Roy Orbison’s “House Without Windows” (Or Hank Williams’ “House Without Love”) Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox


The Original 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.

Roy Orbison In The Subjunctive


Ongoing readers may recall that Florian endowed Cohencentric with a list of Leonard Cohen’s favorite songs found  in “Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten” (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin.  Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten Songs Of 1988 from that volume lists, at #6, “House Without Love” by  Roy Orbison.

Unfortunately, as far as I can determine, Mr Orbison did not release a song called “House Without Love.”

“A House Without Love” was written and first released by Hank Williams, who is known to be a favorite of Cohen’s. It was also covered by George Jones, who is likewise known to be admired by Cohen, Bonnie Owens and Merle Haggard (duet), and others.

Roy Orbison did, however, sing “A House Without Windows.”  Consequently, I am invoking Blogger Authority, which includes the power to unilaterally resolve conflicts, settle disputes, and, I’m almost certain, perform weddings, to hereby declare that Leonard Cohen’s intent was to list Roy Orbison’s “A House Without Windows” as his sixth favorite song in 1988 – unless he meant “A House Without Love” by Hank Williams or George Jones.

Readers should immediately seek shelter and move to the center of the room, away from any windows, in anticipation of the cataclysmic scholarly and theological schisms this revision to the Cohen biographical canon will inevitably trigger.

Roy Orbison – House Without Windows

Bonus: “A House Without Love”

Oh OK, here’s Hank Williams singing “A House Without Love.”

I am so easy.

Hank Williams – A House Without Love

Credit Due Department: Roy Orbison photo by Jac. de Nijs / Anefo from Nationaal Archief

Note: Originally posted Sep 16, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

One Reply to “Roy Orbison’s “House Without Windows” (Or Hank Williams’ “House Without Love”) Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox”

  1. sturgess66

    Roy Orbison! MERCY!!! *

    “The Soul of Rock and Roll.”

    Good executive decision I think – about “House Without Windows.”


    *Anyone who has a MySpace page, and who has been fortunate enough to have had the honor of being added as a “friend” by Roy Orbison, will understand this. For others – if you are taken into friendship, Roy will eventually come to your page and comment – and that comment is – “MERCY!!!” I am amongst those who have been so honored. 🙂