Videos: Comparing The Incomparable Sharon Robinson’s 2010 & 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Solos


Featuring Sharon Robinson

During the 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour, Sharon Robinson won praise as the featured soloist on “Boogie Street.”  In 2012, her solo turn on “Alexandra Leaving” was a highlight of the Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Tour concerts.

Both “Boogie Street” and “Alexandra Leaving” were written by Sharon Robinson and Leonard Cohen in collaboration.  For more about Sharon Robinson’s career and, especially, her work with Leonard Cohen, see Why Leonard Cohen Calls Her “The Incomparable Sharon Robinson” and Sharon Robinson On Career Choice, Leonard Cohen, Ann-Margaret, Songwriting, Tour Surprises, … And My Dance Moves.

Today’s post offers a video of a great performance by Sharon Robinson of each of these songs,


Sharon Robinson – Boogie Street
Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Sept 3, 2010
Video by albertnoonan

Sharon Robinson – Alexandra Leaving
Olympia Music Hall, Paris
Sept 29, 2012
Video by albertnoonan

Credit Due Department: Both of the superb photos of Sharon Robinson appearing in this post were taken by Marc Roed at the Aug 26, 2012 Leonard Cohen Aalborg concert. Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Boogie Street as “ordinary human struggle and life”


Bugis Street, Singapore, referenced in Boogie Street by Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson

[Boogie Street is] ordinary human struggle and life, the place of work and desire. It’s where we’re meant to be, it’s what we’re born into. There are moments when the burden of the self is lifted, but those are only temporary situations. As I say in the song, ‘You kiss my lips and then it’s done/I’m back on Boogie Street.’ Whatever the experience is — the god, the woman, the insight, the epiphany, the penetration — those are temporary events. Or as my old teacher says, ‘You can’t live in Paradise — no toilets or restaurants.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo atop post by Jfkjaya. – Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Leonard Cohen: What It Means To Be “Back On Boogie Street”

I think it just means acceptance of the normal rules of a person’s life in which there is desire, work, mistakes … blessings.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


“Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc” by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark September 2001). Note: Originally posted Feb 16, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Sharon Robinson’s Gripping Performance Of Boogie Street – 2010 Leonard Cohen Gent Show

sr-gent3Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson – Boogie Street
Gent: Aug 22, 2010
Video by albertnoonan

Credit Due Department: The photo of Sharon Robinson was taken by Albert Noonan.

Note: Originally posted Jan 13, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Babylon And Boogie Street

Leonard Cohen (quoting from the lyrics of By the Rivers Dark): Be the truth unsaid and the blessings gone, if I forget my Babylon

Interviewer: Can you be a good Jew and love Babylon?

Well, you know, the Talmud was written in Babylon. A lot of good Jews lived and wrote and thought and prayed there. And that’s where we are – we’re on Boogie Street. We’re in Babylon. I think it’s appropriate to live completely where you are and not reserve some mythical or spiritual refuge as an alternative. That can produce a kind of dangerous spiritual schizophrenia. We have to make it here; we have to make Jerusalem in Babylon.

Something like that. I say it better in the song: ‘Kiss my lips and then it’s done, I’m back on Boogie Street.’ As Roshi says, you can’t live in paradise. No restaurants or toilets.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Exile on Main Street by Brett Grainger (Elm Street: Nov 2001)