Video: Leonard Cohen Performs I Can’t Forget With Lines From “Dover Beach” & “À La Claire Fontaine” – Ghent 2012

“I Can’t Forget” – The Ghent Version

The 2012 Ghent concerts have produced a bounty of delectations that have surprised even long-time followers of Leonard Cohen. To this set of delights that have included a new and powerful arrangement of “Dance Me to The End Of Love,” a cover of the 1960s Drifters’ hit, “Save The Last Dance For Me,” and Leonard Cohen’s first live performance of “Light As The Breeze,”  can now be added this version of “I Can’t Forget” with verses from two poems, one in English and one in French, expertly woven into the music to produce a rapturous effect.

Leonard Cohen – I Can’t Forget
Ghent: Aug 14, 2012
Video by

Yep, just another Leonard Cohen masterpiece.

The Recitations

While Cohen has frequently incorporated poems, both his own work and those written by others into his act, they are typically spoken as stand-alone pieces (such as “A Thousand Kisses Deep”) or as introductions to songs. This excerpt from a post about the October 7, 2010 Moscow concert, provides some examples of Cohen’s use of poetry:

“The Darkness” is, by my assessment, especially striking and is significantly enhanced by Leonard Cohen’s recitation of “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley as prologue. This is at least the third time Leonard Cohen has quoted from the works of other poets on the 2010 Tour. At Lissadell House, where Yeats, who spent his childhood in Sligo, lived and wrote during his stay there in 1894 and 1895, Cohen quoted the opening verse of “In Memory Of Eva Gore-Booth And Con Markiewicz” by William Butler Yeats.1 In Stuttgart, apparently in response to civil unrest triggered by protests over the destruction of an area of trees, Cohen introduced “Born In Chains” with words from Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach.” … Cohen recited “Dover Beach” prior to “Born In Chains” at the Moscow concert as well.

In this case, Cohen recites a verse of “Dover Beach” in this rendition of  “I Can’t Forget” – but the words of the poem are interlaced with the song itself rather than serving as its prologue.

Cohen also weaves into “I Can’t Forget” words from “À La Claire Fontaine” [At The Clear Spring], a classic French children’s song.  The lyrics, in French and in English, can be found at Wikipedia. I’ve included the first lines (the line spoken by Leonard Cohen) below:

À la claire fontaine m’en allant promener
J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle que je m’y suis baignée.
(refrain) Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai

As I was walking by the clear fountain,
I found the water so lovely I had to bathe.
(refrain) I’ve loved you for so long, I will never forget you

Note: Originally posted Aug 17, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Backstage Photos: Dec 15, 2012 Leonard Cohen Boston Concert

It Is Yours – Everything we got.

Photos & captions by J.S. Carenza III

Note: Originally posted Dec 16, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

I Can’t Forget – When The 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Probability Meter Went To “Very High”

Introduction: I Can’t Forget

Because many folks have become Leonard Cohen fans since Leonard’s final concert – Auckland, December 21, 2013, I’m publishing key 1HeckOfAGuy.com and DrHGuy.com posts that originally came online during the 2008-2013 Tours to provide a sense of how it felt to be part of the World Of Cohen.during those halcyon days – and give those who were already Cohenites then the opportunity to relive the Golden Age Of Leonard. All such entries can be found at ,

Today’s I Can’t Forget moment hearkens back to the time between the 2010 and 2012 Tours.Today’s I Can’t Forget moment is a sequel to I Can’t Forget – The 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Probability Meter, and was originally posted Feb 6, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Odds Of Leonard Cohen 2012 Tour Go Up

The Old Ideas album promotions have generated new clues about the possibility of a Leonard Cohen concert tour.

Actually, calling  this excerpt from Exclusive Q&A: Leonard Cohen on New Tour, ‘Old Ideas’ by Andy Greene (Rolling Stone. January 30, 2012)  a “clue” may be an understatement:

[Interviewer] Do you want to tour again soon?
[Leonard Cohen] A tour is being booked.  Whether I’m going to show up . . . I haven’t signed on for it yet, but it’s certainly in the air.

[Interviewer]  Do you want to do it?
[Leonard Cohen] I have two minds. I don’t like to do a small tour, so whether I’m going to sign up for for another couple of years . . . is that really where I want to be? Maybe it is.

[Interviewer] But you think it’s going to happen?
[Leonard Cohen] Looks like it’s going to happen.

[Interviewer] I know that you toured last time partially because of your financial situation. The tour must have taken care of that, so what would drive you to tour again?
[Leonard Cohen] I was able to restore my tiny fortune within a year or so, but I kept on touring. It wasn’t exclusively that unique situation. Touring is like taking the first step on a walk to China. It’s a serious commitment, so there are a lot of factors to be examined.

There are several more items of this sort. The following are a sampling that were easy to find.

John McCrank, for example, writing in Cohen Regroups With Old Ideas for Reuters (January 31, 2012) about Cohen’s appearance at Joe’s Pub in New York reports:

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I Can’t Forget – The 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Probability Meter

Introduction: I Can’t Forget

Introduction: I Can’t Forget

Because many folks have become Leonard Cohen fans since Leonard’s final concert – Auckland, December 21, 2013, I’m publishing key 1HeckOfAGuy.com and DrHGuy.com posts that originally came online during the 2008-2013 Tours to provide a sense of how it felt to be part of the World Of Cohen.during those halcyon days – and give those who were already Cohenites then the opportunity to relive the Golden Age Of Leonard. All such entries can be found at ,

Today’s I Can’t Forget moment hearkens back to the time between the 2010 and 2012 Tours. After the 2010 Leonard Cohen Tour ended, it was by no means certain that he would tour again.As fans wondered, speculated, shared rumors, read tea leaves … Jarkko Arjatsalo – webmaster of LeonardCohenForum and an extraordinarily nice guy – wisely counseled us, as he is wont to do, to “wait patiently” for an official announcement. Those who have followed Heck Of A Guy or its successor, Cohencentric, will have little difficulty recognizing that this site operates on a moderately different philosophy, to wit …

Those of you unfamiliar with LeonardCohenForum or 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric will just have to trust me that the above cartoon is hilariously funny.

In any case, during 2011 and 2012,1HeckOfAGuy displayed my calculations on the prospects of a new tour in a dignified, quiet, almost subliminal manner, as described in the following entry posted Aug 3, 2011.

New Rumors Inspire New Graphics

A plethora of murmurs and mutterings  relevant to the possibility of a 2012 Leonard Cohen tour are being bruited about and have been reported to Heck Of A Guy headquarters. As is often the case, however, each of these enticing clues was proffered on the condition that the source would remain absolutely anonymous, i.e., not only can no names be listed for attribution but also no specifics, such as the venue of a planned concert, which could identify any of the sources, can be disclosed.

Confronted with a bounty of information, almost none of which can be printed, DrHGuy has opted for the classic solution employed by newspapers, periodicals, and professional journals facing this conundrum of information encumbered by restrictions  – if you can’t display solid evidence, evidence a solid display.

As a result, the Heck Of A Guy 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Investigation now sports a strikingly flashy graphic – capable of indicating ambiguous judgements to an infinite degree of false precision – to indicate the likelihood that Leonard Cohen will perform a series of concerts next year.

Given that description, it will not surprise the astute viewer that the 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Probability Level System, represented by the image atop this post, bears a close resemblance to the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS), which was phased out on April 27, 2011. As one might expect, Heck Of A Guy was able to purchase this no longer used (OK, this never ever used by anyone) government program, including its secret algorithms, equipment, and procedures as well as the graphic design, cheap.

The 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Probability Meter Reading Derivation Process

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