High Quality Video: Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters Performing If It Be Your Will – Amsterdam 2013

Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters – If It Be Your Will
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by Sharon Erde

Also see Video: The Extraordinarily Poignant Final Minutes Of Final Leonard Cohen European Concert – Amsterdam 2013

“Leonard Cohen is unimaginable without, and indissoluble from, his voice.” Christopher Hitchens

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In Unspoken Truths (Vanity Fair June 2011),  Christopher Hitchens writes about the idea of what the introduction calls  “’a writer’s voice,’ or the essential link between speech and prose,”a concept poignantly significant to Hitchens because of the loss of his speaking voice to cancer. In illustrating his points, Hitchens invokes both W.H. Auden and Leonard Cohen. The pertinent excerpts follow:

When you fall ill, people send you CDs. Very often, in my experience, these are by Leonard Cohen. So I have recently learned a song, entitled “If It Be Your Will.” It’s a tiny bit saccharine, but it’s beautifully rendered and it opens like this:

If it be your will,
That I speak no more:
And my voice be still,
As it was before …

I find it’s best not to listen to this late at night. Leonard Cohen is unimaginable without, and indissoluble from, his voice. (I now doubt that I could be bothered, or bear, to hear that song done by anybody else.)

… More solemnly: “All I have is a voice,” wrote W. H. Auden in “September 1, 1939,” his agonized attempt to comprehend, and oppose, the triumph of radical evil. “Who can reach the deaf?” he asked despairingly. “Who can speak for the dumb?”

Credit Due Department: Photo by Ted McDonnell.

Note: Originally posted Sep 25, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Recites, Webbs Sing If It Be Your Will – Oslo 2010

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The Poems Of Leonard Cohen In Concert

Leonard Cohen’s recitations of :If It Be Your Will” have consistently been some of the most moving moments of the Leonard Cohen World Tour concerts. Cohen’s narration of “If It Be Your Will” is part of his introduction to the Webb Sisters’ presentation of the song, and the contrast in timbre and meter enhance the performances of both Cohen and the Webbs.

Leonard Cohen & Webb Sisters – If It Be Your Will
Oslo: Aug 6, 2010
Video from itriedtoleaveyou

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

Video: 1985 Leonard Cohen Soundcheck – Rehearsing, Toasting, Mopping

moll2There’s a lot to like in this two minute video segment from the German Documentary ‘Halleluja in Moll,’ including a rehearsal of Tonight Will Be Fine and If It Be Your Will, the latter featuring Anjani Thomas and a post-rehearsal meeting of the musicians . But, for me, nothing beats the few seconds of mopping going on in front of the stage by folks oblivious to the musical labors going on a few feet away.

Leonard Cohen And Band – Rehearsal
From German Documentary ‘Halleluja in Moll’
Munich: March 9, 1985
Video from messalina79


Note: Originally posted Oct 5, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Videos From Montreal Tribute To Leonard Cohen: If It Be Your Will By Shaar Hashomayim Choir

godalveMontreal Tribute Video Playlist

God Is Alive, Magic is Afoot: A Montreal Tribute to Leonard Cohen took place at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal Dec 15, 2016. Mirela M. (aka Mimi Lela in the Facebook realm) captured many of the performances, the videos of which can be found on her playlist God is Alive, Magic is Afoot: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen. I’ve chosen one of my favorites as a sample:

Shaar Hashomayim Choir – If It Be Your Will (by Leonard Cohen)
God is Alive, Magic is Afoot: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen
Rialto Theatre, Montreal: Sept 15, 2016

More About God is Alive, Magic is Afoot: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen

A description of the tribute can be accessed at A fitting tribute: Leonard Cohen sent off in style at Rialto benefit by T’Cha Dunlevy (Montreal Gazette: Nov 16, 2016).  Seven striking photos of the event can be viewed at Gallery: Leonard Cohen tribute at the Rialto Theatre

Terminally Ill Christopher Hitchens Writes About “If It Be Your Will” By Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
When you fall ill, people send you CDs. Very often, in my experience, these are by Leonard Cohen. So I have recently learned a song, entitled “If It Be Your Will.” It’s a tiny bit saccharine, but it’s beautifully rendered and it opens like this:

If it be your will,
That I speak no more:
And my voice be still,
As it was before …

I find it’s best not to listen to this late at night. Leonard Cohen is unimaginable without, and indissoluble from, his voice. (I now doubt that I could be bothered, or bear, to hear that song done by anybody else.)quotedown2

Christopher Hitchens

 

Christopher Hitchens, writing in “Unspoken Truths” (Vanity Fair, June 2011) about the diagnosis, treatment, and course of the malignant cancer that has attacked his vocal cords. While I have focused on the small portion that addresses Leonard Cohen, the complete article is poignant, thoughtful, and insightful.

Update: Christopher Hitchens died December 15, 2011,

Note: Originally posted May 10, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric