In Memory Of Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen’s Muse


Marianne Ihlen, 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 earlier.


A Leonard Cohen Facebook Page has been dedicated as a memorial to Marianne Ihlen. Those who wish to submit their thoughts, memories, poems, etc about Marianne – even if they have done so already at another site – are invited make those contributions here. We hope to collect these sentiments in one place in Marianne’s memory. Contributions from Leonard Cohen, Sylvie Simmons, Kari Hesthamar, and others are already in place at

Leonard Cohen Facebook Page
Marianne Tribute

Leonard Cohen’s Divergent & Devastating Version Of So Long, Marianne – Oslo 1993

No rendition of “So Long, Marianne” differs more from the original script than the one Leonard Cohen performed at the May 1, 1993 Oslo Spektrum Concert. This version features not only a radically altered arrangement but also two verses not found on any album. The impact of these multiple changes and adaptations is dramatic.1

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

  1. More about this rendition of So Long, Marianne can be found at The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s Divergent & Devastating Version Of So Long, Marianne – Oslo 1993 []

One Reply to “In Memory Of Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen’s Muse”

  1. Arlene Corwin

    I knew Marianne (and Leonard) in 1964 when I lived on Hydra. My former husband and I had dinner there many a time. Marianne was oh, so beautiful and I envied her slim figure and her white blonde hair. She was the first person (I ever saw) to wear bell bottoms and I rushed to the dressmaker on the island to have a pair made, buying white material to look like Marianne’s.
    It’s just a synchronistic accident that I’ve discovered her passing. I live in Sweden and happened to chance by the Reynolds biography on Leonard Cohen. I went directly to the chapter on Hydra, and reading the pages on Marianne went to the computer to find out how and where she is: And here she is.
    I want to share my shock and sadness at her death. I want to send my love to wherever she may be.