For more about the guys who take care of Leonard Cohen’s more mundane chores, see The Guy Who Carries Leonard Cohen’s Guitar. Photo by J.S. Carenza III. Originally posted July 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Whither Thou Goest, was often used by Leonard Cohen, who sang it a capella with other band members, as a concluding benediction to many of the concerts of his 1988 and 1993 tours.
Written by Guy Singer in 1954, the lyrics of Whither Thou Goest are derived from Ruth 1:16-17, which is the loving vow Ruth, a widow, makes to follow Naomi, who had been her mother-in-law, even though that meant leaving her own country and family. The King James Version of that scripture with Ruth’s pledge follows:
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
This canticle, its intonations a particularly good fit with Cohen’s voice and phrasings, was resurrected for the Blue Alert concert tour with Cohen joining Anjani on stage for this final song.
And, although Whither Thou Goest continues to serve as a farewell blessing to the audience [at time of original posting], now it is also a strikingly tender and intimate song as performed by these two musicians.
Leonard Cohen & Anjani – Whither Thou Goest
Joe’s Pub, NYC: April 24, 2007
Note: Originally posted Apr 2, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
When you read the headline, “Why you should listen to Leonard Cohen music when you eat toffee,” your immediate response is “Well, toffee of course – and bananas, creme brulee, Caesar salad, cherry pie, steak, grilled salmon, ricotta …”
Leonard Cohen Fan Diagnosis: Cohenphilic Personality Disorder
Since the publication of the official criteria for the prototypical Leonard Cohen Fan Diagnosis, 301.LC Cohenphilic Personality Disorder, the Cohencentric Leonard Cohen Fan Disorders Asylum and Sanitarium has received numerous messages asking if one or another behavior is a symptom characteristic of a Leonard Cohen fan. Consequently, Cohencentric is publishing, as a public service, signs which indicate that one is at high risk of being a full-fledged Leonard Cohen fan.
All published You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … entries can be found at the You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … Page
Leonard Cohen Nights
Leonard Cohen – Edmonton 1966: In 1966, Leonard Cohen, at the invitation of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts, spent five weeks in Edmonton.Kim Solez, president of the Cohennights Arts Society, and lead organizer of the Leonard Cohen International Festival, makes the case that Leonard Cohen’s Edmonton stay was the beginning of his professional life as a pop star
The start of his feeling famous started here in Edmonton, attention that was still brand-new to him.
For more information, see Cohen Is Coming!! – Leonard Cohen’s Transition Point: Edmonton 1966.
That conviction led Kim and a group of Cohen fans to create Leonard Cohen Night, a commemoration of Leonard Cohen’s 1966 Edmonton sojourn. Leonard Cohen Night had two precedents.
Ron Sexsmith also talks about his 2006 Toronto performance with Leonard. See
- Video: Leonard Cohen, Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies – Toronto 2006
- Videos & Photos: Leonard Cohen, Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies At Indigo – Toronto 2006.
The section about Leonard Cohen begins at 1:08:25
Thanks to Harold Lepidus. who alerted me to this podcast.