Yep – It’s Another Do I Have To Dance All Night Post
Sometime in the past 24 hours, the Heck Of A Guy-produced Do I Have To Dance All Night video1 passed 30,000 views (see above screenshot). (The Heck Of A Guy video of the 1980 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has logged 9,663 views.)
Cue the festivities: Woo Hoo
After all, 30,000 views on YouTube, a site where videos displaying cats performing cuteness beneath misspelled captions ring up millions of views isn’t much to email home about.
In fact, while an unbiased self-assessment may be intrinsically impossible, my best efforts in that spirit would hold that the personal significance of reaching this YouTube milestone breaks down to
- Self-adulatory braggadocio – 20%
- Rationalization for publishing yet another post about Do I Have To Dance All Night – 80%
Indeed, spreading the awareness of Do I Have To Dance All Night, Leonard Cohen’s dandy, underappreciated song has become a moral imperative for this site.
The title of the first Heck Of A Guy post featuring this song (on July 6th, 2006) is revelatory: Do I Have To Dance All Night – The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard, I could then legitimately report
… even someone who was a Big Leonard Cohen Fan probably hadn’t heard Do I Have To Dance All Night,2AKA The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard, unless he or she were
1. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who went to the right concerts in the late ’70s
2. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who bought his or her 45s in Central Europe
3. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who found a crappy MP3 of the song.3
While that list was an oversimplification, its premise – that only a few, atypical Leonard Cohen fans had heard the altogether dandy Do I Have To Dance All Night – was true.
The cause of this tragedy was no mystery.
Checking Cohen’s discography, one discovers that among all the Leonard Cohen albums, this song is only on – exactly none of them.2 Indeed, Do I Have To Dance All Night was and continues to be available only as a seven inch single that was originally recorded at a 1976 concert in Paris and pressed in Holland for sale in Central European countries.3
And, I have repeatedly pointed out that this is a great, altogether wonderful Leonard Cohen song:
Do I Have To Dance All Night is a great song because it is quintessential Cohen: it’s evocative, it’s plaintive, it’s self-effacing, it’s sly, sexy, salacious, and seductive, … it is way cool.
Of course, that’s just one guy’s opinion. Listen to the song yourself at the end of this post.
Be aware, however, that if you happen to be as infatuated with Do I Have To Dance All Night as I am, you may find yourself spontaneously singing, at the most unexpected times, the refrain of
Ooh tell me, Bird of Paradise,
do I have to dance all night?
This can be a wonderful thing if it happens, for example, while one is dancing and the words are sung just barely above a whisper through lips that are almost touching a sweetheart’s ear. If it takes place in the middle of ones presentation on shower curtain sales trends in the Midwest, not so much.
Heck Of A Guy hosts items about the semi-funky 1976 version of the song with Laura Branigan and the 1980 more gypsy, less disco rendition, videos constructed for both of these versions (1976 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video and 1980 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video), a groom singing Do I Have To Dance All Night at his wedding reception, a Christmas download of a MP3 of the song, and 30+ more.
So, 30,000 views of a song by a singer routinely said to have a cult following, a song that singer most recently performed over 30 years ago, a song that was only briefly released in 1976 as a 7 inch single in central Europe, a song that existed on the 2006 iteration of the internet in obscure bootlegs and as a single, hideously flawed MP3 in file-sharing systems … ain’t bad.
The crusade continues.
Leonard Cohen – Do I Have To Dance All Night (1976 version)
- Do I Have To Dance All Night is also the 1st Heck Of A Guy video; there are currently more than 4o such videos dealing with Leonard Cohen. [↩]
- According to the Wikipedia, “Cohen wanted to include “Misty Blue”/”Do I Have to Dance All Night” as a free bonus single with the [Recent Songs] LP, but Columbia, his record company, rejected the idea.” [↩]
- Do I Have To Dance All Night is Side A on the single; Side B features “The Butcher,” which is available on the Songs From a Room album. [↩]