Video: Leonard Cohen’s Constrained, Moving Performance Of Going Home – Oakland 2013

I’m going home
Without the sorrow
Going home
Sometime tomorrow
Going home
To where it’s better
Than before

No one endows a performance with such gravitas – without resorting to dramatic gestures or onstage theatrics – like Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen – Going Home
Oakland: March 2, 2013
Videos by Wayne Weber

Note: Originally posted Mar 10, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, Cairns, & Cojones

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In a LeonardCohenForum post about the Nov 26, 2013 Leonard Cohen concert, Bev aka B4real reported

Near the beginning of Going Home Leonard sang this line ‘He just doesn’t have the cojones to refuse
[emphasis mine]

In the original lyrics that line reads

He just doesn’t have the freedom to refuse

Like many Cohen admirers, I’m intrigued by  the changes he frequently makes in his lyrics. I am especially taken with the substitution of “cojones” for “freedom” because – well, mostly because it’s just so damn cool.

And, it’s not a trivial change. “He just doesn’t have the freedom to refuse” could, for example, be legitimately interpreted as a Calvinistic declaration that refusal is not and never could be an option because every human’s life and behavior has long ago been predetermined and free will is an illusion. The ability to refuse – if one has the courage – is, however, implicit in “He just doesn’t have the cojones to refuse.”

Yep, it takes cojones to make a change like that.

Note: Originally posted Nov 30, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day: End Of 2012 Montreal Concert Compilation

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This video is an honorary member of , the informal Cohencentric series based on the  realization that some Leonard Cohen concert photos taken from the cheap seats more than compensate for the lack of closeup shots with intriguing angles and perspectives hidden to those photographing the show from directly in front of the stage. In this case, however. the obstacle is not bad seats but the video police. The videographer, cohenadmirer1, explains

I was told not to film but got some rough video towards the end of the concert.  Here it is. Includes Going Home … First We Take Manhattan…Closing Time …. I Tried To Leave You.

The result is a video salmagundi of action taking place in the audience as well as on the stage and telescreens with abrupt visual and audio cuts, distorted views, jumbled images, … Featured alongside the performances are such delights as an audience member intently videotaping the show while singing along, drummer Rafael Bernardo Gayol blowing a kiss and not blowing the drumstick toss and catch, closeup guitar picking, and – yep – much more. (See the gallery of screenshots below)

And, it’s great, capturing the excitement, tension, joyfulness, and ambivalence that mark the end of a Leonard Cohen concert.

Leonard Cohen In Concert
Montreal: Nov 29, 2012
Video by cohenadmirer1

Note: Originally posted Feb 16, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: “Going Home” A Different Way – Leonard Cohen Sardonic In Ghent 2012

I love to speak with Leonard
He’s a sportsman he’s a shepherd
He’s a lazy bastard
Living in a suit

By altering the tone of the opening and ending verse of “Going Home” (compare to studio version) Leonard Cohen bookends an already ironic song with a comic sensibility.

Leonard Cohen – Going Home
Ghent: Aug 14, 2012
Video by

Note: Originally posted Aug 16, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric