Don’t Miss The Spectacular 1985 Leonard Cohen Kalvøya, Norway Concert Videos


The Leonard Cohen Kalvøya Videos

After years of now you see them, now you don’t availability, the NRK TV broadcast of the June 30, 1985 performance by Leonard Cohen at Kalvøyafestivalen (Isle of Calf Music Festival), near Oslo, Norway has consistently online at the same site for the past two years.1

kbannerThe NRK offering comprises the entire broadcast of the festival, including  four Leonard Cohen songs: “Memories,” “Heart With No Companion,” “Story of Isaac,” and “I Tried to Leave You,” and a brief interview with the Canadian singer-songwriter.


The color and clarity of these recordings are outstanding and the performances, with Anjani Thomas on the keyboards and vocals, are solid. Most importantly, watching these videos is moving, exhilarating, and fun.
1985anjaniAnd, with his hair slicked back, his beard stylishly scruffy, a cigarette in one hand, and a microphone in the other (note the dramatic microphone dip at 1:58), Leonard Cohen’s matinee idol persona, typically used in the performance of “Memories,” has never been more enjoyable.

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  1. On Aug 8, 2009,, a predecessor of Cohencentric, posted Baby, Baby, Baby – Leonard Cohen & Anjani Sing The Blues In Norway celebrating the YouTube appearance of three videos, “I Tried to Leave You,” “Heart With No Companion,” and “Story of Isaac,” extracted from the TV broadcast of the June 30, 1985 performance by Leonard Cohen in Kalvøya, Norway. Then, the videos were removed, then  reappeared, and then disappeared again. In 2013, some of the Kalvoya performances, including “Memories,”  a performance not previously available, were uploaded to Daily Motion. Sadly, “I Tried To Leave You” is missing. []

Leonard Cohen’s Heart With No Companion: A Manual For Living With Defeat By Emma Philbin Bowman


By DrHGuy

Emma Philbin Bowman emailed me about her special interest in Leonard Cohen’s Heart With No Companion, a song that resonates with me as well. I was taken with Emma’s extraordinarily perceptive discussion marked by her unflinching willingness to explore, expose, and explain the unattenuated impact of Cohen’s lyrics on herself and inductively extrapolate these distilled discoveries into generalizable, useful insights.

Note: The lyrics of Heart With No Companion are available at the end of this post for reference. This entry was originally posted Apr 14, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric 

Heart With No Companion: ‘A Manual For Living With Defeat’ By Emma Philbin Bowman

The voice of Going Home on Old Ideas speaks of a wish to write ‘a manual for living with defeat.’ This captures one of the things Leonard Cohen has come to symbolise: how to live with grace and beauty, amid our many failures and disappointments. He is one of the finest embodiments we have, have ever had, and perhaps will ever have, of the dignity of bearing with what hurts and haunts us.

Leonard lives in the shadow, and he loves from the shadows, and he reminds us that we can too. For me, as for many others, Cohen’s way of being with us, the wry yet tender depths from which he speaks, has come to serve as a reminder of the redemption buried behind imperfection, darkness, failure, weakness, stubborn longing, and the humble battered love that emerge from them.

In Heart With No Companion (Various Positions), Cohen captures one aspect of this battered love: how our tenderness toward each other can deepen in the wake of defeat. The song speaks to the frequent failure of our longings, the painful gap between what we yearn for and what we are given, and how that gap can be borne. It is an unusual kind of love song – a reaching out toward those who are alone, failing and bereft – to those that no-one else is singing to. But it is more than that: it is also a reminder that when we endure grief and disappointment, we find ourselves able to love differently in their aftermath. It is a call to love – of brokenness, from brokenness, after brokenness.

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Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Heart With No Companion – Toronto 2008


While this is not a pristine video, it is entertaining to watch and the audio is good. In addition, it has redeeming features, including the fact that Heart With No Companion is a personal favorite of mine. It is also the song used to spotlight brief solo efforts by each of the band members. And, finally, this is one of the few decent quality videos from the early portion of the 2008 Leonard Cohen Tour.

Leonard Cohen – Heart With No Companion
Toronto: June 5, 2008
Video by backpackdave2008

Note: Originally posted June 8, 2008 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Best Videos Of 2013 Leonard Cohen Tour: Heart With No Companion – London


Through the days of shame that are coming
Through the nights of wild distress
Tho’ your promise count for nothing
You must keep it nonetheless

Leonard Cohen – Heart With No Companion
Odense: Aug 17, 2013
Video by FrostbiteZ1

Best 2013 Leonard Cohen Videos: is featuring selections from the current Best Of 2013 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2013 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: Heart With No Companion – Verona


Featuring Mitch Watkins, Alex Bublitchi, and Neil Larsen

I greet you from the other side
Of sorrow and despair
With a love so vast and shattered
It will reach you everywhere

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: spotlights selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – Heart With  No Companion
Verona: Sept 24, 2012
Video by Wirebirds