When I came across these photos of a very young Leonard Cohen and his sister Esther posing with military artillery, I immediately realized they were an essential augmentation to the collection of posts about Leonard Cohen & Guns.
And, the association of the Canadian singer-songwriter with this sort of weapon called to mind this newspaper cartoon, labeled “Tanks For The Memory,” portraying Leonard Cohen during the Yom Kippur War.
The text accompanying the cartoon follows:
Cohen Into Action
A cable from Uri Alony, editor of a top Israeli pop mag, claims that top international artists and singers have arrived in Israel to perform for soldiers involved in fighting – at the fronts. Among them are … Leonard Cohen – who has written a new song about the war which he sings wherever he performs.1
Also note the eye patch a la Moshe Dayan
Credit Due Department: A special thank you to Maarten Massa for access to the images of Leonard Cohen & the cannons. The “Tanks For The Memory” cartoon and text were retrieved from Jem Treadwell’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook. The name and date of the newspaper publishing the cartoon are not available.
Julie1 and I married on July 20, 1980. Although that was 34 years ago and although Julie died 14 years ago, I still remember her reciting, as the conclusion to her wedding vows, the final two verses of Anthony Hecht’s “Going The Rounds: A Sort Of Love Poem:”
But candor is not enough,
Nor is it enough to say that I don’t deserve
Your gentle, dazzling love, or to be in love.
That goddess is remorseless, watching us rise
In all our ignorant nerve,
And when we have reached the top, putting us wise.
My dear, in spite of this,
And the moralized landscape down there below,
Neither of which might seem the ground for bliss,
Know that I love you, know that you are most dear
To one who seeks to know
How, for your sake, to confront his pride and fear.
Baby, Let’s Get Married
It seems as though it should have been more complicated.
After we had lived together for a couple of years, Julie thought we should be married. I was not convinced that being legally wed was a necessary step for us, and Julie made it clear that she was not issuing an ultimatum.
But, I never told Julie “No.”
And once again, it turned out that Julie was right.
Next month, the Duchess and I will celebrate the third anniversary of our own wedding, an event that enhances – and is enhanced by – our memories of our marriages to lovers who have left this life but not our hearts.
The younger lady in these photos is Rachel, Julie’s daughter, much loved by both of us, by her first marriage.
Julie was my much-beloved, fiercely smart, extraordinarily sexy wife, who died in 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding nearly 20 years earlier. She was also a prize-winning writer. This blog includes many other posts about her and the unlikely but true story of our romance as well as several of her short stories and other pieces. For the location of the various content about or by Julie, see Julie FAQ. [↩]
Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne
This is a Supplement to The Marianne Variations, a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums. An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.
As noted in an earlier post, even before the official completion of The Marianne Variations series, Lennard Torbijn of the Netherlands had astutely identified a Leonard Cohen rendition of “So Long, Marianne” that meets criteria as a distinct version although it does not fit the characteristic pattern of the other members of The Marianne Variations collection.
The 2008 So Long, Marianne Time Shift
Leonard Cohen has performed “So Long, Marianne” hundreds of times in 3/4 time. Twice, however, he has played it in 4/4:1 once on May 23, 2008 in Moncton and again on May 26, 2008 in St. John’s.
As Lennard observes, this rendition fulfills the standards for a major variation of “So Long, Marianne;” i.e., the time signature shift is clearly a significant, planned deviation from the original that alters the listening experience. On the other hand, the Moncton-St. John’s version does not feature any changes in the lyrics, the sine qua non of the other Marianne Variations. Consequently, I am arbitrarily ruling that the 4/4 version of “So Long, Marianne” meets my arbitrary criteria as an entry in The Marianne Variations with the qualification that it is a “time signature variant” rather than a “lyrics variant.”2
Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
St. John’s, Newfoundland: May 26, 2008
Video by StacksMaxwell
Leonard Cohen spoke about his process for transforming another song written in 3/4 time into one performed in 4/4: “['Always'] by Irving Berlin was originally in ¾ time, and I turned it into a 4/4 song, and I always loved it. It’s very beautifully constructed as a song, and I think the lyric is very touching. So, I went in there with Steve Lindsey, a producer, and some really excellent musicians, and we prepared a drink that I had invented called the “Red Needle.” It’s basically, Tequila, Cranberry juice, and lime, and some other elements. And after I had distributed this drink, and people had sampled it, we produced this track.” Source: Interview With Leonard Cohen by by Chris Doritos. KCRW, Los Angeles: February 18, 1997. Retrieved 09 July 2014 from LeonardCohenFiles [↩]
In researching the just published Marianne Variations posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne,” I reviewed this excerpt from I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons (Ecco: 2012):
In June 1967, at Columbia’s Studio C – a converted Greek-Armenian Orthodox church on 30th Street where Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue – Leonard recorded four songs with John Hammond. The songs were Anyone Can See, which he’d formerly called Just Two People, The Sun is my Son, and a song which had the title ‘Come On, Marianne’. Marianne told me, “I thought it always was ‘Come on, Marianne, it’s time that we began to laugh and cry’‘ but – unless I’m dreaming – there was a group in California, maybe the Beach Boys, who had similar words in a song. When he wrote it, for me it was like, ‘Come on, if we can just keep this boat afloat.’ And then we found out that we could not.”
