Video – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Life On Hydra: Why He Came, How He Met Marianne, Writing Books & Songs There …

I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.
Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.

Leonard Cohen

“This was the laboratory of my youth”

In this video, excerpted from the 1988 film Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen, accompanied by his backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, revisits the home in Hydra that he shared with Marianne of So Long Marianne  In addition to a discussion of his life on Hydra, this clip includes performances  of Who By Fire, Bird On The Wire, So Long Marianne, Partisan, and Famous Blue Raincoat.

Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: Closing Time At Weybridge Video & Pix

Where’s That Famous Blue Raincoat When You Need It?

The photo atop this post showing the deluge of rain falling on Leonard Cohen (who is on an ostensibly sheltered stage while the audience is unprotected from the skies) has become indelibly identified with Leonard Cohen’s wet, wonderful Weybridge show.

The photographer, dorsetbays, who took the shots on this page and generously shared them here, summarizes the setting:

Leonard Cohen put on an amazing concert at the Mercedes Benz Arena, Surrey on 11 July 2009. The weather was atrocious, heavy rain and gale force winds, but the atmosphere was electric.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Weybridge: July 11, 2009

“Closing Time” is an important and beloved Leonard Cohen song, and there will certainly be more than one performance of “Closing Time” in this The Best Of Tour series. This energetic rendition, however,  delivered near the end of a 3+ hour concert held concurrently with a rainstorm surely qualifies for this distinction.

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Best Of The 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: Feels So Good – Chicago Rosemont 2009

rosmstateFeels so good, not to love you like I did
Feels so good, not to love you like I did
It’s like they tore away my blindfold and they said,
We’re gonna let this prisoner live
It’s like they tore away my blindfold and they said,
We’re gonna let this prisoner live

Leonard Cohen – Feels So Good
Chicago Rosemont Theatre – October 29, 2009

“Feels So Good” was the first new song performed during a 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour concert. While the lyrics and arrangements of this song changed several times as it was played in Asheville, Durham, Kansas City, Las Vegas, San Jose, Auckland, Salzburg, Katowice, Sligo, … there remains something special about that Chicago performance.
I suppose the fact that I met Leonard Cohen and first heard Feels So Good at the soundcheck before the show that night1 could theoretically have influenced my judgement on this matter.

Leonard Cohen – Feels So Good
Rosemont Theatre, Chicago: Oct 29, 2009
Video from albertnoonan


Photos by Lisa Sweet. Originally posted July 3, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. See What Leonard Cohen Told Me Backstage In Chicago, How To Win Friends And Impress Strangers With A Little Help From Lorca & Leonard Cohen, and Meeting Leonard Cohen And Falling In Love With Sharon Robinson []

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Law – Radio Télévision Suisse 1985

The good news is that this is a video of a rare live performance of The Law by Leonard Cohen. The bad news is that the performance is interrupted by interview segments, either spoken or overdubbed in French. Why did anyone ever think that breaking up a song for a Q&A was a good idea?  (Note; I’ve been informed by Francis Mus, a French-speaking Leonard Cohen authority, that the interview portions offer little new to viewers.)

From the YouTube introduction [via Google Translate]:

Invited to the Midi Public stage in 1985, Leonard Cohen sings “The Law” and talks about his music. The Canadian singer is on a European tour for the release of his latest album “Various Positions”.

Best Of The 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour: Anthem – Oakland 2010

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen – Anthem
Oakland: December 5, 2010

This is Leonard Cohen’s long version of Anthem with an preamble that begins with “a kid with a crazy dream” and band introductions that include the Rafael Gayol Saga that invariably triggers giggling from the drummer (for more see Leonard Cohen And The Saga Of Rafael Gayol).

Leonard Cohen – Anthem
Oakland: December 5, 2010
Video from arlenedick15

Note: Originally posted June 27, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Performs Lover, Lover, Lover, A Song Born Of Conflict – Paris 1976


‘Lover, Lover, Lover’ was born over there; the whole world has its eyes riveted on this tragic and complex conflict. Then again, I am faithful to certain ideas, inevitably. I hope that those of which I am in favour will gain.1quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

These words by Leonard Cohen reference the 1973 Yom Kippur War. I posted this video and those lines after the Nov 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks – and now I find myself turning to them again after the 2017 atrocities in Manchester and London.

And may the spirit of this song
May it rise up pure and free
May it be a shield for you
A shield against the enemy

Leonard Cohen – Lover Lover Lover
Backup Singers: Laura Branigan & Cheryl Barnes
Le Grand Echiquier on French TV: May 27, 19762

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul who alerted me to this superior version of Leonard Cohen singing Lover Lover Lover on French TV in 1976.


  1. “I’m Just A Minor Poet” By Gilles Medioni. L’Express, France, October 4, 2001. Found at Leonard Cohen French Web Site. []
  2. Le Grand Echiquier was a live tribute program presented by Jacques Chancel and dedicated to Charles Aznavour, featuring Bird on The Wire, Lover Lover Lover, and Suzanne. Source: Diamonds in the Mine []