Dance Me to the End of Love

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"Dance Me to the End of Love"
Song by Leonard Cohen from the album Various Positions
Released December 1984
Recorded June 1984
Length 4:38
Label Columbia
Writer Leonard Cohen, David Campbell
Producer John Lissauer
Various Positions track listing
Dance Me to the End of Love
"Coming Back to You"

"Dance Me to the End of Love" is a 1984 song by Leonard Cohen. It was first performed by Cohen on his 1984 album Various Positions. It has since been recorded by various artists, and has been described as "trembling on the brink of becoming a standard".[1]

Although structured as a love song, "Dance Me to the End Of Love" was in fact inspired by the Holocaust. In an interview, Cohen said of the song:

In 1996, Welcome Books released a book called Dance Me to the End of Love, as part of its "Art & Poetry" series; the book featured the lyrics of the song alongside paintings by Henri Matisse.

Madeleine Peyroux version[edit]

"Dance Me to the End of Love"
Single by Madeleine Peyroux
from the album Careless Love
Released 2005 (2005)
Recorded 2004
Genre Jazz
Length 3:54
Label Rounder
Writer(s) Leonard Cohen
Producer(s) Larry Klein
Madeleine Peyroux singles chronology
"Don't Wait Too Long
"Dance Me to the End of Love"
"I'm All Right"

Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux included a cover of "Dance Me to the End of Love" on her second solo album, Careless Love (2004). It was released as the second single for the album and has been a part of her concert set-list since then.

Peyroux's rendition was included on the fifth and last of the Queer as Folk soundtracks, as well as on the soundtrack of the 2009 computer game The Saboteur.

Interviewing Peyroux in 2012, The Huffington Post described the song as a "haunting 2004 rendition ... undoubtedly one of modern music's brightest highlights. An inspired, exquisite cover that besides drawing countless comparison's to Billie Holiday's singing, brought the free spirited musician to just artistic prominence."[3]

Other versions[edit]


The Scottish painter Jack Vettriano painted a painting with the same title. He has also made two other paintings named after and inspired by Leonard Cohen works: one based on Cohen's novel Beautiful Losers and the other inspired by his song "Bird on the Wire". When asked on Desert Island Discs,[8] Vettriano mentioned Leonard Cohen's album I'm Your Man as one of his must have records.


  1. ^ Dance Me To The End Of Love, Mark Steyn, 2009
  2. ^ [1] Music of the Ghettos and Camps, A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust,
  3. ^ "Dance Me to the End of Love - Q& With Jazz Singer Madeleine Peyroux". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ [6] Desert Island Discs