I wrote this [“Suzanne”] in 1966. Suzanne [Verdal] had a room on a waterfront street in the port of Montreal. Everything happened just as it was put down. She was the wife of a man I knew. Her hospitality was immaculate. With guitar in hand, I decided to turn this poem into a song. I even sang it to Judy Collins over the telephone. She immediately liked something about the song but couldn’t tell me what it was. The publishing rights were lost in New York City and it is probably appropriate that I don’t own this song. Just the other day I heard some people singing it on a ship in the Caspian Sea.
From “Some Notes On The Songs” on back cover of The Best of Leonard Cohen album (1975)