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. (See Was “Come On, Marianne” By The Four Seasons The Song Marianne Associated With Leonard Cohen’s “Come On, Marianne”?)

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
San Sebastian: May 20, 1988
The video immediately below begins automatically at the start of So Long, Marianne; the pertinent verse begins at 1:52:50 (see second embedded video)

The video below begins automatically at the start of the pertinent verse

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2014 t 1HeckOfAGuy.com, at predecessor of Cohencentric
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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 Divergent & Devastating Version Of So Long, Marianne – Oslo 1993

marianne-cat-hyrdra

Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

This is the final entry1 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” + “Your Eyes” Version of So Long, Marianne

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  1. “Final entry” already requires qualifications. Even before the official completion of The Marianne Variations series, Lennard Torbijn of the Netherlands has astutely pointed out a Leonard Cohen rendition of “So Long, Marianne” that meets criteria as a distinct version although it does not fit the characteristic pattern of those revisions thus far included in The Marianne Variations group. That version will be posted later in a supplement to The Marianne Variations. []

The Making Of The Leonard Cohen Closing Time Video: Outrageous Vamping, Go-Go Dancing, Erotic Gazing

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quoteup2  That was fun

Leonard Cohen

Rebecca De Mornay’s Offstage Mock Striptease

The roles played in the making of the official Closing Time video, winner of the 1993 Juno Best Video, by backup singers, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, and by Cohen’s paramour at that time, Rebecca De Mornay, are so delicious as to demand describing. This excerpt is from “Growing Old Disgracefully” by Ian Pearson (Saturday Night, March, 1993):

At the video shoot of “Closing Time,” the joy was starting to flow around 10 p.m., eight hours after the star’s arrival. Cohen and his band were on stage, lip-synching the song while the camera pored over their faces. The band was getting giddy. Cohen planted himself as solidly as a tree in centre stage, clenching his fists, mouthing the lyrics, and staring resolutely into the mid-distance. The back-up singers — Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen — were vamping outrageously beside Cohen, dancing provocatively and shooting delicious come-hither looks at him every time he glanced their way.

“Oh we’re drinking and we’re dancing / and there’s nothing really happening / the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night,” Cohen sang, and Rebecca De Mornay trapped his stare as she danced seductively behind the camera. He continued: “And my very close companion / gets me fumbling gets me laughing / she’s a hundred but she’s wearing something tight.” De Mornay, who was in her early thirties and wearing a tight green sweater and a snug linen skirt, suggestively started toying with her fingers at the edge of her lips. As his very close companion continued to swoon and gyrate, Cohen broke up on stage. “You guys were really beautiful,” Cohen said in a lounge-singer homily at the end of the take. Unlike a lounge singer, he really meant it.

The director, Curtis Wehrfritz, was pleased, but he wanted a close-up of Cohen putting a bit more emotion into the song. De Mornay had a plan. She asked for a pair of wooden crates to be placed in front of the stage beside the camera. The camera started rolling and the tape began playing. Cohen started a deadpan delivery of the song, more in his prophet than in his playboy mode. De Mornay and Perla Batalla kicked off their shoes, climbed onto the crates, and started gyrating like go-go dancers. A metre or so away from his face, De Mornay fixed her blue eyes on Cohen and pumped her hips. “The women tear their blouses off / the men they dance on the polka dots…/ it’s closing time,” sang Cohen, and De Mornay took the words as cue for a mock striptease. She pulled out the front of her sweater from under her skirt and then tantalizingly gestured with her hands in front of her chest.

The singer responded with an intensely erotic gaze. He sang every word to De Mornay, and came up with a true performance under the most artificial of circumstances. The song ended, and De Mornay turned to Wehrfritz and laughed, “We really put a sparkle in his eye.”

Cohen climbed off the stage. Ever the gentlemen with Old World manners, he bent down to put on De Mornay’s shoes for her. The gloomy-poet-turned-bard-of-the-bedsits looked up at his friends and the crew and pronounced, “That was fun.”

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Official Video: 1992

Note: Originally posted Feb 20, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Edye Under The Radar Series: Perla Batalla Sings For Everybody & Their Mother

Perla Batalla,singer-songwriter and Grammy nominated vocalist, served (along with Julie Christensen) as backup singer for the 1988 and 1993 tours and worked with Cohen during studio recording sessions.

Sings for Everybody and their Mother
Performing with The Dave Palmer Trio

The Edye: Sat / May 9 / 8:00 PM

Direct from her recent European concert tour, Santa Monica native Perla Batalla returns to The Edye for an intimate evening of Cohen, Classics, and Canciones Romanticas. The Grammy-nominated singer, described by Songtalk Magazine as “an astonishingly rich contralto capable of stratospheric arches of un-adulterated emotion”, will wrap her soulful voice around songs that celebrate the redemptive powers of the loving heart, in honor of mothers everywhere. 

Levitt on the Lawn, Featuring Perla Batalla

Perla Batalla,singer-songwriter and Grammy nominated vocalist, served (along with Julie Christensen) as backup singer for the 1988 and 1993 tours and worked with Cohen during studio recording sessions. This event is sponsored by Levitt Pavilions and Scripps Alumna Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch. Picnic dinners are welcomed or purchase snacks and desserts at the event.