Suzanne Vega’s “If You Were (In My Movie)” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox


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.

Suzanne Vega “make[s] austerity extremely seductive”

In Suzanne’s interview with Leonard Cohen from 1992 (part 1 of 3), Suzanne Vega and Leonard Cohen discussed, along with many other topics (e.g., Howard Stern, Christmas gifts, politeness, the superior stylishness of wine and water compared to coke and orange juice), songs from Vega’s 99.9 album that had then just been released.

One of the songs with which Cohen is clearly taken is “If You Were (In My Movie):”

Cohen: If You Were In My Movie , in that song you seem to indicate that you would give wide allowance to anyown you fall in love with.

Vega: I don’t know if that’s true, maybe, probably. I don’t know.

Cohen: Is that what the song is about?

Vega: The song is about flirting. It’s a flirting kind of song. It’s a song looking at another person and saying these are qualities that you could be, that you could have within you. These are the things that I see.

Cohen: You could realize these things with me.

Vega: Yeah, if you wanted to. It’s putting a glamorous light on someone’s character. Saying these are the things that, when I look at you, these are the things I see. It’s like taking someone’s basic nature and making it more than it actually is.

Cohen: You have managed to make austerity extremely seductive. There is a very seductive quality about your record, although nothing is given away, nothing is thrown away, nothing is revealed.

Suzanne Vega – If You Were (In My Movie)
Video from haramist


Credit Due Department: Davido at LeonardCohenForum alerted me to Leonard Cohen’s favorable comments about Suzanne Vega’s songs made in the referenced interview.

Note: Originally posted June 15, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

One Reply to “Suzanne Vega’s “If You Were (In My Movie)” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox”

  1. Yuval

    The interview in question was actually Leonard Cohen interviewing Suzanne Vega, and most of the 1992 interview (which can be found in Vega’s 1999 book The Passionate Eye) dissects Vega’s recently released album “99.9F”.