“Urban Transport Planning” Episode Of The Americans Features Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me To The End Of Love

Typically, I hear about Leonard Cohen songs being used in TV shows or movies from fans. In this case, I discovered that Dance Me To The End Of Love was featured in the third episode of the sixth and final season of the FX network‘s highly rated, highly popular series, The Americans, from two online sites linking to Cohencentric posts dealing with concentration camps as the origin of that song.

The Americans Recap: The War at Home by Scott Tobias (Vulture: April 11, 2018):

The closing song is Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love,” played over scenes of Elizabeth strangling a security guard and Philip meeting with Oleg at the park. Cohen claimed the song was inspired by the Holocaust. Here it gives a sufficient impression of finality.

Can you come into the kitchen? The Americans would like a word by Erik Adams (AV/TV Club: April 11, 2018):

The Americans Soundtrack Report, Week Three: B. Elizabeth’s murder streak continues, but the show’s Talking Heads streak ends. As far as consolation prizes go, it’s tough to beat “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” a Leonard Cohen composition whose origin story is gloomy even by Leonard Cohen standards.

Credit Due Department: Image atop post Source, Fair use, Wikipedia

In The Beginning … Photos & Videos Of Leonard Cohen’s First 2008-2013 Tour Show: Fredericton, May 11, 2008

Ending a 15-year retirement from touring, Leonard Cohen went back on the road, opening his 2008-2010 World Tour1 at the Fredericton, New Brunswick Playhouse on May 11, 2008. Cohencentric is celebrating this event with a set of brilliant photos from the concert and videos of Leonard’s first song at that show and his welcoming words to the audience.

Note: Those interested in why the 2008 Tour opened at a venue with a seating capacity of 709 in a city with a population (in 2005) of just over 50,000 can investigate the issue at Why The 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen World Tours Opened In Fredericton, NB.

Photo Gallery

These brilliant photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians were taken at the 2008  Fredericton show by J. Gordon Anderson.

 

“This is the first time I’ve done this in 14 years. I was 60 years old the last time – just a kid with a crazy dream.” – The Leonard Cohen Monologue

While these videos are suboptimal, their historic value and their evocation of the essence of what was to become Leonard Cohen’s performance style in his final tours reward viewing.

Leonard Cohen Talks To Audience
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic

The First Song Of The First Set Of The First Concert Of The First 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen Tour – Dance Me To The End Of Love

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic

Credit Due Department: Photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians by J. Gordon Anderson. Photo of Playhouse by Rbcb – Own work, CC by 3.0. via Wikipedia.

Note: All posts about this concert are collected at

Originally posted Jan 19, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. Of course, at the time no one knew it would be a three year tour, let alone that it would be followed by tours in 2012 and 2013 []

Hear Leonard Cohen Recite Poems & Talk About Life At Mt Baldy Zen Center, Writing Lyrics, His Kids… – 1998 Radio Interview

Chris Douridas interviewed Leonard Cohen on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic – March 3, 1998. Highlights include

  • “I’m a bad monk” – Life at Mt Baldy Zen Center, including cooking for Roshi
  • “No existential leap” – Leonard’s recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep, including a line written that day
  • “The old are kind” – Leonard’s recitation of a quatrain
  • Discussion of Leonard’s participation in the Montreal poets group
  • The public’s belated discovery of Dance Me To The End Of Love
  • Leonard’s painstaking writing style
  • The influence of Mediterranean music
  • The work of his children, Adam & Lorca

Leonard Cohen: Dance Me To The End Of Love Arose From Photo Of Concentration Camp Musicians

quoteup2

This is a song that arose from a photograph that I saw when I was a child of some people in striped pajamas prison uniforms with violins playing beside a smoke stack and the smoke was made out of gypsies and children, and this song arose out of that photograph: Dance Me To The End Of Love.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s introduction to Dance Me To The End Of Love at the April 10, 1988 Koln concert. The photo is not, of course, the one described by Cohen but does show prisoner musicians at Camp Mauthausen.

More on this topic at

Leonard Cohen Doffs His Hat, Sharon Robinson Waves: 2008 Lucca Soundcheck Video

lsoundcThere is nothing extraordinary about this video of Leonard Cohen’s soundcheck before the 2008 Lucca show, but I always enjoy seeing the backup singers and the band in mufti (OK, I guess that technically, Leonard is in civilian clothes as well , but how do you tell his concert costume from his everyday outfit?), and I am taken by Leonard responding, in the midst of solving some issue with the sound system, to fans applauding the abruptly ended song by doffing his hat and smiling at the crowd — an event followed a moment later by Sharon flashing her own winsome smile and waving.  Consider my cockles warmed.

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Lucca Soundcheck: July 27, 2008
Video by Todd Rongstad

Leonard Cohen On Being Asked About The “Burning Violin” In Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance me to your beauty
with a burning violin

Interviewer: What about the “burning violin” in “Dance Me To The End Of Love” ….

quoteup2
Although I don’t think anyone needs to know what gave me that image, there were these little orchestras the Germans put together in concentration camps. They played while people were being incinerated or gassed. If you want to read the song from that point of view, it becomes something quite different.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: The Profits Of Doom by Steve Turner, Q (UK), April 1988.

More on this topic at

Outstanding Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Dance Me To The End Of Love – Zurich 2013

dancezuricjDance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Zurich: August 24, 2013
Video: albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Aug 26, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric