“[Sisters Of Mercy] was the first and only time I’ve written a song from beginning to end without a correction. I think it’s the prettiest song I’ve written.” Leonard Cohen

I wanted to know what the truth of Sisters Of Mercy was

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I was very lonely. I only had my guitar. And suddenly I found two girls who invited me to spend the night with them. I soon realized that this had nothing to do with sex. We just went to sleep because I was very tired. I woke up during the night and they were asleep. I started writing this song and when they woke up I sang it and I think I made them very happy. I think it was the first and only time I’ve written a song from beginning to end without a correction. I think it’s the prettiest song I’ve written. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero (1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate. Photo by Pete Purnell

Leonard Cohen Newsletter #5 (Sept 4, 1985): End of Tour, Planned USA-Japan Tour, Jurgen Jaensch, TV & Radio Appearances, and Starsound Collection LP

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Before Cohencentric, the official Leonard Cohen site, Facebook fan pages, LeonardCohenFiles, Instagram, etc., there was the Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter. For the story behind the Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter, see Ancient Texts From The Tower Of Song: Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter #1 – Dec 16, 1984. Click on images to enlarge

Thanks to James Finch, who unearthed his set of newsletters and made them available on this site. The image of Leonard’s computer generated self-portrait atop this post is from Newsletter #33. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Starts Sligo Show With Sprint, Smile & Song – Dance Me To The End Of Love (2010)

Featuring Dino Soldo On Instruments Of Wind (& Rafael Gayol On Camera)

In addition to an excellent performance of Dance Me To The End Of Love, this video displays Leonard Cohen opening the concert by running onto the stage and flashing an especially broad smile. (He closes the song with another beaming smile.) The screenshot atop this post also captures drummer Rafael Gayol photographing the audience photographing Leonard Cohen and the band.

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love 
Lissadell House, Sligo: Aug 1, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Originally posted Aug 6, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

4 Years Ago: Leonard Cohen & DrHGuy – Hanging In The Hood

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On Aug 6, 2014, the Duchess & I spent a sunny afternoon with Leonard Cohen and his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan, at his home in Los Angeles. Read about that visit at

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Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by Penny Showalter

Sharon Robinson’s Signs Of Leonard Cohen: Paris 2012

Arriving for the Sept 29, 2012 Leonard Cohen concert in Paris, Sharon Robinson snapped this shot of the Olympia Theatre marquee. Found at Sharon Robinson Facebook Page. Originally posted October 3, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Believe It Or Not: Photos From The 2012 Leonard Cohen Toulon Concert

Thanks to the unstinting efforts of Véronique Bucchini, we now have a gallery of what has proven to be the rarest of 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour photos – shots of the Sept 26, 2012 show in Toulon, France.* (Special thanks go to Dominique BOILE, who informed Ms Bucchini of DrHGuy & the quest for photos of the Toulon show.)

Worthy of special note:

  • Above Image: This is one of those photos, taken at precisely the right moment from precisely the right perspective that perfectly captures a key aspect of a performance
  • Below First Row, Left Image: Sharon Robinson and Leonard Cohen singing side by side is a scene that has been photographed hundreds if not thousands of times. Nonetheless, this specimen seems to render the two collaborators in song in a fresh light.

*Very few photos and videos emerged from the Toulon show, leading the posting of this plea.

Note: Originally posted Oct 3, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Window Up Above” By George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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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.

Window Up Above

Window Up Above was #1 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten Songs of 1988 list.1

“The Window Up Above” is a 1960 single written and originally recorded by George Jones. The version recorded by Jones peaked at number #2 on the country charts and spent a total of 34 weeks on the chart. It became a #1 smash for Mickey Gilley in 1975. “The Window Up Above” is widely praised by many critics – and George Jones himself – as his greatest composition. In “The Devil in George Jones”, an article which appeared in the July 1994 Texas Monthly, the singer told Nick Tosches that he wrote it one morning while living in Vidor, Texas, and that it remained his favorite: “I wrote it in about twenty minutes. I just came in off the road, about eight in the morning. While breakfast was being fixed, I just sat down in the den and picked up the guitar, and it was as simple as that. Sometimes it’s hard to even figure where the ideas come from.” Tosches added, “For Jones, ‘The Window Up Above’ seemed to issue directly from a lifelong insecurity and ambivalence, a deep-rooted fear of what lurked beneath the dream of hearth and home and happiness.” The song addresses the theme of adultery, but adds a foreboding, voyeuristic twist to the typical country music “cheatin'” song, filled with jealous anger and a deep, irreconcilable sense of betrayal2

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  1. From “:Cohen – In Eigenen Worten” (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, which was pointed out to me by Florian []
  2. Wikipedia []