“[Suzanne] has a real place in my so-called career, and people do want to hear it… It can stand up.” Leonard Cohen 1988


quoteup2
You go in and out of affection for old material, and you’d like to be loved for things you’re doing now. But it [Suzanne] has a real place in my so-called career, and people do want to hear it… It can stand up.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: The Eloquence, The Songs Still Floating On The Air by Richard Harrington (Washington Post; Published in Gainesville Sun: Dec 25, 1988)

“It’s strange how that song [Suzanne] provokes discussion, it wasn’t really the intention, it’s just a song. I don’t mean the song to be anything but a song.” Leonard Cohen

From The Strange, Sad and Beautiful World of Leonard Cohen By Andrew Furnival. Petticoat: December 30, 1972. Originally posted Oct 21, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There’s the Sailors’ Church, that’s a Montreal feeling, a Montreal landscape, and when I got the fact that it was [Suzanne] who brought me down there, I was able to find a spine for the song.” Leonard Cohen

lofh-2900

quoteup2
Much of the song [Suzanne] had been written, but the focus was missing until Suzanne brought me to this warehouse where she was living, then a lot of the imagery came together. I found a focus for it because I love that part of the city. There’s the Sailors’ Church, that’s a Montreal feeling, a Montreal landscape, and when I got the fact that it was she who brought me down there, I was able to find a spine for the song. Then the second verse — ‘Jesus was a sailor’ — people feel Montreal is the Jerusalem of the north. People who were brought up there have this sense of a holy city, a city that means a lot to us. So, I was able to find a place for that second verse between those two verses about Suzanne and to give it that religious quality that the song has, which is the quality of Montreal.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From The Stranger Music of Leonard Cohen by William Ruhlmann. Goldmine: Feb 19, 1993.

Credit Due Department: Photo of the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, known as the Sailors’ Church, by Sally Hunter.

Leonard Cohen Lists Possible Responses To “For You’ve Touched Her Perfect Body With Your Mind:” “You say ‘Yeah, that’s the way it is,’ or you puke.”

Perhaps your most famous line is, “For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind” from “Suzanne.” Is it special to you?

quoteup2
People have quoted that a lot. It’s one of those lines where you either say, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it is,’ or you puke.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

“The experience [of a song]…like that Jesus verse in ‘Suzanne’, everyone knows what that means, but nobody can say what it means – And it’s that kind of event that I’m interested in.” Leonard Cohen

a182762Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331

“Writing [Suzanne] was a sheer act of desperation — of a desperado” Leonard Cohen


quoteup2
Had I not written ‘Suzanne’ presumably I would be broke and starving, as I was then. At thirty-two or thirty-four, whichever I was when I wrote it, I couldn’t pay my grocery bills, I couldn’t pay the rent, and I had a woman and child to support. Writing that song was a sheer act of desperation — of a desperado.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “Yakety Yak” by Scott Cohen (1994). Originally posted Dec 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“If the thing is authentic you tune into it immediately. You embrace it immediately. It includes you.” Leonard Cohen On Instinctively Resonating With Songs

I used to listen to that song [Suzanne] all the time. I didn’t fathom it at all but you’re saying I understood it simply because I enjoyed it instinctively.

quoteup2
Yes. If the thing is authentic you tune into it immediately. You embrace it immediately. It includes you. That’s what I mean to say. The song also includes you because it’s really authentic. Afterwards you can say why it included you, but that’s not so important.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Interview / Leonard Cohen By Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld.

Leonard Cohen On The Role Poetry Played In Writing Suzanne: “That’s the method with which you can get the accuracy”

So where did the poetry come in [in writing Suzanne]?

quoteup2
That’s my trade. That’s what I know how to do. And it’s not that I choose to do it but it seems that’s the method with which you can get the accuracy. Sometimes you hit it, all too rarely, but sometimes you hit it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!

Note: Originally posted Jan 21, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric