High Quality Video: Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters Performing If It Be Your Will – Amsterdam 2013

Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters – If It Be Your Will
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by Sharon Erde

Also see Video: The Extraordinarily Poignant Final Minutes Of Final Leonard Cohen European Concert – Amsterdam 2013

Video: The Extraordinarily Poignant Final Minutes Of Final Leonard Cohen European Concert – Amsterdam 2013

Crew Joins Leonard Cohen & Musicians Onstage

The final 17 minutes of the Sept 20, 2013 Amsterdam Concert, the last European show given by Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen – I Tried To Leave You, I’ve Got A Little Secret, Save The Last Dance For Me
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by cohenadmirer1

Thanks to Vicki Woodyard, who recommended this video

Hear Complete June 25, 1976 Leonard Cohen Montreux Concert

This bootleg is from a very good FM broadcast of the Leonard Cohen June 25, 1976 Leonard Cohen concert at Casino Barriere de Montreux, Montreux, Switzerland.  More about this recording, including download links, can be found at Best Bootlegs: Leonard Cohen – Montreux 1976

Setlist

01 – Bird On The Wire
02 – So Long Marianne
03 – Who By Fire
04 – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
05 – Store Room
06 – One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
07 – Lady Midnight
08 – There Is A War
09 – I Tried To Leave You
10 – Diamonds In The Mine
11 – Chelsea Hotel #2 – Solo
12 – The Stranger Song – Solo
13 – You Know Who I Am – Solo
14 – The Partisan
15 – Story Of Isaac
16 – Famous Blue Raincoat
17 – Lover Lover Lover
18 – Sisters Of Mercy
19 – Is This What You Wanted
20 – Suzanne
21 – The Butcher
22 – Bird On The Wire (2)
23 – Tonight Will Be Fine
24 – Joan Of Arc
25 – Do I Have To Dance All Night

Musicians:

  • Leonard Cohen – vocals, guitar, hand whistle
  • Cheryl Barnes – vocals
  • Laura Brannigan – vocals
  • Sid McGinnes – guitar
  • Johnny Miller – bass
  • Fred Thaylor – keyboards
  • Luther Rix – drums

Video: Leonard Cohen On Being Labeled A “Boring Old Drone Who Should Go The Fuck Back To Canada” – Oakland Dec 6, 2010

Leonard Cohen Defends Self, Canada Against 40 Year Old Slur, Name Checks Joni, Neil, & Gordy

In this brief video from the Oakland show, where the Dec 6, 2010 Leonard Cohen Concert ended only hours ago [at time of original Dec 7, 2010 posting], Leonard Cohen recalls a reviewer in the 1970s at the Isle Of Wight Festival who said

Leonard Cohen is a boring old drone who should go the fuck back to Canada where he belongs.1

As he did in the December 2, 2010 Vancouver show, Cohen goes on to explain he was “doubly hurt” by this characterization – i.e., not only was he personally insulted but the critic apparently meant to imply that “Canada was the place for boring old drones.” Cohen then asks rhetorically,” What about Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordy [Gordon] Lightfoot?”

Finally, Cohen closes this reflection with the philosophical observation that “a lot of wine has passed under the bridge since then.”

Note: This Tour was not the first time Leonard Cohen mentioned the “boring old drone” passage. He also brought it up in a taped 1978 interview available at Must-hear 1976 Leonard Cohen Glasgow Interview: Poems Vs Songs, His Withdrawn Novel, Janis Joplin In LA, Album Titles, & The Perfect Ass

Leonard Cohen – Intro To Anthem
Oakland: Dec 6, 2010
Video from arlenedick15

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  1. According to Nadel’s biography of Cohen, it was a review of Cohen’s 1970 Isle of Wight performance in Melody Maker that stated, “Leonard Cohen is an old bore who should just return to Canada which he never should have left to begin with!” and Ricki Farr, a concert official at the Isle Of Wight Festival who objected to Cohen’s fee, who said “Leonard Cohen lays on this trippy thing about love and peace and all that crap. I think Leonard Cohen’s a boring old crone and he’s overpaid. I think he should go back to Canada.” (Ira Bruce Nadel, Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen, p 178) []

Hear Complete 1970 Leonard Cohen Vienna Concert

Leonard Cohen – Live at Konzerthaus, Wien
May 9th, 1970
Radio Broadcast

A reposting of the radio broadcast of the 1970 Vienna show that is certainly listenable but not exemplary. Perhaps the most interesting track is #16, the recitation of the poem, Travel, from Spice-Box Of Earth

Loving you, flesh to flesh, I often thought
Of travelling penniless to some mud throne
Where a master might instruct me how to plot
My life away from pain, to love alone
In the bruiseless embrace of stone and lake.

