Leonard Cohen - Montreal's greatest artist in my humble opinion - when he wrote this song he was referring to the " Old Montreal " section of our city down near the Old Port.............complete with cobblestone streets - horse and buggies - heritage buildings - and of course the river ( the St. Lawrence River to be precise )
"Suzanne" was inspired by Cohen's platonic relationship with Suzanne Verdal, the then girlfriend of sculptor Armand Vaillancourt. Its lyrics describe the rituals that they enjoyed when they met: Suzanne would invite Cohen to visit her apartment by the harbour in Montreal, where she would serve him Constant Comment tea, and they would walk around Old Montreal past the church of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, where sailors were blessed before heading out to sea.
I thought I'd show you a little of what he was writing about - so today I went for a walk in Old Montreal with my camera...................
Suzanne takes you down to a place near the river
you can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her and you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to 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
then she gets you on her wave length
and she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover...............................
and you want to travel with her
and you want to travel blind
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind
And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
and he spent a long time watching from his lonely 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 "
But he himself was broken long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him and you want to travel blind
and you think maybe you'll trust him for he's touched your perfect body with his mind...........
She is wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
and the sun pours down like honey
on Our Lady of the Harbour
(This is our Lady of the Harbour - who blessed the sailors before journeys)
and she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever
while Suzanne holds the mirror.....................
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her for she's touched your perfect body with her mind....................
Every time I stroll the streets of Old Montreal
And the Old Port
For a brief moment, I see it through Leonard's eyes...................
You can click HERE for some interesting facts from Leonard himself on writing this song
And you can listen to an angel singing it ( if you'd like )
Have a great Thursday all!!!
Thanks Leonard ( and Suzanne )
Going to the fabulous Parties!
Common Ground French Country Cottage My Romantic Home
The Shabby Nest One More Time Uncommon Design
I should be mopping the floor Homemaker on a dime Keeping it simple
The Chicken Chick Crafty Texas Girls Savvy Southern Style
Adorned from Above No Minimalist Here Rooted in Thyme
Ooohhhh......Beautiful songs you have chosen for this post Suzan.ReplyDelete
Love Leonard, and Suzanne, and I love Montreal, thank for sharing something so cute!!
Thanks so much Luna - XOXODelete
Good Afternoon Suzan, Well, what a treat... this took me back to my youth. I loved Leonard Cohen and Judy Collins and it was fascinating travelling around Old Montreal in pictures.... I have to say I was singing the words as I looked at the photographs. Old Montreal is such a beautiful place, thank you, I really enjoyed this post.ReplyDelete
When you emailed me you mentioned you "only had lunch with John Malkovich"
.....ONLY! that must have been a wonderful experience. Can I ask, was he quiet as I've seen him interviewed and he appears to be very private and a quiet man and only spoke when he had something to say, rather than like a lot of actors who are very self absorbed.
Thanks so much - I love them both too! AND I've been singing Suzanne for 2 days now...........
I emailed you the link on my lunch with John Malkovitch lol -
Great city and you have done a wonderful job in capturing it. Now, are you SURE you want to move away?ReplyDelete
such an amazing beautiful post I ENJOYED this sooooo mcuh!!!ReplyDelete
What a nice post!ReplyDelete
Paris don't got nothing on Old Montreal. I love it when you stroll about your neighborhood!ReplyDelete
Lovely post. Nice to know a little more about your beautiful city. I have loved "Suzanne" for a very, very long time. Hearing Judy Collins sing it again brought more than a tear or two to my eyes.ReplyDelete
Wow Wow Suzan what a beautiful city. I felt like I was in Paris. So much beauty and history at your finger tips. You lucky girl. I can see why you love it there.ReplyDelete
This is my absolute favourite poem/song by Leonard Cohen. I've been a big fan for as long as I can remember. I find his voice hauntingly beautiful, and I listen to him sing this on my computer quite often. Whenever life gets a little crazy or bumpy I listen to this song and it makes me feel human again. I'll be back later when I have more time to check out Judy's version. Old Montreal is gorgeous! Thanks for the tour.ReplyDelete
beautiful pictures, beautiful city. thanks for the tourReplyDelete
Love Leonard Cohen! This song is so beautiful, too. We have all of his recordings and were fortunate enough to see him twice on his 2010 tour. I thought I knew quite a bit about him, but I did not know the background of this, one of his most famous songs/poems. One of my favorites. Thank you for showing us where it all comes from.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post about your City. Such beauty and gorgeous architecture. Thanks for sharing all this history with us!
