Tim Hardin’s “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox


Note: Originally posted June 6, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.



I did get a chance to tell him [Tim Hardin] how much I loved his songs – “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” …  is a great, great song. I asked him to play it for me, and he did.

 – Leonard Cohen1

Tim Hardin is best known for writing “If I Were a Carpenter” and “Reason to Believe,” but “Don’t Make Promises” was the first track on Tim Hardin’s debut album Tim Hardin 1, released in 1966. While overshadowed by the hit, “Reason to Believe,” “Don’t Make Promises” did receive some air play and was covered by, among others, Bobby Darin, Marianne Faithfull, Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy, Joan Baez, and The Kingston Trio.

Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep


  1. From Nov 18, 1992 CBC Radio Morningside interview with Peter Gzowski []