Marianne Ihlen, Immortalized In “So Long, Marianne,” Dies


Marianne Ihlen, the woman immortalized in “So Long, Marianne” and the woman in Leonard Cohen’s life through the 1960s, died July 28, 2016 after being diagnosed with leukemia less than a week ago.

Leonard Cohen – “So Long, Marianne”
Oslo Spektrum: May 1, 1993
Video by Allan Showalter

38 Replies to “Marianne Ihlen, Immortalized In “So Long, Marianne,” Dies”

  1. John West

    A few years ago bbc radio 4 brought Leonard and Marriane together to reminisce in one of their ‘reunion’ series, is it possible to hear this anywhere?

  2. Heather in Paros

    She must have been a wonderful person to invoke such feelings in Leonard Cohen. May she be happy, wherever she is now. RIP.

  3. christine roberts

    I am devastastated; Marianne was a beautiful soul inside and out and over the years had become a dear friend.We were due to meet up on Hydra in October…God bless you Marianne, I’m sending my love and prayers to you <3

    1. Judy Scott

      I am so glad I was able to introduce you to her and to join you when you met her in person on Hydra 2011. That was a glorious day!

      1. Elizabeth Bacon-Smith

        I am so glad, too, that you were able to introduce the two of them, Judy… and to spend that beautiful day together. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy such a long and privileged friendship with Marianne, all but a lifelong one. Such a huge loss to the world, her sweetness and deep beauty gone. She brought so much to our worlds, just by being her. She brings much to the hereafter. A soul time will never forget.

    2. Elizabeth Bacon-Smith

      I am so glad that you were able to enjoy such a privilege of meeting Marianne, Christine.

  4. Fabienne Dejean

    I don’t speak english very well. I have a lot of respect for Léonard Cohen and I love many of his songs. I hope that Marianne’s most beautifull hours, with him especially, are and will be the Light forever on the other shore of life… Gentle thoughts to her familles and friends, and to Leonard Cohen in particular. Fabienne, a belgian heart.

  5. Vicki Woodyard

    I just listened to the recording mentioned here. A fitting tribute to her and to both of them.
    I hear the strength and wisdom in her being. I loved hearing her grandmother’s prophecy about a man with a golden tongue.

    I feel a deep sadness that we all carry despite the good times in our lives. Best to accept this and be grateful for the light cast from their relationship. Hers was a good life.

  6. Judy Scott

    I spent a wonderful, magical summer with Leonard and Marianne in 1973. They welcomed me into their homes, into their lives. I visited with her in Oslo in 1975 and we met again in 2011 and2013. I visited Leonard at his home here in Los Angeles 6 years ago. I loved them both very much. I am devastated.

  7. June Clower

    I did not know Marianne but this news makes me feel very sad. Even though their relationship happened so many years ago I’m sure Leonard will be devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with Mariannes family, all those who are close to her and of course Leonard.
    I listened with great interest to the above mentioned interview. As The Radio times said at the time
    “…a melancholic and incredibly moving memoir.”
    Marianne says of Leonard in the interview .“ I have somehow always looked at him as more than a poet, more than a singer, more than just an ordinary man, there has been something around him that is rare. The first time I met Dalai Lama I felt the same … so, that’s the way I felt.” I think that many many people will also feel that way about Mr Cohen ….

  8. Pingback: Leonard Cohen Muse Marianne Ihlen, of "So Long, Marianne," Passes Away - Everything Zoomer - Boomers with Zip

  9. raymond fielding

    so long marianne may you RIP and condolences to all that were close to her. she will alway be immortalized in leonard’s beautiful song recorded all those years ago.

  10. Graham McLeod

    The sadness of leaving, of friends who depart,
    The joy that was shared , now an ache in your heart.
    A place that was home now a memory recalled
    The return just a dream that will always enthral.

    Condolences to all her loved ones.

  11. Pingback: Goodbye, Marianne | Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  12. John Eliot


    Without her there
    Would not have been the song
    Marianne wrote the words

    She was the Indian cotton
    And patchouli
    Empty bedsit rooms

    I still listen
    For your step on the stair
    How many poems today

    From lovers as old
    And sad as me
    End as you with the words

    So long

    c. John Eliot

  13. Michele prevost

    Overwhelmed by a deep sadness when hearing of Marianne ´s death.I was ,and always will be , touched by her amazing Life and personality.
    So long, Marianne .
    Rest in peace

  14. ChristineH

    Never met Marianne, but I read read how she made a wonderful impact on Leonard’s life. Sending condolences and prayers to her family, friends and Leonard (her soul mate).

  15. Herman Lategan

    Does anybody here perhaps know when Marianne’s birthday was? Year and date? Thank you.

    1. DrHGuy Post author

      The best I can offer is the label on this video: “Marianne’s 80th Birthday On Hydra – May 18, 2015”