Lost in the fields of your hair I was never lost
Enough to lose a way I had to take;
Breathless beside your body I could not exhaust
The will that forbid me contract, vow,
Or promise, and often while you slept
I looked in aw beyond your beauty.

Now
I know why many men have stopped and wept
Half-way between the loves they leave and seek,
And wondered if travel leads them anywhere–
Horizons keep the soft line of your cheek,
The windy sky’s a locket for your hair.

Tracklist

— First Set —
01 Bird on the Wire
02 So Long, Marianne
03 You Know Who I Am
04 Dead Song (poem)
05 Lady Midnight
06 One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
07 The Stranger Song
08 Joan Of Arc
09 Tonight Will Be Fine
— Second Set —
10 The Partisan
11 Sisters Of Mercy
12 Diamonds In The Mine
13 Story Of Isaac
14 Famous Blue Raincoat
15 Sing Another Song, Boys
16 Travel (poem)
17 Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
18 Suzanne
19 Please Don’t Pass Me By

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Partisan – Warsaw 1985 + The Origins Of The Partisan

war1985

The Partisan and Leonard Cohen

The Partisan, a song from the French Resistance written by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d’Astier in 1943,1 has been and continues to be one of Leonard Cohen’s most popular songs, especially in French-speaking countries and in Poland.

Rock History 101: Leonard Cohen – “The Partisan” by Tim Nordberg (Consequence of Sound: January 14, 2009) is an excellent (albeit not error free; be sure to read the comments) account of the history and implications of Leonard Cohen’s adoption and adaptation of The Partisan. I’ve excerpted portions here but perusing the entire piece is highly recommended.

At the urgings of General Charles De Gaulle, broadcast on BBC radio, thousands of French men and women took to the hills, and heroically defied the Nazi occupation in the north and the puppet government instituted at Vichy. By the time the allies had landed at Normandy, the French Resistance had organized an irregular fighting force of over 100,000.

… Their struggle against the occupying forces was historically recorded in two surviving historical songs: “Chante des partisans” and “La complainte du partisan.” Cohen had heard the latter on Canadian BBC radio – although in translation. … Cohen then recorded the song for 1969’s Songs From a Room. He is often incorrectly credited as the composer of the song – although he is certainly responsible for its survival.

Cohen’s version downplays the song’s historical content – the English lyrics contain no references to France or the Nazi occupation, but when Cohen swings through the song a second time, in the original French, the first line is: “Les Allemands etaient chez moi”/”The Germans were at my house.”

“The Partisan,” in any language, reminds the listener of a simpler time–despite the song’s calm despair, there’s a Spielsbergian sense of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys, native and invader.

Lyrics:

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I’m the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands e’taient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils me dirent, “Signe toi,” (They said, “Sign yourself,”)
mais je n’ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j’ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)

J’ai change’ cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j’ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j’ai tant d’amis; (But I have so many friends)
j’ai la France entie`re. (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a cache’, (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l’ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

The Video

This video is from a NBC film of a March 22, 1985 Leonard Cohen performance in Warsaw.2

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Warsaw: March 22, 1985
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. There is some confusion about the proper credits for this song.  The French Leonard Cohen Site notes, “… as it can be read in Anna Prucnal’s LP “Avec Amour”, the actual credit is

    Original: La complainte du Partisan
    paroles: Emmanuel d’Astier de la Vigerie also undernamed “Bernard”
    musique: Anna Marly

    Leonard ‘s cover: The (song of the French) Partisan
    paroles: E. d’Astier de la Vigerie, adaptation Hy Zaret
    musique: Anna Marly
    Ed. Raoul Breton.” []

  2. Diamonds in the Mine []