Tag Archives: Do I Have To Dance All Night

Do I Have To Dance All Night – The Leonard Cohen Video You’ve Never Seen

The Do I Have To Dance All Night Crusade

Recurrent Heck Of A Guy visitors may be familiar with the rumor that I am fond of “Do I Have To Dance All Night” by Leonard Cohen. And, indeed, I’ve promoted this song since publishing The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve Never Heard (Probably) almost three years ago.

Although Cohen sang “Do I Have To Dance All Night” frequently in concerts, it has been available for retail purchase only as a seven inch single, originally recorded at a 1976 concert in Paris and pressed in Holland for sale in Central European countries.1 There was, of course, no official video.

But now – well, there still isn’t an official “Do I Have To Dance All Night” video. I have, however, cobbled together a pastiche of Cohen-associated photos and clips that kinda sorta fits the music. I offer this advice to those in the audience for this premiere showing:

  1. The optimal viewer mindset is thinking of this not as a music video but rather something to watch while listening to a wonderful, under-appreciated song by Leonard Cohen.2 As a bonus, Leonard Cohen fans may garner a modicum of entertainment by determining the origins of the clips and the identities of the various characters on the video.
  2. Those unable to squelch the notion that this is or should be a music video are advised to view it in the manner one watches those cavalierly dubbed Japanese martial arts movies. Squinting has also been found helpful although at least one early viewer reports the ingestion of 3-5 shots of tequila to be an efficacious and altogether more enjoyable means of enhancement.

And, a robustly sustained willing suspension of disbelief is always appreciated.

Leonard Cohen – Do I Have To Dance All Night (With Laura Branigan)

The Reference Key: Since uploading this video to YouTube, I’ve received many questions about the origins of specific clips or the identities of individuals in the montage. Consequently, I’ve constructed a story board identifying the major scenes and characters and providing links to more information and to most of the videos:  Do I Have To Dance All Night Video References Key

The 1980 Version of “Do I Have To Dance All Night”

A substantially different rendition of “Do I Have To Dance All Night” – more gypsy,  less funky – was performed during Leonard Cohen’s 1980 tour.  And, sure enough, I’ve put together a video for that one as well. It’s available at 1980 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video.

  1. The record’s cover art, I now believe, is based on  the scene that followed the  woman’s accusatory query, “Is it true that ‘Do I Have To Dance All Night’ won’t be included on an album?” Why else would Leonard Cohen look  remorseful? []
  2. That said, I maintain that some video segments are more effective when set to “Do I Have To Dance All Night” than as they were originally used. []

Leonard Cohen Wedding Music: "I Do"

The Do I Have To Dance All Night Fan Club1

I have long considered myself a leading contender for the title of “Biggest Fan of Do I Have To Dance All Night,” a wonderful Leonard Cohen song, the allure of which is no doubt enhanced by the fact that it is available commercially only as a seven inch, 45 rpm single, originally recorded at a 1976 concert in Paris and pressed in Holland for sale in Central European countries.2

I was, in fact, convinced that there was a significant gap between my degree of the devotion to “Do I Have To Dance All Night” and that evidenced by other admirers of that song.

Then I heard from Oded.

I’ve excerpted the essence of our email exchange below:

Oded: I just happened to stumble upon your post, The Best Leonard Cohen Song You Have (Probably) Never Heard, when looking for a lyrics of a different song of this great man.

Thanks so much!!  I really love this song!  I even think I’ll surprise my fiancé with this song at our wedding

DrHGuy: Do I Have To Dance All Night is one of my favorites, and I think it would be a great wedding song – if your fiancé is a Cohen fan as well.  Otherwise, lines like “you touch me like I touch myself,” could lead to a certain awkwardness. That said, I’ve successfully integrated Leonard Cohen’s and Anjani’s songs into a wedding playlist with great success.

Oded: I’m thinking about putting that song at around 1-2am when everyone’s tired but still dancing…  If you could send that version along I’d be super-happy!

Selecting Leonard Cohen Songs For Matrimonial Harmony

Now, Leonard Cohen’s music has graced many nuptial events. Typically, however, the songs from his discography most frequently heard in this context have been “Take This Waltz,” “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” The Marriage March” (from Night Music), “Hallelujah,” and, less often, “I’m Your Man” and  “Tennessee Waltz.”3

Singing “Do I Have To Dance All Night” (see lyrics and hear audio below) in this setting is another matter altogether.4

Doing so during the dancing that celebrates the marriage ratchets the potential for provocation up another notch and a successful performance will call for an extraordinarily loving groom and dedicated Leonard Cohen fan in the role of singer.