Of course, “Come On, Marianne” became “So Long, Marianne,” the classic Leonard Cohen song about leaving – not restoring – a relationship.
I was taken with Marianne’s recall of a group from the same era with “similar words in a song.” I couldn’t find any songs by the Beach Boys or other California groups released during that time with words similar to “Come on, Marianne, it’s time that we began to laugh and cry,” but a 19671 hit by an iconic New Jersey group fits that description and may be the song Marianne had in mind.
“C’mon Marianne,” written by L. Russell Brown and Raymond Bloodworth and popularized by The Four Seasons, hit #9 on the charts in June, 1967. 2 The lyrics follow:
Marianne, Marianne, Marianne, Marianne
Whoa-ho-ho here I am on my knees again I’ll do anything just to make it right Say you’ll understand, oh I know you can, c’mon Marianne
No matter what people say, it didn’t happen that way She was a passing fling and not a permanent thing Say you’ll understand, oh I know you can
C’mon Marianne, c’mon Marianne C’mon Marianne, say you can understand My Marianne, Marianne, Marianne, Marianne
Well now your big brown eyes are all full of tears From the bitterness of my cheatin’ years So I hang my head, wish that I was dead
C’mon Marianne, c’mon Marianne C’mon Marianne, say you can understand My Marianne C’mon Marianne, c’mon Marianne Marianne, Marianne, Marianne, Marianne
Marianne Marianne Marianne
The Four Seasons – C’mon Marianne
“So Long, Marianne” was a track on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album released December 27, 1967 [↩]
“C’mon Marianne” was, in fact, the final US Top Ten hit for The Four Seasons in the 1960s. [↩]
Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne
This is the final entry1 in The Marianne Variations, a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums. An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.
The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” + “Your Eyes” Version of So Long, Marianne
No rendition of “So Long, Marianne” differs more from the original script than the one Leonard Cohen performed at the May 1, 1993 Oslo Spektrum Concert. This version features not only a radically altered arrangement but also two verses not found on any album.
“Here Comes The Morning Boat”
The introduction, sung by Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, was first performed (by the same two backup vocalists) as the song’s conclusion during the 1988 Tour:2
Here comes the morning boat, Here comes the evening train, Here comes Marianne now, To wave goodbye again.3
The song’s concluding verse, all of which is sung by Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen with one line also spoken by Leonard Cohen, follows:
Your eyes, I forget your eyes Your body’s at home in every sea, You gave your news to everyone You said was a secret just for me
This verse, with minor changes, was printed in the booklet for the 1975 Best Of Leonard Cohen (aka Greatest Hits) album but was not found on the recording itself:4
Oh your eyes, well I forgot Your eyes Your body’s at home in every sea. How come you gave away your news to everyone That you said was a secret for me.
Variations of this verse were performed at the April 3, 1972 Stockholm show and the April 6, 1972 Frankfurt concert:5
Oh Tonight, I know I’m gonna forget tonight (Stockholm) Ah your eyes, oh how could I forget your eyes (Frankfurt) Your body’s at home in every sea. How come you gave away your news to everyone That you said was a secret for me.
In 1972, however, Cohen sang the verse himself, as he also did in at least one 2009 show.6
The 1993 Version Of The Gift Of A Golden Voice
Finally, Cohen’s voice in the Oslo show is strikingly different from the original version and even more so from the performances during the 2008-2013 Tours. Cohen stridently speaks as much as sings the words.7
The impact of these multiple changes and adaptations is dramatic.
Video: So Long, Marianne – Oslo 1993
Although no live videos or even photos of this concert are to be found online, the show was broadcast on FM radio, and a high quality recording of that broadcast serves as the soundtrack of the video. Augmenting the music are photos which predominantly feature Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen, and backup singers, Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen.8 Also included are a few shots of the other musicians from the 1993 Tour.9
Leonard Cohen – “So Long, Marianne”
Oslo Spektrum: May 1, 1993
Video by Allan Showalter
“Final entry” already requires qualifications. Even before the official completion of The Marianne Variations series, Lennard Torbijn of the Netherlands has astutely pointed out a Leonard Cohen rendition of “So Long, Marianne” that meets criteria as a distinct version although it does not fit the characteristic pattern of those revisions thus far included in The Marianne Variations group. That version will be posted later in a supplement to The Marianne Variations. [↩]
Note: At some point in the process of recording Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “So Long, Marianne” was titled “Come On, Marianne.” (Source: I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012) While the existence of the same verb in the title of that early iteration and in the third line of this verse added in 1988, “Here comes Marianne now,” is certainly insufficient evidence of a connection between the two versions, the possibility exists that the 1988 line is a vestigial remnant of lyrics written twenty years earlier or that both lines share a common precursor. (More about “Come On, Marianne” in a later post.) [↩]
Source: GuitareTab. In addition, another verse is also listed in the booklet but not included on the recording:
If you leave, where will I keep you then In my heart as some men say But I who was born to love everyone Why should I keep you so far away? [↩]
The 1993 version would not be a good fit with the audience karaoke “So Long, Marianne” singalongs that took place in the 2008-2013 tours that have earned the crowd a “You sing so pretty” accolade from Leonard Cohen. [↩]
Note: Most of the performance photos are from 1993, but some were taken during the 1988 Tour, during which Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen also served as vocalists. [↩]
1993 Tour Musicians:
Leonard Cohen – vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar
Perla Batalla – vocals
Julie Christensen – vocals
Bob Metzger – guitars, pedal steel guitar
Bob Furgo – keyboards, violin
Paul Ostermayer – keyboards, saxophone, flute
Bill Ginn – keyboards
Jorge Calderon – bass
Steve Meador – drums
Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne
This is the fourth of five entries in The Marianne Variations, a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums. An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.
