Video: A Special Composite Presentation Of A Thousand Kisses Deep By Leonard Cohen

More Than A Thousand Kisses Deep

Leonard Cohen’s recitation of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” has varied in content over the years. This composite of some of these versions is an especially gratifying coalition of international forces, featuring AlanM5049 of Adelaide, Australia, Roman Gavrilin (aka Hermitage Prisoner) of St. Petersburg, Russia, Sony of Canada (and everywhere else on Earth), DrHGuy of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Leonard Cohen, residing in Los Angeles, California [at the time of the original posting].

AlanM5049 describes the process.

I initially contemplated conjoining all the verses of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” from the several versions presented during the Leonard Cohen World Tour. A LeonardCohenForum posting by Goldin, Two “A Thousand Kisses Deep” recitations from 1997-1998,1 however, directed  me to older recordings, which I analyzed for content.

I cleaned up the sound on both where I could, but the connections between the versions were too abrupt.

Cohen’s pauses and Neil Larsen’s organ playing in the “Live In London” recording of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” provided the opportunity to integrate the unduplicated verses from the earlier recordings. I looped each organ piece several times until I had enough to add to the unaccompanied verses. I think that although the acoustics of the three  recordings are different, adding the organ track has supplied the continuity I was seeking. I confess that until I separated out Neil’s music, I hadn’t realized how beautifully complex it is.

I also moved the last stanza from the “Live In London” recording, at which point the delivery slows, to the end to produce a sense of an ending.

Cohen spoke a bit faster in the unaccompanied recitations, but when I tried to slow the speed the result sounded like “phasing,” dissuading me from using the slower version.

I was stimulated to finish the project by the impressive result created by combining Cohen’s recitation [of “Two Worlds,” a “specially written verse” of “A Thousand Kisses Deep”] with musical backing in the Sony 3D television advertisement.

DrHGuy Note: My own role was limited to adding photos and a movie clip pertinent to Leonard Cohen as well as a few sketches by the Canadian singer-songwriter to complete the video montage.

“A Thousand Kisses Deep” By Leonard Cohen
A Composite Presentation


Note: Originally posted Dec 30, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. The pertinent portion of that post follows:

    I’ve found on YouTube 2 unattributed recitations. Haven’t received replies from the uploaders so far, but I think I cleared up the details.

    1. The first recording is inexplicably under-viewed (less than 1 view per day!). It is a fragment of 1997 – Beautiful Losers – Arte Network, France – 34m Interview for French TV, broadcast on 29 July 1997. See screenshot @ Diamonds in the Mine to receive evidence: “film & arts” logo, the same suit, the same window frame finally 🙂

    2. The other one is extremely popular (more than 1,1 million views) audio-only recording, Briefly, this recitation is taken from KCRW interview (March 3, 1998). It was mentioned on the Forum by Jean-François Bédard in 2002 and by Tom Sakic in 2003.  This lyrics also appeared here, in Lily’s post. But the lyrics recited in 1997 are little-known. Google finds its ONLY appearance on the Net.

    Read this masterpiece below and note the second strophe!

    A Thousand Kisses Deep (1997)

    Don’t matter if the road is long
    Don’t matter if it’s steep
    Don’t matter if the moon is gone
    And the darkness is complete
    Don’t matter if we lose our way
    It’s written that we’ll meet
    At least, that’s what I heard you say
    A thousand kisses deep

    Don’t matter if you lie to me
    Don’t matter if you cheat
    When you sell me down the river
    I’ll pretend to be asleep
    There’s a pair of leather gloves for you
    And a blade against your cheek
    But it’s strange what you forget to do
    A thousand kisses deep

    I loved you when you opened
    Like a lily to the heat
    You see, I’m just another snowman
    Standing in the rain and sleet
    Who loved you with his frozen love
    His second hand physique
    With all he is and all he was
    A thousand kisses deep []

13 Replies to “Video: A Special Composite Presentation Of A Thousand Kisses Deep By Leonard Cohen”

  1. Gordana

    Thank you for this beautiful video.
    I am tracking your posts daily since 2009 (and updating earlier ones) and I find them interesting, informative and funny. As a long term Coenist I appreciate great job you do for all of us who admire both Mr.Cohen work and personality.
    I wish all the best to you and your beloved duchess for the coming year

    1. DrHGuy Post author

      Thank you on behalf of AlanM5049 and myself for those kind words about the video and on behalf of The Duchess & myself for your good wishes for the upcoming year.

  2. Gwen aka musicmania

    Excellent work from you and AlanM5049! Love this from start to finish. Sublime work as always Allan! 🙂

  3. B4real

    Well done to everyone involved in presenting this excellent video.
    Serendipitously, I have recently been paying very close attention to this recitation – especially the line “the band is playing Auld Lang Syne”!
    Which leads me to say Happy New Year to all!

    1. Arlene Dick

      Yes indeed, this is a truly international tour de force from Alan Mawhinney’s inspired concept, Roman Gavrilin’s probing research and Allan Showalter’s exceptional montage bringing it all together in an outstanding video. Kudos to all three.

  4. Rike

    Thank you to all involved in this offering that helps to say good bye to the old year and to ring in the new.

  5. Lizzy

    You three have brought us a video befitting Leonard’s genius with A Thousand Kisses Deep. Thank you for the beauty.

  6. mel joss

    This was beautiful. The combined effort of your ‘team’ produced more than just a video…it brought a fresh aroma to Leonard’s poem. Thanks for sharing it .

  7. dick

    What a great way to send off the old year and bring in the new.

    Thanks to all for a beautifully realized creation.


  8. Coco Éclair

    I didn’t think this sublime poem could be brought to even ‘loftier’ heights, but this beautiful video proved me wrong.

    Thanks Alan, Allan, and Roman for allowing us to bring in the new year with beauty.

    Best wishes to the three of you in 2012!