It will also require a bride who is a very special Bird of Paradise.5

I’m betting on Oded and his betrothed.

I can only hope someone has the presence of mind to record the performance so that we can offer a long awaited cover version of “Do I Have To Dance All Night.” I would have to work on the liner notes, but I already have the art prepared.

Audio

Do I Have To Dance All Night Leonard Cohen

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Lyrics

Do I Have To Dance All Night
I’m Forty-One, the moon is full,
you make love very well.
You touch me like I touch myself,
I like you Mademoiselle.
You’re so fresh and you’re so new,
I do enjoy you, Miss.
There’s nothing I would rather do
than move around just like this

But do I have to dance all night?
But do I have to dance all night?
Ooh tell me, Bird of Paradise,
do I have to dance all night?

You never really have to tell me what
you really think of me – alright.
Let’s say I’m doing fine,
but do I have to dance all night?

Do I have to dance all night? …

I learned this step a while ago.
I had to practice it while everybody slept.
I waited half my life for you, you know,
I didn’t even think that you’d accept.
And here you are before me in the flesh
saying “Yes, yes, yes!”

But do I have to dance all night? …

I learned this step a while ago …

But do I have to dance all night? …


  1. This is a Heck Of A Guy Confessional post. For the description and background of this format, see Meet The Confessionals. []
  2. The story of how I finally obtained a copy of this jewel of a song can the found at The Best Leonard Cohen Song You Have (Probably) Never Heard []
  3. My dinner music selections for the Very Very Good Girl – SportsBizPro wedding included Cohen’s “Ain’t No Cure For Love” and Anjani’s “I Had to go Crazy to Love You,” but there is a huge jump from choosing a playlist and performing those songs. []
  4. I suppose other Cohen songs might be even more problematic (“Closing Time” comes to mind), but still … []
  5. And it wouldn’t hurt to have some talented bridesmaids as back up singers, but that may be pushing it a tad. []

Another "Do I Have To Dance All Night" You Haven’t Heard (Probably)

Cover of Do I Have To Dance All Night 45 rpm single

A Different Version of Do I Have To Dance All Night

When I posted The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard in July 2006, I wrote that even someone who was a Big Leonard Cohen Fan probably hadn’t heard Do I Have To Dance All Night,1 AKA 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
    or
  2. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who bought his or her 45s in Central Europe
    or
  3. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who found a crappy MP3 of the song.2

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.3 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.4

Bummer, eh?

Onward Ever, Eventually

Convinced at first that Do I Have To Dance All Night would inevitably end up on one or another of Cohen’s albums, I waited a couple of years before deciding to go with Plan B, which could be accurately summarized as throw money at it.5

I found a decent specimen of Do I Have To Dance All Night listed at a vintage recordings marketplace, exchanged a few emails with the seller, who lived just outside Paris, zapped a batch of electronic dollars from my credit card company to his bank where they were converted into an impressive number of electronic francs, and, after a ten day wait, took delivery of a genuine, unscratched seven-inch record of the much longed-for song.

After reassembling my ancient turntable, purchasing a stylus that would actually fit into a groove, and setting up a bit of software, I produced the MP3 of Do I Have To Dance All Nightthat I posted on this blog.

Nothing to it.
And, after all that money and hassle, what do I have to show for it?

I have the best Leonard Cohen song that
some of you (probably) still haven’t heard

Yep, I’ve adjusted the original claim a tad because I believe I can now legitimately add a fourth category to the list of folks who have heard this tune so that it now reads …

Even someone who is a Big Leonard Cohen Fan probably hasn’t heard Do I Have To Dance All Night, AKA The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard, unless he or she is

  1. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who went to the right concerts in the late ’70s
    or
  2. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who bought his or her 45 rpm records in Central Europe
    or
  3. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who found a crappy MP3 of the song
    or
  4. A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who heard it at the Heck of a Guy Blog
    (or from one of those rip-off sites, the purveyors of which are no doubt doomed to Hell for all eternity, that have lifted the mp3 in question along with selected graphics and the copy from the Heck of a Guy post, claiming it as their own)6

It’s A Hit – Lots Of Hits

In fact, The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard and The TWO Best Leonard Cohen Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard, which also covers Do I Have To Dance All Night have been two of the most popular Heck of a Guy posts since their publication.

