Leonard Cohen Elaborates On “These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood” From Gypsy’s Wife

As I wrote in 1975 or 1976, ‘These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood.’ I had this sense that some thing had happened, and that people were kind of hanging on to their little bits of furniture and bobbing about in the torrent. Therefore, descriptions like ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘pro-abortion’ or ‘anti-abortion,’ these definitions that were current and still define the political life, were entirely irrelevant, considering the catastrophe and the predicament people found themselves in.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Note: “These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood” is a line from the lyrics of The Gypsy’s Wife, released on Leonard’s 1979 album Recent Songs.

From A Purple Haze To A Purple Patch by Adam Sweeting (The Canberra Times: July 24, 1994)

Leonard Cohen Unfolds, Sings "My Gypsy Wife"


Leonard Cohen On The Heart Of “The Gypsy’s Wife”

This excerpt from the Harry Rasky documentary, The Song of Leonard Cohen,1 contains an especially explicit discussion by Cohen of the portion of his life that is captured in the song.

Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Elrod

In 1969, Cohen and Suzanne Elrod, a photographer and artist, began a relationship that resulted in the birth of two children, Adam in 1972 and Lorca in 1974, both of whom are pictured in the video clip and in the screenshot below.


The relationship between Cohen and Elrod ended by 1979, when the documentary was filmed. That final disruption is the focus of “The Gypsy’s Wife.”

The Video Of Leonard Cohen’s “The Gypsy’s Wife”

In addition to the explication and a solid performance of the song, Cohen also reads his poem, “Slowly I Married Her.”

Leonard Cohen – The Gypsy’s Wife

Note: Originally posted Mar 19, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. For those interested in learning more about The Song of Leonard Cohen, I recommend the concise, well written Review by Dick Straub. []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s The Gypsy’s Wife, Coolness of The Wound

gypsywifeOana Maria Cajal, an artist well known to ongoing reader, offers her unique video take on another of Leonard Cohen’s classics: The Gypsy’s Wife.

The Gypsy’s Wife, Coolness of The Wound
Video by oana maria cajal

More Cohencentric posts featuring work by this artist can be found at Oana Maria Cajal. She also maintains a website at www.oanacajal.ca and a Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/@OanaCajal

“These Are The Final Days” – Leonard Cohen On “Gypsy Wife” + 2008 Helsinki Performance


On ‘Gypsy Wife’ I was saying these are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood. I know, from talking to my friends and my own feelings, that something has happened, that the milestones are gone, that the lights have gone out, and that people are floundering in a profound way. What I’m dealing with is post-apocalypse. There’s a tremendous gulf between public utterance and private understanding.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From No Line Before Its Time It Takes Leonard Cohen A While To Find The Right Words by Tom Moon, Philadelphia Inquirer: Nov 26, 1992

And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Too early for the rainbow, too early for the dove
These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood
And there is no man or woman who can’t be touched
But you who come between them will be judged
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?

Leonard Cohen – The Gypsy’s Wife
Helsinki: Oct 10, 2008
Video by albertnoonan

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: Gypsy Wife – Verona


And where, where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight
I’ve heard all the wild reports, they can’t be right
But whose head is this she’s dancing with on the threshing floor
whose darkness deepens in her arms a little more
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features 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 – The Gypsy Wife
Verona: Sept 24, 2012
Video by