The Alpha & Omega Of “A Thousand Kisses Deep”: From Jennifer Warnes Singing “Way Down Deep” To Leonard Cohen Reciting “A Thousand Kisses Deep”

As is true of many Leonard Cohen songs, “A Thousand Kisses Deep” has a complex history. Tom Sakic and I thought it would be interesting to present the earliest performed precursor of this song juxtaposed with the most recent version.

The result is a video with Jennifer Warnes singing the gorgeous but inexplicably overlooked “Way Down Deep” (by Jennifer Warnes, Leonard Cohen, and Amy Latelevision) from her 1992 album, The Hunter, followed by Leonard Cohen’s July 20, 2009 recitation of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” in Dublin.

Between these end points, “A Thousand Kisses Deep” – both the song and the poem, both in print and as performed – has undergone changes in specific lyrics and the addition, subtraction, and rearrangement of stanzas.

The closest we have to a definitive manuscript of all verses is dated September 21, 1998 and is available online at Blackening Pages: A Thousand Kisses Deep.1 From that point on, the versions are combinations and permutations of these verses with occasional changes in lines and phrases.

The Video: Jennifer Warnes’ “Way Down Deep” To Leonard Cohen’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep”

Despite being romantics at heart, neither Tom or I planned this as a Valentine’s Day commemoration – but, just as sure as there ain’t no cure for love, it is a suitable treat for those with a Cohenesque perspective.

Video from Allan Showalter


Bonus: Leonard Cohen’s 1996 “A Thousand Kisses Deep”

This video clip is from Armelle Brusq’s movie, “Leonard Cohen Spring 96,” shot at the Mt Baldy Zen Center.

Leonard Cohen – A Thousand Kisses Deep
1996 Demo
Video from a1000kissesdeep (aka Tom Sakic)


Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is a gift from Jennifer Warnes.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Feb 12, 2010 at


  1. Leonard Cohen’s 1996 demo from Armelle Brusq’s movie at Mt Baldy referenced at at Blackening Pages: A Thousand Kisses Deep is also available on YouTube and can be viewed below in the embedded player near the end of this post. []

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