In September 1986 Leonard Cohen recorded "Take this waltz" in Paris at Montmartre Studios. Producers were Michel Reusser and Leonard himself. (A slightly different version of this song was released on "Iím Your Man" album next year). Leonardís words are based on the poem "Little Viennese Waltz" by Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), whose influence on his own work Leonard has often so warmly described. Cohen spent 150 hours on his new translation of the poem. Next month, in Granada, Spain, Cohen was filmed at the full-scale celebration of the poet.

CBS published in 1986 the album "Poetas en Nueva York" (Poets in New York; CBS 450286 1; available also as CD) in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lorca's death. The first song is Leonardís "Take this Waltz", followed by nine other songs based on Lorcaís poems, performed by Mikis Theodorakis and Georges Moustaki, Patxi Andion, David Broza, Angelo Branduardi, Pepe and Paco de Lucia, Manfred Maurenbrecher, Victor Manuel, Lluis Llach, Donovan, Chico Buarque, and Raimundo Fagner.

CBS also published a single "Take This Waltz" (CBS 659 210 7) with three songs for the Spanish markets (the single hit # 1 in the charts):

1. Leonard Cohen: Take this waltz
2. Angelo Branduardi: Grido a Roma
3. Paco de Lucia y Pepe de Lucia: Asesinato
From the liner notes: "The Poet in New York, published posthumously in 1940, is today widely considered Lorca's greatest poetic achievement. A proof of the book's universality is the present record which, thanks to Manolo Diaz's remarkable vision, brings together, in a multilingual tribute to Lorca and his poems of American inspiration, the voices of then outstanding contemporary singers. The initiative could hardly be more timely, fifty years after the poet's unforgiveable execution, nor the results more felicitous" - Ian Gibson.

  • English and Spanish versions of the album
  • Cover of the Spanish single
  • Cover of the rare one-sided 12" vinyl promo single from Israel. CBS DJ 786, made in 1986.

    Lyrics and sound sample