Dance Me To The End Of Love

By | July 20, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With only a few exceptions every person who has been part of my D/s journey has been a fan of Leonard Cohen.  Perhaps that’s because beyond the lyrical and romantic poetry, the understanding of the human condition, there’s more than a hint he had some BDSM leanings.  Live versions of I’m Your Man usually included “I’ll wear a leather mask for you”, where leather was not on the recorded version.  In the song The Future we have “Give me crack and anal sex” – when live, accompanied by an evil snigger.

As a backing track to life, Cohen would crop up in strange ways.  I’ll always remember one short relationship for this exchange:

Me: Well, I’m rather a fan of Leonard Cohen

Her: Oh.  I can’t stand him, he’s so miserable.

Her: My favourite song is Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

Me: <cough> !!!

The background music to my first true encounter with thuddy and stingy implements was Cohen.  She didn’t become my domme, she became my big sister and one of our best nights out was when I took her to see Cohen at the O2 in 2008.  The Live in London DVD was recorded that night and I can catch a glimpse of her on it.  Very fond memories.

Personally I’d first seen Cohen earlier in the year, the very first UK date of that comeback tour in the tiny Manchester Opera House.  No one knew what they were in for.  We’d have been happy with 45 minutes of nostalgia just to say we’d seen the legend.  Instead we got an incredible three hours of Leonard and his band full of energy.

His opening number on that tour has long been one I’ve associated with my D/s partners.  It speaks volumes to me as a sub – “Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in“.

This song will be going through my head during a session in the dungeon.  My domme will have her own, more modern, soundtrack playing.  But in my head as I feel the dance of the implements quickening, this song is playing.  The words speak of having a protector, someone who is there to guide and keep you safe, your anchor in the void.  And as she pushes the intricacy and beat of the dance – “Show me slowly what I only know the limits of


Dance Me To The End Of Love – Leonard Cohen

This song has been with me for so long, yet its relevance and meaning seem to keep growing.  I doubt that my domme even knows the song but I associate it ever deeper with her, probably because she always pushes my limits, takes me to the edge of danger and then gathers me safely in.  The sensual touch as she explores the welts of her handiwork – “Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove“.

As deep as this can send me into sub-space I still find a humorous aspect to it – the lady wants to learn to play the violin !!

Ultimately it’s a very romantic song and there’s a wonderful book which is filled with paintings by Matisse expressing the lyrics of the song.  I love this book, too.


A Postscript:

Okay, I’m, officially in bits here.

I went searching for a link to the song from Live in London.  I found one, but I wasn’t expecting to read this comment associated with it:


It doesn’t change my associations with the song, in fact makes them stronger.  It does add a fresh element of poignancy in that no one knows what happened to the European side of my family, only that by 1945 there were none left.


Written for the #WickedWednesday prompt of “Another Song”.  Why not go check out the other posts by clicking on the button.

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17 thoughts on “Dance Me To The End Of Love

  1. Pingback: #SoSS Six -

  2. May

    Wow what a story that song tells. A beautiful song and after reading the added bit a heartbreaking serenade. I can’t say I am a fan of his -although I appreciate the beauty of his lyrics in oh so many songs. He is like a poet really.
    My man has a friend, an elderly woman, who lived along the way from him many moons ago on a greek island – things were very different then 😉 x

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      There’s a new film about him and Marianne Ihlen and the time on they spent on Hydra. You’re right that so much of his work is poetry that just happens to be set to music and the words bite at my soul in many devious ways.

      That addendum left me very raw for most of this week, making it likely to be one of my more memorable posts.

      melody xx

      1. May

        Ah that is when she knew him 😉 x
        and yes to understanding why u felt raw

  3. Brigit Delaney

    I’ve been a fan of Cohen since I first heard Everybody Knows in the movie Pump Up the Volume (almost 30 years ago). Such a voice, such a poet, and so much raw emotion in his songs.

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      Thank you, Brigit.

      There’s something about Leonard that speaks to the poetic soul. I never understood the prevalent view at the time that he was “music for suicides”. Just listen to the lyrics, dammit. I miss him, but I’m grateful to the 8 or 9 times that I saw him. Times that renewed my faith in humanity.

      melody x

        1. melodyinsights Post author

          I saw him 5 or 6 times on the 2008 tour that got extended into 2010. I vowed not to spoil the memories but cracked and saw him a couple of times on the 2013 tour. I mostly wished I hadn’t as the workload had made him old and fragile, papered over by stagecraft and the band. But that opening night in Manchester was one of the most stunning, energetic and unforgettable events I’ve been to.

  4. bluesubmission

    I love this song, particularly the Civil Wars cover of it. I never knew the meaning behind the words, but it is so clear now after reading it again, and I too am in tears. It’s so beautifully sad!

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      I find that despite the new understanding of this song it has not detracted from what it meant before. It just means that I have a split vision of it.

      It’s a beautiful song. Thank you for commenting xx

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      Whilst nothing is taken away from my D/s relationship interpretation, indeed I think it’s stronger, the postscript has hit me very hard.

      Thank you for reading, it’s a kicker at the end xx

  5. Floss

    Blimey, I have long had this song on one of my playlists. As well as a couple of other Cohen songs, but I had no idea what the story behind this was. I will definitely listen to it in the future with some added poignancy I think, though as with all Cohen songs they rather come with a fair dose of that anyway. Fabulous post and I 100% have ended up on youtube for a bit of a Cohen session x

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      I have to admit that I was in some emotional flux in the days before writing this. I was already a bit raw contemplating the many layers and meanings in the main post. As ‘him’ you’d say I was a closet romantic. These days, as melody it tends to be a bit more heart on the sleeve, the additional bit sent me right into emotional meltdown. I know many Cohen songs with similar undertones, but not known this one.

      Great to see that you know the track and went looking for more Cohen to refresh your memory. Thanks for the comment, all things considered I’m rather proud of this post. xx

  6. Posy Churchgate

    Gosh, even more intense, even more poignant.

    Hugs of support and consolation to you (if appropriate)

    1. melodyinsights Post author

      Thank you. I was and still am pleased with the way that the main post came out.

      The postscript was a complete surprise, as were the accompanying tears. As long as I’ve known this song, that’s not a story I’ve known, though I shouldn’t be surprised.



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