The Christmas-Hanukkah-Ramadan-Kwanzaa-Name Your Own Holiday Album Phenomenon
As ongoing readers may know, the Leonard Cohen Christmas album has yet to enter that notably diverse pantheon of holiday CDs that includes such specimens as Twisted Sister’s “Twisted Christmas,” Jethro Tull’s “The Jethro Tull Christmas Album,” “A John Waters Christmas” by various artists, Afroman’s “A Colt 45 Christmas,” and William Hung’s “Hung For The Holidays.”1
The Leonard Cohen Christmas Project
Leonard Cohen’s songs and albums are often the result of long gestations. “I’m Your Man” was an album three years in the making.2 “Hallelujah” alone, Cohen attests, took over two years to complete. “In My Secret Life” required 13 years to progress from conception to release – even with Sharon Robinson helping.3
Nonetheless, even Cohen’s most ardent fans can be forgiven if they despair over his Christmas compilation, which is now in its 32th year of preparation with only one song to show for the effort.4
Well, at least it’s a pretty good song.
Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes – Silent Night
This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert.5
There is no film of the performance itself; consequently, I’ve constructed a video montage of photos of Cohen and Warnes, drawings by Leonard Cohen, and a clip of a very young Leonard and his sister Esther skating to complement the music.
Download Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes
The audio recording of Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes used in the video is the same MP3 available as a track on the Another Other Leonard Cohen Album. Information about those songs and download instructions are available at the link.
Credit Due Department: The photo of Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes is by Claude Gassian and was contributed by Dominique BOILE. The shot of violinist Raffi Hakopian and Leonard Cohen is a screen capture from a video of Leonard Cohen singing “The Guests” that was originally broadcast on French TV on December 15, 1979 (see New Video – Leonard Cohen Sings The Guests, 1979). The image of the 1979 Brighton concert ticket was found at Ticket Collector._____________________
- See The Leonard Cohen Christmas Album [↩]
- Mark Rowland, Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough. Musician, July 1988. [↩]
- stupid and contagious, Leonard Cohen: In My Secret Life, July 5, 2009 [↩]
- I’ve tried suggesting a cover that might fit such an album. Heck, I even offered my own lyrics to “I’m Your Santa” – a “I’m Your Man” Meets “Santa, Baby” sort of hymn to the holiday – for the project. Inexplicably, Mr. Cohen passed on both of these efforts, which can be viewed at Leonard Cohen Christmas Album – Tracks 2 & 3. [↩]
- Rare Live Songs [↩]