Video: Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes Perform Silent Night – Brighton 1979


Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes Sing Silent Night: 1979

This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded (audio only) at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert. I’ve constructed a video montage of photos of Cohen and Warnes, drawings by Leonard Cohen, and a clip of a very young Leonard and his sister Esther skating to complement the music.

Note: Originally posted Nov 30, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Exquisite Performance Of Suzanne – July 14, 2012 Los Angeles Rehearsal

Featuring Alex Bublitchi On Violin

Video posted by Mark Romanek

From the Vimeo Description:

In the summer of 2012, Leonard invited me to see his tour rehearsal. I assumed there would be several dozen people there, but I was the only one he had invited. It took a few songs for it to fully sink in that I was essentially being given a private concert. During a break, I asked him if it would be okay if I shot some video on my iPhone. He immediately agreed. “It helps me to have some distractions,” he said. I’ve only shown this footage to a few friends. I hope you enjoy it.

While the location is not indicated, the 2012 tour rehearsals were held at at Studio Instrument Rentals (SIR) in Los Angeles.


Leonard Cohen Rehearsal at SIR – June 30, 2012

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who alerted me to this video. Photo of SIR rehearsal taken by J.S. Carenza III

Hear Leonard Cohen Recite Al Purdy’s “Necropsy of Love”


From the YouTube Description:

In this clip from “Al Purdy Was Here,” a 2015 documentary feature by Brian D. Johnson, Leonard Cohen reads “Necropsy of Love,” by Canadian poet Al Purdy (1918-2000). Cohen and Purdy met in 1950s Montreal. The scene is shot in the graveyard near Purdy’s home in Ameliasburg, Ontario.

Also see How Leonard Cohen’s “amazing reading” of Necropsy of Love in Al Purdy Was Here came about

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul, who alerted me to this video

This Time It’s Official: 1988 Leonard Cohen Austin City Limits Concert Is Back Online


Leonard Cohen On The Air In Austin

Leonard Cohen’s performance on the October 31, 1988 episode of Austin City Limits, which has become routinely designated as his “first major performance on American television,” is strong musically and a treat to watch. As ongoing readers know, this show has been intermittently available on various sites and then lost to copyright restrictions.

Now, however, it’s back – in an official version uploaded by AustinCityLimitsTV

The Intros

The 1988 Austin City Limits show1 is notable for Leonard Cohen’s idiosyncratic preludes to certain songs, including a description of the crucifixion of Christ that invokes the application of shaving lotion as an introduction to “Ain’t No Cure For Love” and a lead-in to “If It Be Your Will” that consists of Cohen’s complaint that his “hands are all sweaty with Tequila juice. It’s an impermeable oil that seeps through the membrane,” a scientifically baffling declaration that nonetheless seems to work in context as suggestive language to set the mood.2

Video: Leonard Cohen – Austin City Limits 1988


Set List

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  1. Cohen also performed on Austin City Limits in 1993 []
  2. For a poet-novelist-sing-songwriter-icon, one supposes, poetic license trumps scientific principle. Still, “an impermeable oil that seeps through the membrane” does dispel the Leonard Cohen is a Renaissance Man cliche. []

Animated Video: Leonard Cohen Reads “Two Went to Sleep” & Talks About Origins Of “Sisters of Mercy”

animLeonard Cohen reads “Two Went to Sleep” and recounts the origins of his 1967  “Sisters of Mercy” in a 1974 interview newly animated for PBS’ “Blank on Blank” series. The chat, which originally aired on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City, is available via the Pacifica Radio archives.

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Most Passionate Version Of So Long, Marianne – Oslo 1993

marianne-cat-hyrdraNote: Since Leonard Cohen’s death was announced the evening of Nov 10, 2016 until now. this video has been viewed more than 70,000 times. That kind of response makes this performance the obvious choice for today’s spotlighted video.

The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” + “Your Eyes” Version of So Long, Marianne

No rendition of “So Long, Marianne” differs more from the original script than the one Leonard Cohen performed at the May 1, 1993 Oslo Spektrum Concert. This version features not only a radically altered arrangement but also two verses not found on any album.

“Here Comes The Morning Boat”

The introduction, sung by Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, was first performed (by the same two backup vocalists) as the song’s conclusion during the 1988 Tour:1

Here comes the morning boat,
Here comes the evening train,
Here comes Marianne now,
To wave goodbye again.2

“Your Eyes”

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  1. A discussion of this version and a live video of a 1988 performance can be found at Leonard Cohen’s “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long Marianne []
  2. Note: At some point in the process of recording Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “So Long, Marianne” was titled “Come On, Marianne.” (Source: I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012) 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. (More about “Come On, Marianne” in a later post.) []