Oh my, it's been about 3 years since I was in Old Montreal. It's a place that stays with you. Thanks for sharing it all today.ReplyDelete
THanks for joining me Heather!Delete
One of my very favorite songs - beautiful set to the photographs of this lovely place. I could walk for miles and never leave.ReplyDelete
LOvely!!! I live in Montreal, recognized all the places but this time through your eyes and through Leonard's Cohen's song I saw and live it completely differently. What a great moment I had! ThanksReplyDelete
Thank you SO much Michele for strolling around with me!!!Delete
John was stunned by the lyrics - had no idea about the Lady of the Harbour!!!
( but he only came here in 1976 )
I really, really loved that post. I love Leonard Cohen's songs and it was such a treat to see all the places he had in mind while writing this song as well as to get to know the story behind the writing of the song as I had no idea who the song was for.ReplyDelete
I hope we get to visit Montreal this year. I would drive hubby crazy with my picture taking. It's such a beautiful city, thanks for taking us along.ReplyDelete
AGGGHHH! I get to meet you Tina!!!!!!!!!!Delete
( you're a no reply blogger honey )
I changed back to blogger and still no fix!Delete
Check me again, SuzyQ! I think I fixed it.Delete
Hi Suzan! I love that song. And I love LC's version. SO great to hear a little about it and to see your terrific pictures. Nice to travel with you! Beautiful.ReplyDelete
I love this post! I love that song too! I hadn't thought about it for a long time and I remember singing it with a friend in High School! Thanks for the back story and the beautiful pictures.ReplyDelete
Hi Suzan I never realised just how beautiful Monteral is.Your pictures are divine-love dee xReplyDelete
Wonderful photos, Suzan. Thanks for the tour. Of course, it's all familiar for me since I was born in Montreal and spent 44 years there! I still visit occasionally because so many friends and all my family are there.ReplyDelete
Nice Suzan! I'm not sure I have ever heard that song before. But my memory is bad so I can't be sure. I need to plan a trip to Montreal as I'm sure I would be enchanted by it.ReplyDelete
Beautiful Suzan. Love the architecture and quaint look of the streets. Maybe someday I will get there.ReplyDelete
We are long time Leonard Cohen fans and loved seeing his and your Montreal. We recently watched the video, Leonard Cohen, on Netflix. It was fascinating to learn about his interesting life.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous photos of a beautiful city, Suzanne!! Love the architecture.ReplyDelete
I remember this song from the first year that ALL MY CHILDREN was on air (and I was 10) and Erica's boyfriend use to play it. Always remembered it. Thanks for the blast from the past. So lovely. I hope to visit some day.ReplyDelete
Hi Erin - I base things on Another World !!!!Delete
Not sure when it started but I know I was watching it at around 10 years old too lol
Thanks so much for touring with me!
Thank you for the tour of Old Montreal. I have not been there and I enjoyed this tour very much.ReplyDelete
Awesome post Suzan! Love old Montreal... looking through your photos has made me want to go on a road trip!ReplyDelete
(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jennifer
Jenn's Random Scraps
Stopping by from "Simple and Sweet Fridays" because I love travel posts. Montreal looks like a cool place to visit. I used to live in upstate NY so I've gone to Canada a lot but never Montreal.ReplyDelete
Beautiful area. Thanks so much for sharing with Adorned From Above's Blog Hop. The party will be back this week starting Tuesday and 8:00PM mountain time. We can't wait to see what you have to share this week.
Have a great week.
Debi and Charly