The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long Marianne
Often the variations in this classic Cohen song have been relatively minor, comprising, for example, the substitution of a single word for another or a verse being skipped. In 1988, however, an entire stanza, sung by backup vocalists, Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, appeared de novo as the song’s final verse:
Here comes the morning boat, Here comes the evening train, Here comes Marianne now, To wave goodbye again.
Note: At some point in the process of recording Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “So Long, Marianne” was titled “Come On, Marianne.”1 While the existence of the same verb in the title of that early iteration and in the third line of this verse added in 1988, “Here comes Marianne now,” is certainly insufficient evidence of a connection between the two versions, the possibility exists that the 1988 line is a vestigial remnant of lyrics written twenty years earlier or that both lines share a common precursor. (More about “Come On, Marianne” in a later post.)
Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
San Sebastian: May 20, 1988
The pertinent verse begins at 2:44
Video from AmericaSings
I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012 [↩]
Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1
This video features the first version of the song Leonard Cohen would later revise into "Chelsea Hotel #2" along with images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin - whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song, the Hotel itself, and other associated people & places.
Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling in the 1960s that, for unspecified reasons, was short-lived, with Cohen instigating the parting.
It was then and is now a complex connection. In 1988, Cohen said, I'm still very friendly with Joni - I had dinner with her before the tour, and I have the same admiration for her as you do. But I think it was Noel Harrison who came up to me in the LA Troubadour and said "How do you like living with Beethoven?"
Do I Have To Dance All Night Surpasses 70,000 Views
"Do I Have To Dance All Night" was performed many times in concerts but was never released in the US.
As part of my crusade to popularize this song, I've cobbled together 2 videos - one for the semi-funky 1976 version with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version - that kinda sorta fit the music.
As of Dec 19, 2012, the video of the 1976 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has been viewed 70,152 times.
This Heck Of A Guy compilation includes unreleased Leonard Cohen performances over a 30+ year period.
Track List: Vol 1
1. Feels So Good (The Other Blues Song)
2. Book Of Longing
3. The Darkness
6. Do I Have to Dance All Night (1976)
7. Blues By The Jews
Track List: Vol 2
1. Red River Valley
2. Never Got To Love You (Duet with Anjani)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Ride Around
5. The Union Makes Us Strong
6. We Shall Not Be Moved
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Hypnotist (Poem)
9. Chelsea Hotel #1
10. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
11. Streets Of Laredo
12. Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980)
Now, Another Other Leonard Cohen Album, the second collection of unreleased Leonard Cohen songs joins the popular The Other Leonard Cohen Album to offer fans of the iconic singer-songwriter a total of 3 CDs of musical treats. Another Other Leonard Cohen Album includes the following tracks plus liner notes by Sylvie Simmons.
1. Je Veux Vivre Tout Seul
2. Kevin Barry
3. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
4. Store Room
5. As Time Goes By
6. Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-on
7. Blessed is the Memory
8. Silent Night
9. Dead Song
10. Another Saturday Night
11. Ballad of the Absent Mare
13. The Butcher
14. Un As Der Rebbe Singt
15. Song to the Machines
16. If It Be Your Will
17. Thirsty for the Kiss
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. I Tried To Leave You
20. Whither Thou Goest
21. Mr Cohen Must Be Going
Photos of or related to Leonard Cohen that fall into specific themes have been among the ongoing features at DrHGuy, HOAG's sibling site. Galleries displaying collected images of 3 of these themes are now available at
And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – Julie’s Story & Video
... I never had a chance. I was - and this is the only word that fits - smitten. I still am.
She was smart and quick-witted, although it would take me 3 years to recognize that she was, in fact, much smarter than me, and then another 2 years to forgive her for that. She was also good-looking and unabashedly sexy.
And, we fell madly, irredeemably, unflinchingly in love.
Complementing the unlikely story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and - 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later - got together to spend an outrageously wonderful 20 years together before her death, a video, set to the poignant "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is now available that evokes the role Julie, who died 10 years ago, continues to play in my life.