Even more compellingly, of the 875 posts (this morning) published at Heck of a Guy, those two Do I Have To Dance All Night entries, along with The Best Leonard Cohen-Anjani Duet You’ve Probably Never Heard and Another Leonard Cohen – Anjani Duet You’ve (Probably) Never Heard, have generated the most emails of appreciation from readers.

Recently, perhaps because of the interest engendered by the announcement of the Leonard Cohen World Tour, there has been a significant increase in the number of emails about this song and in the number of new links from other sites to the Do I Have To Dance All Night posts.

In celebration of this further expansion of the set of souls who have heard this favorite of mine, I am posting a second version.

Leonard Cohen’s Question: Do I Have To Dance All Night

Do I Have To Dance All Night – 2 was recorded at a 1980 Amsterdam concert and, of course, was never included on an album or pressed as a single. There are some changes in the lyrics7 and the tempo from the 1976 version I’ve previously posted, but the song is once again the final performance of the concert. I still favor the first version I heard (from the 45 rpm record) but that may well be an artifact of my own history with the song rather than the result of an unbiased musical assessment.

Those planning to attend one or more of the 2008 concerts should listen carefully to the introduction for an indication of how an audience can boost Leonard Cohen’s self-esteem.

New Version

Leonard Cohen - Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980 Amsterdam concert)

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Original Version

Leonard Cohen - Do I Have To Dance All Night (1976 Paris concert & record)

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  1. Indeed, by 2006 only a Big – or at least Longtime – Leonard Cohen Fan would be likely to even know that a song named Do I Have To Dance All Night ever existed. []
  2. I fell into the third (i.e., the Crappy MP3) category. In my more haphazard music downloading days, I somehow came into possession of an extraordinarily impaired MP3 file of Do I Have To Dance All Night. Despite the pops, hiss, and skips, the more I played it, the more I liked it. []
  3. 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.” []
  4. 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. []
  5. This is the short version of the adventure that led to the posting of the original MP3 of Do I Have To Dance All Night. The complete story can be found at The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard []
  6. OK, there are a batch of other ways one could hear this song, especially if the one in question were a knowledgeable Cohen fan, but an exhaustive list would only confuse the issue []
  7. I note, for example, that the 1976 version opens with “I’m 41 …,” but singing the same song 4 years later, Cohen skips the age-declaring line. ‘Tis a pity – I would get off on hearing him start with “I’m 73, … .” []

"Do I Have To Dance All Night" – The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard

Why You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Do I Have To Dance All Night – Even If You Are A Big Leonard Cohen Fan

To have heard this version of this song, one has to be not only A Big Leonard Cohen Fan but must be

  • A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who attended one of the 56 concerts of Cohen’s European tour from April 22 to July 8, 1976
  • A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who bought the right Leonard Cohen 45 rpm record  in central Europe or
  • A Big Leonard Cohen Fan who stumbled across a crappy MP3 of Do I Have To Dance All Night

I, for example, fall into the third [crappy MP3] category. In my more haphazard music downloading days, I somehow came into possession of an extraordinarily impaired MP3 file of Do I Have To Dance All Night. Despite the pops, hiss, and skips, the more I played it, the more I liked it.

When I could no longer endure the gross imperfections of the recording,1 I checked Cohen’s discography with the idea of buying an album that included Do I Have To Dance All Night, ripping an clean MP3 from it, and living happily ever after.

Not So Fast

This search was, however, to be unrequited. As I was to discover, of all the Leonard Cohen albums, this song is only on – exactly none of them,2 and, indeed, has been and continues to be officially available only as a seven inch single (CBS 4431), originally recorded at a 1976 concert in Paris and pressed in Holland for sale in Central European countries.3  Do I Have To Dance All Night is Side A on the single; Side B features “The Butcher,” which is also available on the Songs From a Room album.

Bummer.

Back Cover

 

Portugese Pressing

Spanish Pressing

German Pressing

Why Do I Have To Dance All Night Is (Or, At Least Might Be) A Great Song

Assessing the quality of a pop song is, at best, an iffy business, calling for a dispassionate musicological analysis, a careful comparison of that song to others within its genre, and an unbiased judgment of its impact on listeners.

Well, that ain’t gonna happen here at the Heck Of A Guy Blog.

