Category Archives: Leonard Cohen

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long, Marianne

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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

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  1. I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012 []

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “If You Leave Where Will I Keep You Then?” Version Of So Long, Marianne

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Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

The Marianne Variations is 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 “If You Leave Where Will I Keep You Then?” Version Of So Long, Marianne

The following stanza, not heard on the “So Long, Marianne” track of the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album (released Dec 27, 1967) but printed in the Songs Of Leonard Cohen Songbook and booklet from the Leonard Cohen Greatest Hits (aka The Best Of Leonard Cohen) album, is the final stanza of the rendition recorded in Paris in Spring 1968 and broadcast on BBC2 TV in 1968 (for information about Leonard Cohen’s 1968 BBC Sessions, see Best Bootlegs: Leonard Cohen Live At The BBC):

If you leave where will I keep you then?
In my heart, as some men say.
And I, who was born to love everyone,
Why should I keep you so far away?

Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
London BBC: 1968
The pertinent verse begins at 6:40
Video from messalina79

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “Your Eyes” Version Of So Long, Marianne

your-eyes-i-forget-your-eyes

Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

The Marianne Variations is 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 “Your Eyes” Version Of So Long Marianne

The following verse is listed in the booklet from Leonard Cohen Greatest Hits (aka The Best Of Leonard Cohen) although it is not performed on the “So Long, Marianne” track on that album:1

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.

Performances featuring this verse (with some variations) first took place during the 1972 Tour, including the April 3, 1972 Stockholm show and the April 6, 1972 Frankfurt concert:2

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.

Similar lyrics would also turn up in other Tours, including 1993 and, happily, at a 2009 concert filmed by Albert Noonan.  In this instance, the following lines appeared as the penultimate verse:

Your eyes, I will forget your eyes
Your body is at home in every sea
How come you gave away your news to everyone
I thought you said it was a secret just for me

Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
San Jose: Nov 13, 2009
The pertinent verse begins at 2:20
Video by albertnoonan

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  1. Source: GuitareTab.  In addition, another verse is also listed in the booklet and also not performed on the album (more about it later):

    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? []

  2. Source: Leonard Cohen Prologues []

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

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So Long, Marianne Redux

The Marianne Variations is a series of posts devoted to the major versions of “So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen. This introduction and links to all published posts in this series can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.

Since its release on Leonard Cohen’s first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), “So Long, Marianne” has been on the setlist at hundreds of concerts and, as is true of many of Cohen’s songs, has been performed with many variations from the original album rendition. Often these are minor additions, deletions, or substitutions such as “I climbed this whole mountainside” being sung as “I climbed this goddamned whole mountainside”1 or “pretty” being replaced with “beautiful.” In some shows, verses have been skipped, either intentionally or in error.

In other cases, however, the changes are clearly deliberate. The first line, for example, of the printed lyrics of “So Long, Marianne” from Songs Of Leonard Cohen is “Come over to the window, my little darling” while the first line of the lyrics of the version from Field Commander Cohen is “Won’t you come over to the window, my little darling.” (There are several such minor variations between the two album renditions.)

Moreover, the musical arrangements and Cohen’s own singing style fluctuate. During the 1988 and 1993 Tours, for instance, Cohen often rendered the song in a raspy voice, sometimes shouting out the words while most performances during the 2008-2013 Tours were melodious, sometimes almost sweet sounding.

Cataloging every variation and permutation is, in any case, beyond the scope of these posts. Instead, the focus is on the different versions that are both significant enough to alter the experience of this classic and are clearly not only intentional but planned alterations as evidenced, for example, by lyrics printed in a Leonard Cohen songbook or album liner notes or by a number of performances in which a specific set of lyrics have appeared. At least four distinct versions meet these criteria:2

  1. The “If You Leave Where Will I Keep You Then?” Version
  2. The “Your Eyes” Version
  3. The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version
  4. The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” + ‘“Your Eyes” Version

Each of the next four posts in this series will focus on one of these versions and provide a recorded example of that variation. Today, a recording of the first released version is provided for future comparisons.

