Hear Feb 2, 1985 Leonard Cohen Wiesbaden Show aka “Songs of a Serious Old Man”


Songs of a Serious Old Man is a two-disk  vinyl unauthorized album recorded at the Leonard Cohen concert in Wiesbaden on February 2, 1985. Sound quality is acceptable.


1. Bird On The Wire
2. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
3. The Law
4. Coming Back To You
5. Who By Fire
6. There Is A War
7. Night Comes On
8. Dance Me To The End Of Love
9. Diamonds In The Mine
10. The Gypsy’s Wife
11. So Long, Marianne
12. Avalanche – solo
13. Talking
14. Talking and Chelsea Hotel #2 – solo
15. The Stranger Song – solo
16. Story Of Isaac
17. Famous Blue Raincoat
18. Lover Lover Lover
19. Band Introduction
20. Sisters Of Mercy
21. Passin’ Through
22. Suzanne
23. I Tried To Leave You
24. Memories
25. The Guests
26. Bird On The Wire (2)

27. Unidentified Song, Probably Improvised
28. Tennessee Waltz
29. Bird On The Wire
30. Joan Of Arc
31. Hallelujah
32. There Is A War
33. There Is A War
34. If It Be Your Will
35. If It Be Your Will
36. Avalanche

“This is a new song about everything” Leonard Cohen Performs Night Comes On – Copenhagen 1985

The Leonard Cohen 1985 Copenhagen Concert

Night Comes On is one of the six songs from the February 9, 1985 concert in Copenhagen, Denmark that were broadcast on Danish TV.1 Backing Cohen are Anjani Thomas (vocals and Keyboards), John Crowder (bass), Ron Getman, & Mitch Watkins (guitar), Richard Crooks (drums).2

While the visual elements of this video are suboptimal, the audio is quite good. A bit of banter precedes the performance of the song.

Leonard Cohen – Night Comes On
Copenhagen: February 9, 1985
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted Mar 8, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Diamonds In The Mine []
  2. Source: Leonard Cohen Video Database []

Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day: Dance Me To The End Of Love + Interview – Australian TV 1985


Leonard Cohen Sings, Explains Origins Of Dance Me To The End Of Love

This video offers not only an outstanding performance of Dance Me To The End Of Love but also a six minute interview, which, thanks to the host’s miscues, offers key explanations of the origins of  Dance Me To The End Of Love and the distinction between Suzanne who  feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China and Suzanne who is the mother of Leonard Cohen’s children.


Cohen1 sets off laughter as he deadpans his way through corrections.


In response to the host observing that the film clip (from Dominique Issermann’s Dance Me To The End Of Love video) was shot in a “mental hospital,” Cohen points out

No, it was just an ordinary hospital where people get sick and die

And when Mr Walsh notes that Cohen “attracts” emotions like moroseness and sadness, the Canadian singer-songwriter opines

That’s what they say … My friends think I’m a barrel of laughs.

fullbandThe screenshots, including views of Mitch Watkins, who also played in the 2012 Tour, and Anjani Thomas, are a  wonderful bonus.


Leonard Cohen –  Dance Me To The End Of Love
Mike Walsh Show – Australian TV: 20 May 1985
Video uploaded by a1000kissesdeep

Note: Originally posted Feb 22, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Note that Mr Cohen sports slicked back hair, a dark suit, plaid shirt, and cowboy boots.  Do not try this at home unless you, like Leonard Cohen, are a professional dapper dresser. []

Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day: Passing Through – Warsaw 1985

warsawPassing through, passing through.
Sometimes happy, sometimes blue,
Glad that I ran into you.
Tell the people that you saw me passing through.

Leonard Cohen – Passing Through
Warsaw: March 22, 1985
Video uploaded by messalina79

Note: Originally posted Mar 2, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Partisan – Warsaw 1985 + The Origins Of The Partisan


The Partisan and Leonard Cohen

The Partisan, a song from the French Resistance written by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d’Astier in 1943,1 has been and continues to be one of Leonard Cohen’s most popular songs, especially in French-speaking countries and in Poland.

Rock History 101: Leonard Cohen – “The Partisan” by Tim Nordberg (Consequence of Sound: January 14, 2009) is an excellent (albeit not error free; be sure to read the comments) account of the history and implications of Leonard Cohen’s adoption and adaptation of The Partisan. I’ve excerpted portions here but perusing the entire piece is highly recommended.

At the urgings of General Charles De Gaulle, broadcast on BBC radio, thousands of French men and women took to the hills, and heroically defied the Nazi occupation in the north and the puppet government instituted at Vichy. By the time the allies had landed at Normandy, the French Resistance had organized an irregular fighting force of over 100,000.

… Their struggle against the occupying forces was historically recorded in two surviving historical songs: “Chante des partisans” and “La complainte du partisan.” Cohen had heard the latter on Canadian BBC radio – although in translation. … Cohen then recorded the song for 1969’s Songs From a Room. He is often incorrectly credited as the composer of the song – although he is certainly responsible for its survival.

Cohen’s version downplays the song’s historical content – the English lyrics contain no references to France or the Nazi occupation, but when Cohen swings through the song a second time, in the original French, the first line is: “Les Allemands etaient chez moi”/”The Germans were at my house.”

“The Partisan,” in any language, reminds the listener of a simpler time–despite the song’s calm despair, there’s a Spielsbergian sense of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys, native and invader.


When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I’m the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands e’taient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils me dirent, “Signe toi,” (They said, “Sign yourself,”)
mais je n’ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j’ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)

J’ai change’ cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j’ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j’ai tant d’amis; (But I have so many friends)
j’ai la France entie`re. (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a cache’, (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l’ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

The Video

This video is from a NBC film of a March 22, 1985 Leonard Cohen performance in Warsaw.2

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Warsaw: March 22, 1985
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. There is some confusion about the proper credits for this song.  The French Leonard Cohen Site notes, “… as it can be read in Anna Prucnal’s LP “Avec Amour”, the actual credit is

    Original: La complainte du Partisan
    paroles: Emmanuel d’Astier de la Vigerie also undernamed “Bernard”
    musique: Anna Marly

    Leonard ‘s cover: The (song of the French) Partisan
    paroles: E. d’Astier de la Vigerie, adaptation Hy Zaret
    musique: Anna Marly
    Ed. Raoul Breton.” []

  2. Diamonds in the Mine []