1st Video, New Leonard Cohen Song – The Darkness

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Venue for Leonard Cohen Venice Concert - Photo by Marco Dolfino

More Excitement From The Leonard Cohen Venice Concert

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 crabbed 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.”

Update: A video of the complete song has now been posted at Complete Version Of “The Darkness” – The New Leonard Cohen Song – Now Available

Leonard Cohen – The Darkness (Venice Soundcheck)

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 :)]

The Soundcheck Setting And The Venue

Another fan, Conorsiphone, shot a few minutes of the soundcheck.

Just happened to happen upon this soundcheck and decided to put my iPhone 3GS to the test. Had tickets for the concert later, it was superb. Leonard himself was his usual perfection and the band superb.

Although the new song is not captured (“Who By Fire” is being played), the video does provide a sense of the concert’s venue and the setting of the soundcheck.

Soundcheck – Leonard Cohen Venice Concert


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

3 responses to “1st Video, New Leonard Cohen Song – The Darkness

  1. Burningviolin

    The special guest appearance by Bob Metzgers knees must be noted in that video of the ‘work in progress’.!

  2. I loved the church bells chiming in at the end…sweet.

  3. I definitly DO agree with you. Venice was The Concert. A prayer in public, ended with The Cohanim Beraha’… I was in 4th row, right in front of LC. Maybe we talk, are you The Manchester guy, or The one , a little older, who get setlist at the end ?
    If you go to my blog http://www.baotzebao.eu you’ll get the feeling I’m in. But now, maybe, haved read this post and the rest of this beauty place, I will be able to go on and tell what has happened that august 3 night, when rain was commanded to stop…

    Thank you, frrrrriends !