Interviewer: Another story is that of Barbara and Lorraine, two girls, who provided hospitality to Cohen when he was lost in a blizzard in Edmonton, Alberta in ’66. He tells that story whenever he begins Sisters of Mercy, because he wrote that song for those girls and in their sleeping presence. I never believed that story so much. I always took the song as a song about a brothel. I tell him that.
Leonard Cohen: I always dedicate that song to those girls, because it really happened as I say – we did not make love, but I wrote while they slept. But maybe you are right. I do not think it matters much what a writer says about his work. The work becomes independent, leads a life of its own. For you this is about something else for someone else. I’ve told you what it’s all about for me.
Interviewer: In the evening at the concert in Amsterdam, Leonard recounts the story of the two girls again, but adds:
Leonard Cohen: It’s not an allegory, it’s exactly what happened.
From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23,. [Via Google Translate]. Photo by Sam Gray and copyrighted by Sam Gray with all rights reserved. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.