Video: Leonard Cohen Sings "So Long Marianne" With Marianne In Audience – Langesund 2009

Marianne At Lonard Cohen’s Langesund Show

This is not a video with great production values. As the cameraperson notes, “Sorry for the all the drunk people singing.” But how could anyone who knows anything about Leonard Cohen pass up the chance to watch him sing “So Long Marianne” to a concert audience that includes Marianne herself?1

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
Langesund: July 16, 2009

Note: Originally posted Jul 19, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Basic information about Leonard Cohen and his relationship with Marianne can be found at Leonard Cohen – The Literary Years. []

Video – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Life On Hydra: Why He Came, How He Met Marianne, Writing Books & Songs There …

I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.
Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.

Leonard Cohen

“This was the laboratory of my youth”

In this video, excerpted from the 1988 film Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen, accompanied by his backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, revisits the home in Hydra that he shared with Marianne of So Long Marianne  In addition to a discussion of his life on Hydra, this clip includes performances  of Who By Fire, Bird On The Wire, So Long Marianne, Partisan, and Famous Blue Raincoat.

Photo: Marianne’s Son, Axel Joachim Jensen, With Bjorn Saastad, Hydra 1976

Dominique BOILE writes

On February 4, 2016, Marianne Ihlen sent me this photo with the message, “Here is a photo of Axel Joachim and the Norwegian Painter Bjorn Saastad. Axel Joachim was about 16 years old. Hydra 1976.”

Axel Joachim Jensen is the son of Marianne Ihlen and Axel Buchardt Jensen, the Norwegian author. After Axel Jensen left Marianne and Hydra, Axel Joachim lived with Marianne and Leonard Cohen for several years.  For more about Axel Joachim, see Marianne, Hydra And The Love Affair With Cohen – Now In English

Hear BBC Radio Panel: So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen bids farewell to his muse

From BBC description:

Leonard Cohen’s muse Marianne Ihlen, whom he wrote about in So Long, Marianne and Bird on a Wire, died in Norway on 29 July, aged 81.

Just before she died, a friend contacted Leonard Cohen to let him know the end was near. Less than two hours later a message came back, which her friend read to her.

Art critic Anita Sethi and Telegraph chief music critic Neil McCormick, who has interviewed Leonard Cohen, discussed the message Cohen sent to Ihlen and the broader significance of the muse in the history of art.

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Sharon B, who alerted me to this program

Marianne Autographs Iconic Back Cover Of Leonard Cohen Songs From A Room

“The Room Of Many Songs”

marianneauto2In April 2016, Marianne Ihlen, who died in July 2016, sent Dominique BOILE these two autographed booklets (from CDs) featuring the iconic back cover of Leonard Cohen Songs From A Room with Marianne sitting at Leonard’s Olivetti typewriter in their home in Hydra. The inscriptions appended to the autograph are shown above the respective images.

“With Love From Marianne”


Marianne, Hydra And Her Love Affair With Leonard Cohen – Now In English


Marianne, Hydra And The Love Affair With Cohen

By Evangelia Avlonitou (Kathimerini: June 14, 2015)
Translated into English by Demetris Tsimperis

Marianne Ihlen, the woman who inspired the song «So Long Marianne» by Leonard Cohen and had a love affair with him during the years they lived in Hydra, is sitting opposite me in a cafe at the harbor of the island. She is beautiful, charming and humane, awaiting – a bit anxiously- my questions. I did not come with questions, I reassure her,  taking off my glasses. I came only with a bag and a book excerpt in my mind. She laughs, relieved. “How good” she says and sinks into her chair. I explain to her that the passage I am going to share with her is by a 87 year old Australian writer, Elizabeth Harrower.


Harrower writes: “A woman may encounter at any time in her life, a concrete pyramid in the middle of the road. It is usually a man or more. The woman is capable of sitting there convinced that it is impossible to proceed until finally the pyramid becomes her personal Thermopylae. This obstacle may contribute to the perpetuation of the species, but its price is heavy. What makes men superior is that – most of them – don’t stop to function forever because of another human being. They lack this inherent disadvantage and they are lucky”. Marianne laughs loudly. “How true is this” she says taking off her dark glasses. “I climbed this pyramid, I fell down and then moved on”. We stay silent for a while. Me out of respect and she for her own reasons. The midday flying dolphin has just arrived at the port of Hydra and our silence is covered by the sounds of the crowd.

“I  saw the film ‘Boy on a Dolphin’ in a cinema in Oslo in the ’50s and I thought here’s a place that I will never go. And here I am,” she says, and what impresses me more than the coincidences of life, is that her eyes – blue of ice and sky – are so different from the eyes of most people today; warm and vivid, full of patience and gentle curiosity. “If I hadn’t met Dalai Lama in Norway in ’52 I would never have come here” she continues. “It was he who gave me the courage to leave my home and who first taught me the meaning of compassion; to accept, to overcome and to not criticize.”

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