“The only time we win is that moment when we drop the battle and we affirm the whole situation with this embrace” Leonard Cohen Talks About Hallelujah & Bernadette



[John McKenna:] Song of Bernadette works on several levels. There the young visionary of February and March 1858 with that apparition in her soul. A vision no-one believed. And, there are the rest of us with our own visions and dreams, which no-one, least of all ourselves, can believe in. Once we realise that visions don’t last – they disappear – and we end up running and falling, rather than flying. There’s Bernadette, true to her belief and finally rewarded with the knowledge that there is mercy in the world. There’s Leonard Cohen, acknowledging that each of us is torn by what we’ve done and can’t undo.

I think that we mostly do fail in these things, but the thing that makes these failures supportable are these moments like the one I tried to talk about in Hallelujah or the one I tried to talk about in Bernadette it’s those are the moments when the thing is resolved – the thing is reconciled – not actually by moving pieces around it’s not a chess game. As I say in my new version of Hallelujah, ‘I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch, but love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.’ Nobody’s going to win this, not the men not the women not the socialists, not the conservatives. Nobody’s going to win this deal. The only time we win is that moment when we drop the battle and we affirm the whole situation with this embrace.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen Presented By John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988. Retrieved from LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted November 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photo: Leonard Cohen “in Bali en route to Hong Kong”


Pitstop in Bali en route to Hong Kong with Mr Cohen #leonardcohen #logistics #charter #bands #xtreme #xtremeforwarding

A post shared by Dirk Eykel (@xtremeforwarding) on


No date is given but Ed Sanders writes: “I believe that is Nov. 2010 when we flew from Perth to Vancouver! (with stops in Bali, Malaysia, and Hong Kong)”

“My songs are life and the facts of each day, and I am my songs” Leonard Cohen


It’s possible that sincerity might be confused with many things, especially in the world of music, where so many commercial currents run. In any case, it’s only a question of coloring. My music is a reflection of my personality, and my personality is a reflection of all that surrounds me. For me, seeing all of this as my work, the most important thing is to be worthy. So, I treat this world that surrounds me with the integrity and dignity necessary to bring it, through me, to everyone else. After that, it is the spiritual state of each person that determines how it will affect her or him. A person could think that I or my songs are sad because of that person’s own spiritual state, because they are not affected by the chaotic emotions that surround us, because they are living in another state, and I don’t mean to say that that state is more superficial or ordinary, on the contrary, it is the way of being forged by each individual, in which they live. But their power to understand will be affected by what they feel, and by the meaning they give to things. My songs are life and the facts of each day, and I am my songs.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


1974 Interview with Leonard Cohen by Jordi Sierra I Fabra. Published in Leonard Cohen by Alberto Manzano (1978). Photo by Pete Purnell.Originally posted Apr 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long, Marianne



Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

This is the fourth of five entries in The Marianne Variations, a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums.  An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.

The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long Marianne

Often the variations in this classic Cohen song have been relatively minor, comprising, for example, the substitution of a single word for another or a verse being skipped. In 1988, however, an entire stanza, sung by backup vocalists, Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, appeared de novo as the song’s final verse:

Here comes the morning boat,
Here comes the evening train,
Here comes Marianne now,
To wave goodbye again.

Note: At some point in the process of recording Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “So Long, Marianne” was titled “Come On, Marianne.”1 While the existence of the same verb in the title of that early iteration and in the third line of this verse added in 1988, “Here comes Marianne now,”  is certainly insufficient evidence of a connection between the two versions, the possibility exists that the 1988 line is a vestigial remnant of lyrics written twenty years earlier or that both lines share a common precursor. (See Was “Come On, Marianne” By The Four Seasons The Song Marianne Associated With Leonard Cohen’s “Come On, Marianne”?)

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
San Sebastian: May 20, 1988
The video immediately below begins automatically at the start of So Long, Marianne; the pertinent verse begins at 1:52:50 (see second embedded video)

The video below begins automatically at the start of the pertinent verse

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2014 t 1HeckOfAGuy.com, at predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012 []

Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: Closing Time – San Jose 2009

Closing Time - San Jose with blouse in upper right being flung to stage

Closing Time – San Jose with blouse in upper right being flung to stage

Women’s Blouses In Flight At Closing Time Of Leonard Cohen San Jose Concert

Yeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots

From “Closing Time” by Leonard Cohen

Albert Noonan, better known in Cohen Country as albertnoonan, Vizier Of Videography, was good enough to alert us that minors should be removed from the room prior to the viewing of this recording in order to shield innocent children from exposure to this raucous rendition of the classic Cohen tune.

Yes, what you see is what happened – feminine clothing is repeatedly launched from the audience onto the stage, whoops are whooped, the unflappable Leonard Cohen loses his place in the song (1:18), and, in general, a good time is had by all.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
San Jose: Nov 13, 2009

Video by albertnoonan

Bonus: Democracy Is Coming To San Jose

“Democracy,” an especially popular feature of concerts earlier in the Leonard Cohen World Tour, had been absent for some time but was resurrected as the final song of the final 2009 US concert.

Leonard Cohen – Democracy
San Jose: Nov 13, 2009
Video by albertnoonan


Credit Due Department: Photo of San Jose HP Pavilion by Kim Solez of Leonard Cohen Night. Photo atop this post is a video screen capture.

Note: Originally posted Nov 14, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Explains Why He Got Into Poetry

Jools Holland: And then what got you into poetry?

Leonard Cohen: Well, I don’t know. I thought that was the way to kind of win women’s hearts.

Jools Holland: Did it work?

Leonard Cohen: Yes it did.

From Later With Jools Holland Show (BBC: May 14, 1993). Watch video of this interview at Video: Leonard Cohen On Poetry As A Way To Win Women’s Hearts, His First Influence – Country Music, His Chop, His London Landlady, Los Angeles, & Catastrophe  Originally posted Jan 11, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Haunting Performance Of A Singer Must Die – Gothenburg 2010

singermAnd all the ladies go moist, and the judge has no choice
A singer must die for the lie in his voice
And I thank you, I thank you for doing your duty
You keepers of truth, you guardians of beauty
Your vision is right, my vision is wrong
I’m sorry for smudging the air with my song

Leonard Cohen – A Singer Must Die
Gothenburg: Aug 12, 2010

Note: Originally posted Aug 16, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric