1992 Song “It Just Feels” By Leonard Cohen & Dave Stewart Reappears On 2015 JiHAE Album

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Left: Sylvie Maréchal – Voie Lactee (1992) ; Right: JiHAE – Illusion Of You (2015)

Note: The interest generated by Video: JiHAE Sings It Just Feels – “A Poem About An Orgasm” By Leonard Cohen & Dave Stewart a few days ago led me to republish this relevant content that was originally posted May 1, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. The material about JiHAE has obviously been added.

Leonard Cohen As Singer-Songwriter

While Leonard Cohen the songwriter typically writes for Leonard Cohen the singer, there are a few pieces he has written for others, never recording them himself.1 The best known of these are “Priests,” which was recorded by Judy Collins (Wildflowers, in 1967), Richie Havens (Richard P Havens, 1983, in 1969), and Enrique Morente (Omega, in Spanish, in 1996)2 and “Summertime,” which was written by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson in 1980 during the Field Commander Cohen Tour and recorded by Diana Ross (Red Hot Rhythm And Blues, in 1987), Roberta Flack (Set The Night To Music, 1991), and Sharon Robinson (Everybody Knows, in 2008).

“It Just Feels” is a lesser known Leonard Cohen composition that gives rise to a number of questions:

  1. Why did Leonard Cohen write one song and one song only (“It Just Feels”) with David Stewart, best known, at least by folks in my cohort, for his work with Annie Lennox in The Eurythmics?
  2. Why was “It Just Feels” performed first in 1992 by Sylvie Maréchal, who has since denounced the album(s) on which the song appeared?3
  3. Why is the song reappearing in 2015 as a track on JiHAE ‘s forthcoming Illusion of You album?

Let’s look at the easy stuff first.

“It Just Feels” – The Lyrics

It Just Feels
Written by Leonard Cohen and David A Stewart, recorded by Sylvie Maréchal (Voie Lactee, France 1993)4

It feels so good
And it feels so right
It feels like I’ve been rescued
In the middle of the night
And all the tricks and all the angels
And all the dirty rotten deals
They don’t count now
They’ve been cancelled
And it feels, it just feels
Thank you Babe, thank you Babe

It feels so good
And it feels so right
It feels like I’ve been rescued
In the middle of the night
And the sweetest voice has spoken
And the deepest wound is healed
And the darkness is exploding
And it feels, it just feels
Thank you Babe, thank you Babe

It comes so sweet
And it comes so fast
It comes like windows breaking
I can take a breath at last
Thank you for the breaking
And thank you for the breath
And for sayin’ it was nothing
Nothing meaning life or death
Thank you Babe…it just feels

The similarity of some of these lyrics to portions of “Feels So Good,” which Leonard Cohen introduced on the 2009 Tour, has been noted, but an elaboration on this topic is beyond the scope of this post.

“It Just Feels” – The 1992 Sylvie Maréchal Version

sylvie2In the early 1990s, Sylvie Maréchal was an up and coming vocalist who performed in French and English and who had somewhat of a following in her native France. A review of French music companies in the May 22, 1993 issue of Billboard, for example, reports,

Sylvie Maréchal … sings equally well in both French and English and is another BMG artist with international potential.

In the same issue of that trade journal, Philippe Crocq, writing in “Remedy For A Down Music Market: Talent,” noted

The following artists made a significant impact last year… Sylvie Marechal: Produced by Dave Stewart for RCA, this bilingual (French/English) artist looks set for a long and successful international career.

“It Just Feels” was first released in 1992 as the second track on Faith Healing, Sylvie Maréchal’s second album. It was also the second track on the French version of Faith Healing, Voie Lactée, which was released in 1993.

Sylvie Maréchal – It Just Feels

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“It Just Feels” – The 2015 JiHAE Version

jihaexIn 2015, “It Just Feels” has resurfaced in live performances and as a track on the soon to be released Illusion Of You album by JiHAE.  Future posts will include more  about JiHAE, including a Q&A with this fast rising star. For now, listen to her rendition of this “song about an orgasm” by Leonard Cohen & Dave Stewart.

JiHAE – It Just Feels

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Other Posts About It Just Feels

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  1. More precisely, these are songs Leonard Cohen has written that others have recorded and released and that Cohen has never recorded and released. As Jim Devlin pointed out in Jim Devlin – What Comes To Mind About Leonard Cohen, Cohen recorded “Priests,” but the song was never released as part of an album. []
  2. LeonardCohenFiles []
  3. More about this in a future post []
  4. Lyrics and credits from LeonardCohenFiles []

3 thoughts on “1992 Song “It Just Feels” By Leonard Cohen & Dave Stewart Reappears On 2015 JiHAE Album

  1. Arlene Dick

    Thank you for looking into the back story. Spoiler alerts notwithstanding, I look forward to reading your part 2 follow-up about the “Sylvie Marechal: It Just Feels” song.

    1. Avi

      … and thank you Arlene for bumping into David Stewart and waking up this story from its 20-year slumber!

  2. Tom

    Lyrics are vintage L. Cohen, apparently one of those bumped lyrics he gives around to others to play with it… But I presume Stewart added “Thank you Babe, thank you Babe” line on end of each verse ::)))