Leonard Cohen's "I Can't Forget" with Voiceover Recitation Last Verse of Dover Beach-Ghent 2nd Night

Video Screenshot from "I Can't Forget"

August 16, 2012

Shortly after I posted about Leonard Cohen's opening Ghent concert voiceover in French during "I Can't Forget",  I noticed a second video with a different voiceover, this time mostly in English.  It was uploaded on August 15. So I am guessing it was from the second concert on August 14.

Once again, LC's recitation was during the song not apart from it.

It had the cadence of a poem, but which one? It didn't sound like one of his...and it wasn't.  A little digging led me to the following poem.

 Dover Beach (last verse) by Matthew Arnold
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

NB. At 3.14, LC starts off in French, with the same words in the first concert, then switches to the English poem at 3.30

Leonard Cohen @ St.-Pietersplein Gent : 'God bless' - Nnieuws.be HD  (cued to start at 3.14)


  • Tom Sakic reported on the leonardcohenforum "that in Stuttgart and Moscow, Leonard introduced Born in Chains with the recitation of poem, Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold".(Setlists of the World Tour 2010 )
  • The video was captured mostly from the venue screens. As one can see by the top photo, the videographer was quite far from the stage.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for always finding, explaining, and commenting on items of interest for LC addicts.