Leonard Cohen: Suzanne

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Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down
To her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know she's half-crazy
That's why you wanna be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
She gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
You've always been her lover

CHORUS: And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
You know she will find you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind

Yes and Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From the only wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said, "All men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them."

Ah, he himself was broken long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

CHORUS: And you want to travel with him
You want to travel blind
And you know you will trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind
Now Suzanne takes your hand
She leads you to the river
She's wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Amid the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
Children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
They will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror

CHORUS: And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know she will find you
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind









songwriter: Leonard Cohen

performed by: Leonard Cohen

date released: 1967 by Leonard Cohen

Singer-songwriter, musician, poet, novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1934. His grandparents emigrated from Europe; his grandfather came from Poland and his grandmother, from Lithuania. Cohen's father owned a clothing store in Montreal. As a teenager, Cohen learned to play the guitar and experimented with using his voice as an instrument in reading his poetry.

In 1951, Cohen enrolled at McGill University majoring in Literature and specializing in poetry and fiction. Yeats, Whitman, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Henry Miller were his early influences.

His first successful song as a songwriter was "Suzanne" which became a hit for American singer, Judy Collins in 1967. His muse was Suzanne Verdal, the wife of a sculptor friend. Suzanne took Cohen to her loft near the St. Lawrence River and offered him Constant Comment tea in a small moment of magic.

Elements of the city of Montreal feature in the song: the St. Lawrence River and Notre-Dame-de-Bon Secours (Our Lady of Good Help), a little chapel which appears with the morning sun on the east side of the harbour. The chapel was a mariners' church in old Montreal with a figure of the golden virgin at the top turned away from the city as if to bless departing seamen, thus the nautical imagery in the song.


Later, Verdal disclaimed that she and Cohen had ever been linked romantically.

After the success of "Suzanne", international fame eluded Cohen, and his records sold mainly in Canada and Europe.

In 1994, Cohen retreated from public life and entered a Buddhist monastery at Mount Baldy Zen Centre near Los Angeles. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Buddhist monk.

In 2001, following his years in seclusion at the monastery, Cohen returned to the music world and began to tour again around the world at the grand age of sixty-seven years old. Leonard Cohen became the quintessential Renaissance man; his music soared to the top of the charts again.

In his lifetime, Leonard Cohen has received many prestigious awards and honours. In 1968, he received a Governor-General's Award for his poetry which he refused. In 1991, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. 1993 saw Cohen receiving his first Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Canada's highest civilian honour, Companion of the Order of Canada was bestowed upon Leonard Cohen. In 2007, Cohen received his first Grammy Award as a featured artist in Herbie Hancock's jazz album, "River: The Joni Letters". The Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him in 2008. Most recently, Leonard Cohen became a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. Showing no signs of slowing down, we can expect a lot more accolades for Leonard Cohen in the future.














Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down
To her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know she's half-crazy
That's why you wanna be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
She gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
You've always been her lover

CHORUS: And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
You know she will find you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind

Yes and Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From the only wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said, "All men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them."

Ah, he himself was broken long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

CHORUS: And you want to travel with him
You want to travel blind
And you know you will trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind
Now Suzanne takes your hand
She leads you to the river
She's wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Amid the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
Children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
They will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror

CHORUS: And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know she will find you
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind









songwriter: Leonard Cohen

performed by: Leonard Cohen

date released: 1967 by Leonard Cohen

Singer-songwriter, musician, poet, novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1934. His grandparents emigrated from Europe; his grandfather came from Poland and his grandmother, from Lithuania. Cohen's father owned a clothing store in Montreal. As a teenager, Cohen learned to play the guitar and experimented with using his voice as an instrument in reading his poetry.

In 1951, Cohen enrolled at McGill University majoring in Literature and specializing in poetry and fiction. Yeats, Whitman, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Henry Miller were his early influences.

His first successful song as a songwriter was "Suzanne" which became a hit for American singer, Judy Collins in 1967. His muse was Suzanne Verdal, the wife of a sculptor friend. Suzanne took Cohen to her loft near the St. Lawrence River and offered him Constant Comment tea in a small moment of magic.

Elements of the city of Montreal feature in the song: the St. Lawrence River and Notre-Dame-de-Bon Secours (Our Lady of Good Help), a little chapel which appears with the morning sun on the east side of the harbour. The chapel was a mariners' church in old Montreal with a figure of the golden virgin at the top turned away from the city as if to bless departing seamen, thus the nautical imagery in the song.


Later, Verdal disclaimed that she and Cohen had ever been linked romantically.

After the success of "Suzanne", international fame eluded Cohen, and his records sold mainly in Canada and Europe.

In 1994, Cohen retreated from public life and entered a Buddhist monastery at Mount Baldy Zen Centre near Los Angeles. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Buddhist monk.

In 2001, following his years in seclusion at the monastery, Cohen returned to the music world and began to tour again around the world at the grand age of sixty-seven years old. Leonard Cohen became the quintessential Renaissance man; his music soared to the top of the charts again.

In his lifetime, Leonard Cohen has received many prestigious awards and honours. In 1968, he received a Governor-General's Award for his poetry which he refused. In 1991, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. 1993 saw Cohen receiving his first Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Canada's highest civilian honour, Companion of the Order of Canada was bestowed upon Leonard Cohen. In 2007, Cohen received his first Grammy Award as a featured artist in Herbie Hancock's jazz album, "River: The Joni Letters". The Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him in 2008. Most recently, Leonard Cohen became a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. Showing no signs of slowing down, we can expect a lot more accolades for Leonard Cohen in the future.














+30 -5
Quiz #: 2881
Canada's poet-artist, Leonard Cohen, performs one of his first hits, "Suzanne".
Quiz by: Sharon Michiko Yoneda
High Intermediate

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