Because of celebrations with family and friends, posting at the DrHGuy and Heck Of A Guy sites is likely to be sporadic or absent altogether until the end of this week.
To those who have generously contributed to this site, to those who read these entries, and to those who are burdened with serving as subjects for these posts, Duchess & DrHGuy wish you the most splendid of holidays.
Over the years, DrHGuy has explored, as he is wont to do, the sleigh path less traveled to holiday revelry, and, not being the kind of chap to keep such joyfulness to himself, he annually shares with readers his favorite Yuletide embellishments.
Chief among these tidings of joy is the opening of the Season Of Chocolodka. a time which offers hope to the weary masses and solace to all humankind.
Gentle reader, would your life be enhanced by an elixir that
Is intoxicatingly delicious and deliciously intoxicating?
Makes any event an occasion and any occasion an event – occasionally or eventually?
Convinces your sweetie that making snow angels naked while you videotape the event qualifies as madcap merriment?
Persuades you and perhaps even other (also elixir-ingesting) individuals that you are a fuuuuuuunnnnnsort of guy or gal?
Infuses your empty, barren life with meaning, love, and joy?
Well, Bunkie, if you’ll settle for four out of five, then I’ve got just the thing for you, a little something I like to think of as 1
Chocolodka Chantilly Snaps – Contributed by Coco Éclair
The complete set of information about Chocolodka, including links to all Heck Of A Guy Chocolodka posts and recipes revealed by The Chocolodka Goddesses, Coco Éclair and Duchess of Durham, for delicacies employing Chocolodka such as the treats displayed here can be found at Heck Of A Guy Chocolodka Page.
Christmas Chocolodka Gingerbread – Contributed by Duchess of Durham
For the image=impaired, the graphic’s text reads: “The Heck Of A Guy Illustrated, Explicated, Annotated, & Unexpurgated Dishwasher Safe, Dishwasher Dependent Formulation For The Ultimate Solvent Of Anxiety, Woe, & Inhibitions, The Good Time-Enhancing, Courage-Bolstering, Someone’s Gonna Get Lucky Tonight-Assuring Quintessential Chocolate Vodka: Chocolodka.” [↩]
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
. . .
From A Visit from Saint Nicholas2
by Clement Clark Moore,3 First published 1823
This verse leads to thoughts of the season – Jack Frost nipping, snowmen, gifts beneath a Christmas tree, and – more to our point today – the inevitable and abiding question:
What The Heck Is A Sugar Plum?
Etching of confectionery booth, including “a little boy with his conical bag of sugar plums” by Christoph Weigel, c. 1700
As is so often the case with inevitable and abiding questions, the answer is available at Heck Of A Guy. The authoritative commentary on the Sugar Plum conundrum, originally published here in December 2007, continues to be The Sugar Plum Vision Quest.1
Subtitle: A Compendium of Beliefs, Observations, and Considerations, Supplemented By Annotated Illustrations, Relating to the Nature of The Sugar Plum As Referenced In Popular 19th Century Christmas Poetry [↩]
As ongoing readers may know, a 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
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 “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 33rd year of preparation with only one song to show for the effort.4
Well, at least that one song is a pretty good one.
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
The Leonard Cohen Silent Night Video – A Tradition Since 2011
There is no film of the performance itself; consequently, I 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 last year to accompany the music. As of today, it has been viewed 47,932 times.
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.
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. [↩]
We are indeed doing the hill and dale thing, journeying westward to spend Thanksgiving with my mother at her home a couple of miles north of Arkansas in a part of southwest Missouri where the only inhabitants of gated communities are cows.
Posting here and at the DrHGuy site is likely to be sparse or absent altogether until early next week.
One reference page with links to the best and most useful Leonard Cohen online resources: discography, concordance, articles, press coverage, humor, ...
Latest Addition: Symposium for English Language Jewish Writers - June 7th, 1964 (audio recording) Leonard Cohen is a provocative member of a panel discussing what it means to be a Canadian, a Jew, & a writer.
Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1
This video features the first version of the song Leonard Cohen would later revise into "Chelsea Hotel #2" along with images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin - whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song, the Hotel itself, and other associated people & places.
Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling in the 1960s that, for unspecified reasons, was short-lived, with Cohen instigating the parting.
It was then and is now a complex connection. In 1988, Cohen said, I'm still very friendly with Joni - I had dinner with her before the tour, and I have the same admiration for her as you do. But I think it was Noel Harrison who came up to me in the LA Troubadour and said "How do you like living with Beethoven?"
Do I Have To Dance All Night Surpasses 70,000 Views
"Do I Have To Dance All Night" was performed many times in concerts but was never released in the US.
As part of my crusade to popularize this song, I've cobbled together 2 videos - one for the semi-funky 1976 version with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version - that kinda sorta fit the music.
As of Dec 19, 2012, the video of the 1976 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has been viewed 70,152 times.
This Heck Of A Guy compilation includes unreleased Leonard Cohen performances over a 30+ year period.
Track List: Vol 1
1. Feels So Good (The Other Blues Song)
2. Book Of Longing
3. The Darkness
6. Do I Have to Dance All Night (1976)
7. Blues By The Jews
Track List: Vol 2
1. Red River Valley
2. Never Got To Love You (Duet with Anjani)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Ride Around
5. The Union Makes Us Strong
6. We Shall Not Be Moved
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Hypnotist (Poem)
9. Chelsea Hotel #1
10. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
11. Streets Of Laredo
12. Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980)
Now, Another Other Leonard Cohen Album, the second collection of unreleased Leonard Cohen songs joins the popular The Other Leonard Cohen Album to offer fans of the iconic singer-songwriter a total of 3 CDs of musical treats. Another Other Leonard Cohen Album includes the following tracks plus liner notes by Sylvie Simmons.
1. Je Veux Vivre Tout Seul
2. Kevin Barry
3. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
4. Store Room
5. As Time Goes By
6. Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-on
7. Blessed is the Memory
8. Silent Night
9. Dead Song
10. Another Saturday Night
11. Ballad of the Absent Mare
13. The Butcher
14. Un As Der Rebbe Singt
15. Song to the Machines
16. If It Be Your Will
17. Thirsty for the Kiss
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. I Tried To Leave You
20. Whither Thou Goest
21. Mr Cohen Must Be Going
Photos of or related to Leonard Cohen that fall into specific themes have been among the ongoing features at DrHGuy, HOAG's sibling site. Galleries displaying collected images of 3 of these themes are now available at
And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – Julie’s Story & Video
... I never had a chance. I was - and this is the only word that fits - smitten. I still am.
She was smart and quick-witted, although it would take me 3 years to recognize that she was, in fact, much smarter than me, and then another 2 years to forgive her for that. She was also good-looking and unabashedly sexy.
And, we fell madly, irredeemably, unflinchingly in love.
Complementing the unlikely story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and - 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later - got together to spend an outrageously wonderful 20 years together before her death, a video, set to the poignant "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is now available that evokes the role Julie, who died 10 years ago, continues to play in my life.