First Video Of Leonard Cohen Performing The Darkness: Venice Soundcheck – Aug 3, 2009

As reports filter in about the August 3, 2009 Leonard Cohen Venice Concert, the extraordinary energy and quality of Cohen’s performance becomes increasingly obvious (more about that later). A by-product of the singer-songwriter’s expansive mood appears to have been his semi-public audition of a new song, “The Darkness,” during the Venice soundcheck being watched by a number of fans at the concert site, Piazza San Marco.

Happily for those of us who spent August 3rd at locales other than Venice, Maarten1 at LeonardCohenForum shot and uploaded a video of that performance during the soundcheck.

I only missed a few words at the beginning of the song. When I heard the band playing some intro that I hadn’t heard before, I grabbed my camera and started filming right away, but the intro and a few words are missing…

Tom Sakic notes the following comments re the song’s title:

Leonard to Jarkko: “untitled work in progress.”
Bob Metzger: “We call it the blues.”


Leonard Cohen – The Darkness
Venice Soundcheck: August 3, 2009
Video by MaartenLC


Lyrics – The Darkness

mnkyface at LeonardCohenForum offers a transcription of the lyrics of this new song.

….It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
from your little ruby cup
I said ‘is this contagious?’
You said ‘just drink it up’

I got no future baby
I know my days are few
I got no future (honey?)
I said I know my days are few
And the prison’s not that pleasant
Just a lot of things to do

I don’t need your sticky (?) little buzz
I don’t need your alcohol
I don’t need your loving touch
but that’s always been your call
’cause there’s nothing about (but?) the darkness
‘makes any sense to me at all

I should have seen the darkness
It was right behind your eyes
ah, those pools so deep and heartless
I just had to take a dive
ah yeah winning you was easy
yeah but darknesss was the prize

Got no future
Got no future
Got no future
yeah I know my days are few
The prison’s not that pleasant
just a lot of things to do

Don’t need your sticky little buzz…

[here he signals the band to stop- you can hear cathedral bells ringing over them :)]

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 6, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric.


  1. AKA MaartenLC at YouTube, AKA Maarten Massa, who is responsible for the Leonard Cohen reference site, MaartenMassa []

Leave a Reply