“But it’s strange what you forget to do / A thousand kisses deep” Leonard Cohen’s Unique 1997 Video Recitation

The video is a fragment of Beautiful Losers – Arte Network, France, which was originally a 34 minute Interview for French TV, broadcast on 29 July 1997. The second verse, as far as I can determine, is found nowhere else. The transcribed lyrics follow:

Don’t matter if the road is long
Don’t matter if it’s steep
Don’t matter if the moon is gone
And the darkness is complete
Don’t matter if we lose our way
It’s written that we’ll meet
At least, that’s what I heard you say
A thousand kisses deep

Don’t matter if you lie to me
Don’t matter if you cheat
When you sell me down the river
I’ll pretend to be asleep
There’s a pair of leather gloves for you
And a blade against your cheek
But it’s strange what you forget to do
A thousand kisses deep

I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat
You see, I’m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second hand physique
With all he is and all he was
A thousand kisses deep

 

Thanks to AlanM5049 of Adelaide, Australia and Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner of Saint Petersburg, Russia, who alerted me to this video.

Video: A Special Composite Presentation Of A Thousand Kisses Deep By Leonard Cohen

More Than A Thousand Kisses Deep

Leonard Cohen’s recitation of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” has varied in content over the years. This composite of some of these versions is an especially gratifying coalition of international forces, featuring AlanM5049 of Adelaide, Australia, Roman Gavrilin (aka Hermitage Prisoner) of St. Petersburg, Russia, Sony of Canada (and everywhere else on Earth), DrHGuy of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Leonard Cohen, residing in Los Angeles, California [at the time of the original posting].

AlanM5049 describes the process.

I initially contemplated conjoining all the verses of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” from the several versions presented during the Leonard Cohen World Tour. A LeonardCohenForum posting by Goldin, Two “A Thousand Kisses Deep” recitations from 1997-1998,1 however, directed  me to older recordings, which I analyzed for content.

I cleaned up the sound on both where I could, but the connections between the versions were too abrupt.

Cohen’s pauses and Neil Larsen’s organ playing in the “Live In London” recording of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” provided the opportunity to integrate the unduplicated verses from the earlier recordings. I looped each organ piece several times until I had enough to add to the unaccompanied verses. I think that although the acoustics of the three  recordings are different, adding the organ track has supplied the continuity I was seeking. I confess that until I separated out Neil’s music, I hadn’t realized how beautifully complex it is.

I also moved the last stanza from the “Live In London” recording, at which point the delivery slows, to the end to produce a sense of an ending.

Cohen spoke a bit faster in the unaccompanied recitations, but when I tried to slow the speed the result sounded like “phasing,” dissuading me from using the slower version.

I was stimulated to finish the project by the impressive result created by combining Cohen’s recitation [of “Two Worlds,” a “specially written verse” of “A Thousand Kisses Deep”] with musical backing in the Sony 3D television advertisement.

DrHGuy Note: My own role was limited to adding photos and a movie clip pertinent to Leonard Cohen as well as a few sketches by the Canadian singer-songwriter to complete the video montage.

“A Thousand Kisses Deep” By Leonard Cohen
A Composite Presentation

 

Note: Originally posted Dec 30, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

______________________

  1. The pertinent portion of that post follows:

    I’ve found on YouTube 2 unattributed recitations. Haven’t received replies from the uploaders so far, but I think I cleared up the details.

    1. The first recording is inexplicably under-viewed (less than 1 view per day!). It is a fragment of 1997 – Beautiful Losers – Arte Network, France – 34m Interview for French TV, broadcast on 29 July 1997. See screenshot @ Diamonds in the Mine to receive evidence: “film & arts” logo, the same suit, the same window frame finally 🙂

    2. The other one is extremely popular (more than 1,1 million views) audio-only recording, Briefly, this recitation is taken from KCRW interview (March 3, 1998). It was mentioned on the Forum by Jean-François Bédard in 2002 and by Tom Sakic in 2003.  This lyrics also appeared here, in Lily’s post. But the lyrics recited in 1997 are little-known. Google finds its ONLY appearance on the Net.

    Read this masterpiece below and note the second strophe!

    A Thousand Kisses Deep (1997)

    Don’t matter if the road is long
    Don’t matter if it’s steep
    Don’t matter if the moon is gone
    And the darkness is complete
    Don’t matter if we lose our way
    It’s written that we’ll meet
    At least, that’s what I heard you say
    A thousand kisses deep

    Don’t matter if you lie to me
    Don’t matter if you cheat
    When you sell me down the river
    I’ll pretend to be asleep
    There’s a pair of leather gloves for you
    And a blade against your cheek
    But it’s strange what you forget to do
    A thousand kisses deep

    I loved you when you opened
    Like a lily to the heat
    You see, I’m just another snowman
    Standing in the rain and sleet
    Who loved you with his frozen love
    His second hand physique
    With all he is and all he was
    A thousand kisses deep []

Leonard Cohen Recites Extended Version Of A Thousand Kisses Deep – Dublin 2009

lc-1000ksz57

The Poems Of Leonard Cohen In Concert

Leonard Cohen’s recitations of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” have consistently been some of the most moving moments of the Leonard Cohen World Tour concerts. The video of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” from the 2009 Dublin show has been specifically chosen because it showcases an extended version of the poem that is, to my ears, especially effective.

Leonard Cohen – A 1000 Kisses Deep
Dublin: O2, July 20, 2009


Note: Originally posted Aug 24, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Team Canada 2014 Sochi Olympics Promo Features Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep

oly1This especially well done video employs Leonard Cohen’s recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep as soundtrack to promote Team Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

We Are Winter Team Canada Sochi 2014 Commercial
Video uploaded by Canada Bob

Note: Originally posted Jan 8, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Best Of 2009 Leonard Cohen World Tour – Superb Sydney Performances Of I’m Your Man & A Thousand Kisses Deep

sydney2009-your-manAnd if you’ve got to sleep a moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I’ll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while across the sand
I’m your man

While this is a video of the telescreen of the concert, the high quality of the performance merits its inclusion in this series. Special highlights include Dino Soldo’s work on the Akai EWI4000 Electric Woodwind and Cohen’s beaming smile while he acknowledges the applause at the end of I’m Your Man.

Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man & A Thousand Kisses Deep
Sydney: Jan 28, 2009
Video from bedrecka

Note: Originally posted June 21, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric