The 2013 “Everybody Knows” Video Pro-Am: Leonard Cohen’s Live In Dublin DVD Video Vs Audience Recordings

Everybody Knows from Leonard Cohen’s Live In Dublin DVD (Dec 2, 2014) provides an opportunity to compare the professionally shot and edited video of this performance produced for the official concert DVD with the recordings of the same song at other 2013 tour venues made by amateur videographers in the audience. It’s worth keeping in mind that the latter group operates under rather rigorous conditions: shooting from a single location determined by ones luck and cash on hand (a seat inevitably located just behind the winner of the Tallest Leonard Cohen Fan In Existence and next to the Cohenites Singalong Ensemble), and filming while eluding the concert hall’s camera police.

While each of the audience videos are flawed in some manner and I am clearly at risk for observer error, I would argue that these imperfect offerings are indeed how the light gets in. But, hey, judge for yourself.

The Professional Video

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Dublin: Sept 12, 2013
Video from LeonardCohenVEVO

The Audience Videos

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Brussels: June 30, 2013
Video by albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by schnugsy

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Bercy: June 18, 2013
Video by Aurélie F

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Rome: July 7, 2013
Video by 30gallina72

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Rome: July 7, 2013
Video by Wirebirds

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Vienna: July 27, 2013
Video by glauxath

Note: Originally posted November 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Listen To Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” Performed By Sharon Robinson

Sharon Robinson’s “Everybody Knows,” “Secondhand,” and “The High Road” are all available for streaming without charge on her Soundcloud

Photo atop this post taken by Maarten Massa. Originally posted July 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I tend to see AIDS as symptomatic of a deeper breakdown in our psychic immune system” Leonard Cohen (1988)

In ‘Everybody Knows’, Cohen sounds the death knell (in more ways then one) for the style of man – and woman – who does seek salvation through untrammelled sexual activity thus: “Everybody knows / that the naked man and woman/ just a shining artifact of the past.”

quoteup2
That interpretation might be pushing things too far, but certainly we do know that people will never lie down again with each other in our lifetime with the same sense of abandon that we have at this moment. The development of AIDS is the reason – but I tend to see AIDS as symptomatic of a deeper breakdown in our psychic immune system…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“I wrote a song like Everybody Knows to close that gap [between private life & public life] and the only way to close it is by speaking of it humourously, speaking of it as a joke, and saying the things that we all know” Leonard Cohen on Everybody Knows

quoteup2
Without the music and nonsense rhymes, Everybody Knows would be pretty hard to take – the funeral quality of the message. It also pushes things very, very far just to get a laugh and that makes it amusing. It gives a jingle effect that as I say modifies and mitigates the heaviness of the vision. I think that everybody does know these things…These ideas were started a long time ago in my work, but the romantic world is just as Lorca said in that poem Take This Waltz. These romantic images that he’s using…he knows they’re rotten, he know they’re old, he knows they’re finished. That’s why it’s such a modern poem… There seems to be some appetite to say those words: ‘Everybody knows it’s coming apart.’ Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s just because I’m middle-aged and maybe nothing’s coming apart but, to me, those images, those romantic expectations, those religious expectations, the political vocabulary, are obsolete. I’ve never felt so much difference between the private life and the public life. There doesn’t seem to be a public life and there’s nobody speaking in a way that seems to address me… I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just getting old, maybe not, maybe I’m right, so I wrote a song like Everybody Knows to close that gap and the only way to close it is by speaking of it humourously, speaking of it as a joke, and saying the things that we all know.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

I’m Your Man by Alberto Manzano (Rockdelux (Spain): May 1988)

“A good song exists in very modest terms and also in Himalayan terms” Leonard Cohen

In “Everybody Knows,” there is a line that I found deeply moving, “Old Black Joe’s still picking cotton, for our buttons and our bows,” which seems to be a fairly heavy indictment of capitalism.

quoteup2
Whatever grip capitalism has on its constituents, it seems to be a more benign grip than any of the other systems that people have thought out. So I would resist, although not with a tremendous amount of interest in the matter, having it serve an anti-capitalist program. I think that a good song exists in very modest terms and also in Himalayan terms. I mean, it’s a thing to get you through the dishes. It provides a sound-track for your courting and for your solitude. That’s the modest element. Then there is an element in song which provides deep comfort and deep solace and stimulation for the imagination and courage. You can’t use it for something as deliberate as a program. It could be, but it falls away. A good song slips away from its dogma.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen:  Several Lifetimes Already by Cindy Bisaillon (Shambhala Sun, Jan, 1994). Originally posted Dec 16, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Animated Performance Of Everybody Knows – Adelaide 2010

Featuring a musical conversation between Leonard Cohen and Javier Mas

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Adelaide  Nov 18, 2010
Video by alanm5049

For Comparison – The 2008 Newfoundland Version

As indicated by the screenshots, much of the introduction of Everybody Knows has become an extended musical conversation between Leonard Cohen and Javier Mas. This observation about the evolution of the performance and the impending end of the World Tour led to the posting of the 2008 version of the same song for comparison and contrast.

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
St. John’s: May 27, 2008
Video from colinyetman

Note: Originally posted Nov 21, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Sigrid’s Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows From Opening Credits Of The Justice League Soundtrack

Sigrid’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows establishes the bleak situation facing the superheros of Justice League:

The film opens with cellphone footage of some kids peppering Superman with questions. “What’s the best thing about planet Earth?” one asks. Superman cracks a smile, and thinks about it — and the movie cuts to black. The early passages bask in that bleak uncertainty. With the Man of Steel seemingly no more, society has begun to dissolve. Norwegian singer Sigrid’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” plays on the soundtrack (“Everybody knows that the war is over/Everybody knows the good guys lost” — yes, yes, it’s yet another droning cover of a classic pop song used to add weight to Hollywood piffle, but this one actually works).

From Spoiler: Justice League Is Fleet and Fun, Even With the Emo Gloom by Bilge Ebiri (Dallas Observer: November 15, 2017)

Hear Clip Of Sigrid’s Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows From Justice League Movie Soundtrack

 

Update: Hear Sigrid’s Complete Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows From The Justice League Soundtrack