Leonard Cohen – Suzanne (promo Live in London 2008) and her story here, in Los Angeles, as told by the LA Weekly

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river 
You can hear the boats go by 
You can spend the night beside her 
And you know that she’s half crazy 
But that’s why you want to be there 

And she feeds you tea and oranges 

That come all the way from China 
And just when you mean to tell her 
That you have no love to give her 
Then she gets you on her wavelength 
And she lets the river answer 
That you’ve always been her lover 
And you want to travel with her 
And you want to travel blind 
And you know that she will trust you 
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind. 

And Jesus was a sailor 

When he walked upon the water 
And he spent a long time watching 
From his lonely wooden tower 
And when he knew for certain 
Only drowning men could see him 
He said “All men will be sailors then 
Until the sea shall free them” 
But he himself was broken 
Long before the sky would open 
Forsaken, almost human 
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone 

And you want to travel with him 

And you want to travel blind 
And you think maybe you’ll trust him 
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind. 

Now Suzanne takes your hand 
And she leads you to the river 
She is wearing rags and feathers 
From Salvation Army counters 

And the sun pours down like honey 

On our lady of the harbour 
And she shows you where to look 
Among the garbage and the flowers 

There are heroes in the seaweed 

There are children in the morning 
They are leaning out for love 
And they will lean that way forever 
While Suzanne holds the mirror 

And you want to travel with her 

And you want to travel blind 
And you know that you can trust her 
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.


You Probably Think This Song Is about You

BBC Radio 4 FM, June 1998

Suzanne Verdal McCallister interviewed by Kate Saunders

Transcription from tape by Marie Mazur

“Suzanne Verdal perches in the doorway of the little gypsy cabin
she and her son built on the back of a truck”.
Suzanne left Montreal in 1992 with his son Kahlil.  

More about Suzanne Verdal ( LA WEEKLY/LIVING OFF THE GRID:


When Suzanne Verdal decided to leave Montreal for L.A. in 1996, it made front-page news. The Montreal Gazette ran a full-color photo of a beaming Verdal cradling two cats in front of a fairy-tale wooden Gypsy camper built inside an old pickup. “Suzanne Leaving Her Place Near The River,” read the headline. She was such a local celebrity that there was no need to use her last name.

Today the camper sits at the end of a Santa Monica cul-de-sac, just outside a bungalow above the 10 freeway, where the sound of traffic competes with the sound of breaking waves. This is where Verdal is staying with her “shelter angel,” Dean. For six years until recently, she had been living in her camper.

When Verdal answers the bungalow door, she’s practically glowing, her long, black hair tied up in a scarf covered in peace signs. She’s wearing delicate pink shoes, like ballet slippers, and a long, flouncy skirt. “Come on in!” she says. We pass through the bedroom; jazz is playing softly on the radio, scrapbooks and pictures of Verdal covering the bed and parts of the floor.

She has made tea, with cream and honey, and offers fresh dates, nuts and pastries. “Oh, do you want some Camembert?” she calls from the kitchen, pronouncing Camembert like a real Québécoise, with a throaty “r.”   More…

For a  forum on this and other Leonard Cohen’s songs meaning here

One response to “Leonard Cohen – Suzanne (promo Live in London 2008) and her story here, in Los Angeles, as told by the LA Weekly

  1. Reblogged this on euzicasa and commented:

    Just a nice memory I wanted to share with you…once more time!


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