The Original Version Of So Long, Marianne From Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
Songs Of Leonard Cohen

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  1. See Now Online – Video Of “So Long Marianne” From First Leonard Cohen Lissadell House Concert []
  2. The names used to designate these versions have been arbitrarily based on the first line of the added lyrics. []

Now – Anjani Thomas’s New Album, I Came To Love, Available For Download

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Anjani Thomas’s New Album – I Came To Love, is now available for download at CD Baby

More information about the album at Update: Anjani Thomas’s New Album – I Came To Love

Update: Anjani Thomas’s New Album – I Came To Love – Ready For Download In Next 48 Hours

anjani---i-came-to-love

Update – July 13, 2014: Anjani Thomas’s New Album – I Came To Love, is now available for download at CD Baby

Official Release Imminent

Anjani Thomas sends good news about her long-awaited new album, I Came To Love:

The album is uploaded and the  purchase site should be operable within  2 days

While a CD release is planned in six months, the album is initially available as a digital download.1

The link to the purchase site at CD Baby will be available at Anjani’s web site when it goes live. That download link will also be posted here.

I Came To Love To Include Three New Songs Co-Written With Leonard Cohen

From Anjani’s website:

I Came To Love, a new release from Anjani Thomas, heralds the next chapter for the accomplished singer-songwriter. This ten-song collection chronicles the path of the heart through passion, jeopardy, and ultimately love, all revealed through Anjani’s fluid and mesmerizing sound.

Picking up where the critically acclaimed Blue Alert left off, Anjani sets the tone with the album’s title track: i came to love as a novice / with an aim to learn… now I love as a woman / sure of what she sings. With vocal nuances and impeccable phrasing, Anjani establishes a startlingly intimate connection with the listener: she’s not singing to you, she is touching what’s inside of you.

Anjani’s creative partnerships have always been unerringly honed, and it is no exception with the assembly of pros on this recording. Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), acts as producer and percussionist on five tracks, building potent rhythms on “Weather A Storm With You,” and the mysteriously moody “Standing On The Stairs”. Toronto producers Rob Piltch and Jonathan Goldsmith sync a hypnotic trance groove on “Holy Ground”: my lover stands on holy ground/in a scarred and barren field/where my weakness is revealed/he holds space for me to heal.

“Love In Between” features country music giant Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) on guitars and fiddle; while renowned flamenco guitarist Pavlo takes a passionate solo turn on “Love Be A River.” For her longtime fans, Anjani reprises her celebrated musical collaboration with the legendary Leonard Cohen on three new tracks, including “Song To Make Me Still,” a wistful poem sung to meditative piano accompaniment. The album wraps with a touching version of the Les Paul/Mary Ford classic “Whither Thou Goest,” with Cohen as Anjani’s duet partner.

One part biography, one part love letter, one part statement album, I Came to Love is a rich and varied musical journey. “It took much longer than I expected to finish this record,” Anjani says, because every time I thought it was done, something tipped the balance, which compelled me to keep working until it felt complete again. Leonard told me when we started writing together in 2005 that part of the creative process is allowing for that sense of ‘Ah, now it’s right.” It can take time for the weak spots to surface; and being patient yielded songs as nurturing to write as they are satisfying to sing. For me, it was worth the wait.”

ANJANI559

Videos & More: Song to Make Me Still & Standing on the Stairs

Videos of live performances of two of the new songs co-written by Anjani & Leonard Cohen, their origins, and their lyrics can be found at Anjani Thomas Performs Two Unreleased Songs Co-written With Leonard Cohen At 2013 Feast Of Cohen

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  1. The download is formatted as FLAC files – lossless files  with higher quality than compressed formats such as  MP3s. The music produced is equivalent to CD quality. []