“The Great Pretender” By The Platters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700Note: Originally posted Jun 17, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

The Great Pretender


I never made a big distinction between that which we call a poem and that which we call a song. It was the sort of expression which used beauty, rhythm, authority and truth. All these ideas were implicit. … I made no distinction between the popular expression and the literary expression. I knew that “The Great Pretender” was a very good poem; I made no hierarchies.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen1

The Platters released “The Great Pretender” as a single on November 3, 1955.  The words and music were created by Buck Ram, the Platters’ manager and producer.

Video: The Platters – The Great Pretender


  1. Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Underlining mine. []