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