Video: The Essence Of The Leonard Cohen Tour In One Song – “So Long Marianne” Lisbon 2009

Come over to the window, my little darling
I’d like to try to read your palm
I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy
Before I let you take me home

The Epitome Of Cohen In Concert

Were one forced to select one song from one concert which best captures the sound and spirit of the Leonard Cohen World Tour, this freshly uploaded albertnoonan video of Leonard Cohen performing “So Long Marianne,” which has itself become the signature song of the 2009 Summer Tour in Europe, in Lisbon would be an outstanding choice.

In the first 15 seconds alone, the backup singers begin their choreographed moves, Charley Webb performs a hair flip, Sharon Robinson beams and waves to someone in the crowd, Leonard Cohen sprints to the microphone with a huge smile on his face, and then, with the crowd cheering wildly, he drops to one knee.

Before he sings a note, Cohen and the audience are connected.

It gets better.

At 30 seconds into the song, the crowd is singing along with Cohen from the first syllable of the familiar chorus:

So long, Marianne, it’s time that we began
to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.

At the end of that first chorus, Cohen thanks the audience for coming to the concert and the audience responds with still more applause and cheers.

At 1:15, Cohen sets off more cheers when he picks up a yellow rose from the stage floor and cradles it in his arm while he continues singing.

On the second chorus, at 1:40, Cohen steps back and silently listens with an irrepressible smile on his face to the audience singing.

There’s more, but you get the idea. From the preliminaries to the doffed fedora at the finish, this is unadulterated, high quality Leonard Cohen in concert mode.

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
Lisbon: Aug 3, 2009
Video by albertnoonan

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 Aug 3, 2009 at

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