I’ve previously posted my contention that Is This What You Wanted offers the funniest lines of any Leonard Cohen song (see for example, Video: Is This What You Wanted by Leonard Cohen – Paris 1976). The performance of Is This What You Wanted at the 1974 Paris show, however, is the clincher to my argument. Leonard’s delivery is hilarious, the band, especially the honky-tonk piano, is into it, and the audience claps and chortles throughout the rendition. It is a treat. Heck, the introduction alone would justify Leonard’s self-assessment: “People say I’m a hoot to be with.”
This next song is a dialogue between you and your perfect lover, except your perfect lover is not present There is an excellent possibility that your perfect lover does not even exist.
Leonard Cohen – Is This What You Wanted
Paris: October 20, 1974
Thanks to Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner for making this version of “Is This What You Wanted” available. Photo by Pete Purnell.