Tuesday, August 4, 2009
LISTENING TO LEONARD
Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, March 10, 2008, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in New York City.
Leonard Cohen back in the day: novelist, poet, songwriter, singer, legend, ladies man and hopeless romantic. Born in Montreal in 1934, the gravelly voiced folkie wore many faces but didn't crack the pop world and become famous until his first record album came out in 1967. Songs of Leonard Cohen included "So Long, Marianne" and "Suzanne," which became a huge hit for Judy Collins and was recorded by countless others.
On the BBC, Cohen said the song was written about Suzanne Verdal, the wife of sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, in Montreal. The song is a love poem to Suzanne, and contains references to the city, the Saint Lawrence River and the tiny chapel on the water there, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours.
Leonard Cohen sings "Famous Blue Raincoat" in this rare clip. The gravity of his lyrics and the gravel in his voice make Cohen a tough listen for many, but his lyrics are rewarding even if they can be dark and even heartbreaking at times.
Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
Youd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without lili marlene
A recent interview with Cohen from the Canadian Broadcasting System (CBC).
Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake --
She sends her regards.