I like almost everything Leonard Cohen sings; in fact, I like most of what he sings a lot. And, I have noticed that with the passage of time and repeated listenings, I like his songs more and more. Whatever discrimination I may have once had in regard to Cohen’s playlist has long since dissipated. I like covers of Leonard Cohen songs (there are over 80 Cohen covers in my iTunes Leonard Sans Lenny playlist), songs about Leonard Cohen (e.g., The Austin Lounge Lizards’ Leonard Cohen’s Day Job), and songs about Leonard Cohen songs (e.g., Jeffery Lewis’s The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song).

Anyway, consider yourself warned.

OK, But Why Is Do I Have To Dance All Night A Great 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. Check out the lyrics and 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.

The Quest

I was originally convinced that Do I Have To Dance All Night would, sooner or later, take its place as a track on one or another of Cohen’s albums. After two or three years of waiting, I was still convinced it would turn up on a CD … sometime … eventually … perhaps even in my lifetime, but I decided, nevertheless, to go with Plan B.

As is often the case, Plan B could be accurately summarized as Throw money at the problem.

I tracked the vintage recordings marketplaces until a semi-pristine specimen of Do I Have To Dance All Night was listed by a courteous chevalier living just outside Paris. An exchange of emails between us followed by an exchange of electrons between his bank and my credit card company resulted in an exorbitant number of my dollars being converted to an equally impressive number of his francs and, after a ten day wait, a genuine, unscratched seven-inch record of the much longed-for song being delivered to my mailbox.

danceallnightfront45

While a record in ones hand may be emotionally gratifying, producing an audible tune from it, it turns out, requires additional equipment. In fact, as those readers who are my contemporaries know, playing an record is somewhat more of an affair than sliding a CD into the slot on ones car dash or punching up the right tune on the iPod. The whippersnapper segment of the readership is herewith referred to How to Play A Record. (Yep, playing a record is now such a lost art that the folks at eHow.com have posted a how-to tutorial.)

So, I resurrected my trusty, dusty Dual turntable from the basement, hit the net for a replacement needle and cartridge, and hooked up a spare receiver-amplifier.

Finally, I had to make a trip to our local used records store to purchase a 45RPM spindle adapter insert ($0.25).

And, after all that money and hassle, what do I have to show for it?

I have the best Leonard Cohen song you’ve (probably) never heard

The Audio Of Do I Have To Dance All Night

Even though this MP3 file was made from a good copy of the record, the quality of the original recording is not superb. And, the live part of the live recording is, in my view, a liability rather than an asset; I find, for example, that I much prefer the one hand clapping phenomenon to a crowd’s synchronized hand-clapping during a concert.

Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful, touching song that makes me happy every time I hear it.

Update:

Since the publication of this post, “Do I Have To Dance All Night” has been featured many times in Heck Of A Guy posts. Worthy (in my biased judgment, at least) of special note are two videos I’ve cobbled together – one for the semi-funky 1976 version of the song with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version – that kinda sorta fit the music. So, I’ve eliminated the audio-only recording and added these links to the videos:

Both of these posts include not only the videos but also keys to the sources of the clips and the identities of the backup singers and others who are featured.

Lyrics

Do I Have To Dance All Night

I’m Forty-One, the moon is full,
you make love very well.
You touch me like I touch myself,
I like you Mademoiselle.
You’re so fresh and you’re so new,
I do enjoy you, Miss.
There’s nothing I would rather do
than move around just like this

But do I have to dance all night?
But do I have to dance all night?
Ooh tell me, Bird of Paradise,
do I have to dance all night?

You never really have to tell me what
you really think of me – alright.
Let’s say I’m doing fine,
but do I have to dance all night?

Do I have to dance all night? …

I learned this step a while ago.
I had to practice it while everybody slept.
I waited half my life for you, you know,
I didn’t even think that you’d accept.
And here you are before me in the flesh
saying “Yes, yes, yes!”

But do I have to dance all night? …

I learned this step a while ago …

But do I have to dance all night? ...

 

Credit Due Department: All the examples of cover art shown in this post are from the private collection of Dominique BOILE.

  1. It required approximately 12 minutes (four replays of the song) for me to reach the breaking point; of course, I was younger then and my tolerance of such annoyances was far stronger than it is currently. I would not be the one bravely, grimly refusing to give up secrets despite torture. Nope, those interrogators ask me once, especially if they ask politely, and I’m spilling the beans, the creamed corn, the pork chops, whatever they want. []
  2. 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.” []
  3. The woman on the French cover (the one atop this post) is Avril Giacobbi, the Personal Assistant to and girlfriend of Marty Machat, who was then Cohen’s lawyer and business manager. (Source: Dominique Boile, personal communication) []