“I had suggested that Harry Belafonte… stop singing calypso and start singing about himself.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
Harry Belafonte’s wife, who had been very suspicious about my presence because I had suggested that Harry Belafonte change his show and stop singing calypso and start singing about himself… He’s a very great singer. We were drinking late into the night at the Four Seasons Hotel and I got out this poem [Slowly I Married Her] and I thought he could set it to music. And I don’t know whether it was the vodka or not, but she wept a few tears that sealed the night very nicely.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Authors with Patrick Watson (CBC: 1980)

Note: While Mr Belafonte passed on putting Slowly I Married Her to music, Lewis Furey took up the challenge.

Authors with Patrick Watson (CBC: 1980)

Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen Perform Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me To The End Of Love”

In Honor Of Leonard Cohen

Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, who are best known for singing with Leonard Cohen, cover one of his classics, “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” in tribute to him at the Leonard Cohen Event 2004 held at the Knitting Factory, NYC, June 11, 2004.

Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
NYC: June 11, 2004.
Video from rlamtk

Originally posted Feb 14, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“After hearing KD Lang perform [Hallelujah] at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we [Leonard Cohen & I] looked at each other and said, ‘Well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection.’” Anjani

After hearing KD Lang perform that song [Hallelujah] at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we [Anjani Thomas & Leonard Cohen] looked at each other and said, “Well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection.” Anjani Thomas

Anjani Thomas, Leonard Cohen’s backup singer and romantic partner, quoted in “Interrupting Yr Broadcast: Anjani Thomas” by Alan Pedder (Wears the Trousers Magazine. 8 July 2008). Originally posted Dec 24, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Ali & The Thieves Presents Leonard Cohen Koans – New York: Nov 25, 26, & 28, 2018

Ali writes:

The show is called Leonard Cohen Koans, and is a collection of 14 or so Cohen tunes (some well known, others more obscure) with new arrangements which break further open the dynamism and intimacy in Cohen’s incredible musicality. The tunes are intertwined with his poetry, prose and interview responses and presented within the structure of the Zen Buddhist meditation technique, the koan. The show opens with a koan which Leonard studied and moves into song before coming to a second koan he discussed in interview – the result is an experience of a range of his work which is filtered through the spiritual practice to which he devoted so much of his life, heart, energy. Our interpretations cross through jazz, blues, gospel, rock and torch. While we are very respectful to the integrity of Cohen’s work, we are also authentic to our own storytelling. It is a soulful, inspiring, exciting show which seems to captivate audiences.

Ali & The Thieves Perform Leonard Cohen’s The Butcher
Sydney: 24 April 2016
Video from Ali Hughes

 

Leonard Cohen Koans New York Show

Triad Theater, 158 West 72nd Street between Broadway and Columbus
Showtime is 9.30 pm

Ticket Information

More about the show at Ali’s website.

“I went to a Dylan concert and the first song that was by the opening act was Hallelujah… I’d never heard it before so I went out looking for it. I wound up asking Leonard [Cohen] for the lyrics and he sent me… 15 verses. So I chose all the cheeky verses, the ones that weren’t quite right.” John Cale

 

Cale earned an unusual hit with his cover [of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah] when it appeared in the 2001 film Shrek, but he had recorded it a decade earlier for the compilation I’m Your Fan. He discovered it in an unusual place. “I went to a Dylan concert and the first song that was by the opening act was ‘Hallelujah’ with a choir,” he recalled. “I’d never heard it before so I went out looking for it. I wound up asking Leonard for the lyrics and he sent me the lyrics: 15 verses. So I chose all the cheeky verses, the ones that weren’t quite right. I couldn’t sing the religious ones. You could tell from the structure of that thing, it was going to be around for a long time.

From John Cale’s Velvet Underground Talk: 10 Things We Learned By Kory Grow (Rolling Stone: October 12, 2018). Photo by Yves Lorson – originally posted to Flickr as John Cale, CC BY 2.0, Link

Note: Cale told his story of first hearing Hallelujah in a 2013 interview but then reported the song was sung by Dylan rather than an opening act: “That’s really a catchy chorus” – John Cale Talks About His Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

Video: Fabrizio De André Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Seems So Long Ago Nancy”

Coco Éclair reports a recurrent theme among local citizens in the region of Italy where she is spending part of her summer [at time of posting: 2014] is the similarity in the performances of Leonard Cohen and Fabrizio De André, who covered three Cohen songs in Italian: Suzanne, Giovanna De Arco [Joan of Arc], and Seems So Long Ago Nancy.

Leonard Cohen vs Fabrizio De André – Seems So Long Ago Nancy
Video by BloodySam

Originally posted July 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Mariners Apartment Complex By Lana Del Rey References Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man

Hans Kloss alerts us to “a beautiful new song – with Leonard Cohen references!”

The song is Mariners Apartment Complex and the singer is long time Cohen admirer, Lana Del Rey. This excerpt from “Mariners Apartment Complex” Is Lana Del Rey at Her Most Coolly Confident by Anna Gaca (Spin: September 12, 2018) covers the connection to Leonard’s I’m Your Man.

That’s the surface, then, but the rip current comes in half-whispered refrains of “I’m your man” and the shadow of another of Del Rey’s departed icons, Leonard Cohen. His much-celebrated “I’m Your Man” is a lust song that transcends desire: Cohen is a lover, he is a fighter, he is a supplicant, he is anything you want him to be in the moment, and he is that totally. Your man. “You’re lost at sea, then I’ll command your boat to me,” Del Rey sings, and there it is again: “I’m your man.” She asks your understanding (“They mistook my kindness for weakness”), your forgiveness (“I fucked up, I know that, but Jesus”), your grace (“Can’t a girl just do the best she can?”) and in return, she offers everything: her power as a cypher and her vulnerability as an individual, bottled up tight in the character of Lana Del Rey and cast into the waves.“