The song, “Suzanne”

Who knew?


Jim Warren - Waterfall

Who knew what?

Well, I was watching PBS late LATE last night.  That’s early morning, Thanksgiving Day 2009.  A guy comes on with a guitar and an old stetson hat.  It’s a dark bar setting, although I think it was an arena stage.  I think it’s maybe someone like Jack Kerouac, or Allen Ginsberg, or even Bill Shatner doing 50’s beat era poetry to music.

Maybe it’s Bob Dylan.  Nah.  This guy can almost sing..

Deep voice.  Deep mood.  But cool female backup singers.  Who is this guy?  PBS breaks to raise money.  He’s some guy named Leonard Cohen.  Never heard of  him though, the way PBS speaks of his 40-50 year career, I begin to think I should have.  I also don’t recognize any of his songs, except for “Hallelujah.”  The song sounds very familiar, but not in his voice.  The song is one a lot of amateurs sing when they pick up a guitar at sing-alongs or in church.

I listen carefully to the song titles the PBS people name.  None sound familiar. They say he’s known for a song called, “Suzanne,” but that doesn’t ring a bell either.

Sleep, wake up, turkey day, evening.

Oh, y’know, I wonder who that Leonard Cohen guy was last night?  Wikipedia. Leonard Cohen … ok, there’s the “Suzanne” song mentioned again … hmm, it was a hit for Judy Collins … ok, Youtube search … it comes right up in the indexing … let’s have a listen …

Oh boy.  Ok.  The “Suzanne” song they mentioned is THAT “Suzanne” song … …  right … That Suzanne song … that suzanne song …  right … …  … that Suzanne song …

THAT Suzanne song (YouTube)

Who knew?  That the song, “Suzanne”, one of the most sensual, beautiful, and interesting songs ever written, is a Leonard Cohen song.  Answer: lots of people. And now I know too.



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