Leonard Cohen’s Emotive “So Long Marianne” – First Lissadell House Concert: Sligo 2010

Well, you know that I love to live with you
But you make me forget so very much
I forget to pray for the angels
And then the angels forget to pray for us


Leonard Cohen, Musicians, And Audience Suffuse “So Long Marianne” Performance With Intensity

Albert Noonan’s spring cleaning of his video archives has yielded another gem: an emotion-laden rendition of “So Long Marianne” that begins with Cohen energetically re-appearing on the stage for the first encore via his patented skipping entrance, a beaming smile on his face.

By the first chorus of

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

… Cohen, the musicians on stage, and the audience are singing in unison, earning the crowd the much sought after Cohen accolade, “Ah, you sing so pretty.”

Caught up in the moment, Leonard Cohen’s phrasing, stage choreography, and voice become extraordinarily expressive. The words of the last two lines of the third verse,

I forget to pray for the angels
and then the angels forget to pray for us.

… are drawn out to the point that the words, “pray for us’ are achingly prolonged.

Cohen starts the next round of “So long, Marianne,” but then stops to listen to the audience complete the chorus.

The high intensity continues, peaking with Cohen singing, with clenched fist, an unusual variation of the familiar lines,

just when I climbed this whole goddamned mountainside,
to wash my eyelids in the rain!

At the song’s conclusion, Cohen’s enthusiasm and joyfulness are unmistakable.

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
Sligo: July 31, 2010
Video by albertnoonan

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Mar 22, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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