an erotic asphyxiation scene (definitely NSFW) near the end of Season 3, Episode 5 of Peaky Blinders. The lyrics of “You Want It Darker” (the segment of the song used in Peaky Blinders) follow:

If you are the dealer
Let me out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Update: The lyrics of the entire song can be found on page 35 of the 2016 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Event Booklet.

The video of the pertinent Peaky Blinders segment can be viewed below.

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: Light As The Breeze – Ghent


lightbreeBest 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – Light As The Breeze
Ghent: Aug 14, 20124
Video by

“Politics in a very, very personal sense” 1992 Video Interview With Leonard Cohen


Gordana Stupar’s latest discovery of Leonard Cohen arcana, a 1992 NRK interview with Agnes Moxnes, is especially timely given the impending US presidential election. The background is a performance of Democracy, and the notions invoked by this song are the primary topics of the interview.

Watch Leonard Cohen point out what he finds attractive about Ross Perot – and George Bush – and Bill Clinton (and Bill Clinton’s “lovely wife”). Hear the Canadian singer-songwriter explain that he sometimes feels that he is the leader of a “small constituency” of those who do not feel represented and are consequently, if not rebellious, at least “irritated” and “saddened.”  Marvel as he references G. K. Chesterton, noting that democracy is like a religion in that it’s never really been tried.1

Most enlightening, however, are Cohen’s comments on his characterization of politics as used in Democracy: “It’s politics in a very, very personal sense.”

Politics in a personal sense.It’s as if you’re asked to think of democracy the way you think of a lover or a friend or a child or a parent … It’s a very personal and useless view. The things of the heart are really useless and that’s their value. They can’t be put to work. You just live with them.”

This video can be accessed at 1992 NRK Leonard Cohen Interview



  1. The Chesterton quotation is actually “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” []

“As you get older, I think you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality” Leonard Cohen

Someone observed that whoever marries the spirit of their generation will be a widow in the next. I never married the spirit of my generation because it wasn’t that attractive to me. And I’ve since moved further and further from any possible matrimonial commitment. As you get older, I think you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality. Mostly, I’m on the front line of my own tiny life.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland. Musician: July 1988.

Note: Originally posted December 4, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Two Revealing 2014 Sharon Robinson Interviews About “On Tour With Leonard Cohen” And More

Sharon Robinson & Leonard Cohen Caesar's Palace 2010

Sharon Robinson & Leonard Cohen Caesar’s Palace 2010

One of the benefits of the publication of “On Tour With Leonard Cohen” by Sharon Robinson has been the interviews with the author. The most recent entries are Leonard Cohen, Up Close: Collaborator Sharon Robinson on Her New Photos of the Enigmatic Musician by Amy Ephron (Vogue: Dec 9, 2014)  and Sharon Robinson on Leonard Cohen: He Spends a Lot of Time Trying to Uncover Truths by Chris Gardner (Hollywood Reporter: Dec 9, 2014). Excerpts from each article follow.

Sharon Robinson quotation excerpted from Hollywood Reporter:

Well, obviously if you know Leonard’s work you know that he’s an extremely thoughtful person and that he spends a lot of time trying to uncover the truths of our existence and the path of the human heart and so on. The privileged access that I had to him enabled me to capture moments that might not otherwise have been captured. … In some ways it’s an opportunity to let people know that everything that Leonard seems to be, he really is. He is a gracious and wonderful and generous and kind person and he’s funny and fun loving, which sort of goes against the preconceived notions to some degree, but he’s just a wonderful person to have worked with so closely for all those years.

Excerpts from Vogue:

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“The Leonard Cohen tour … was like a fortnight masterclass in performance and songwriting.” Paul Kelly

Paul_Kelly_2007The quote is from an interview with Paul Kelly, the opening act on the 2009 & 2010 Leonard Cohen Australian Tours. in The West Australian: Nov 14, 2009 (referenced in a LeonardCohenForum note by Greg Ross)

Paul Kelly – Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air

Credit Due Department: Thanks to AlanM5049, who alerted me to this quote and suggested the video, and to

Photo by Andrew Braithwaite – Paul Kelly, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia

Note: Originally posted Oct 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

1976 Leonard Cohen Montreux Bootleg: Once More For Marianne


Leonard Cohen – 1976 (Amsterdam) Photo by Pete Purnell

Dominique BOILE sends word of another bootleg of the June 25, 1976 Leonard Cohen concert with the opportunistic to the point of distasteful title, Once More For Marianne.  The double CD set comprises 25 songs, including my personal favorite, “Do I Have To Dance All Night” (released only as a single in Europe). It is currently listed at the French, UK, and Japanese Amazon sites where it will be available Oct 14, 2016.

From the UK Amazon site:
Audio CD (14 Oct. 2016)
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Golden Rain

Track Listings

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