as she came riding through the dark,
no moon to keep her armour bright,
no man to get her through this very smoky night.
She said, “I’m tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before:
a wedding dress or something white
to wear upon my swollen appetite. From the song “Joan Of Arc” by Leonard Cohen from his album Songs Of Love And Hate.
Life with Marianne According to Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen interviewed by Christian Fevret:
Are you always pushed to write when a part of desire, of your appetite is satisfied?
Marianne and I didn’t think there would be a love story. I don’t think. We thought we would live together. I know people think that if your desire for love is satisfied you have no more motivation to write but I didn’t find that to be the case. If I noticed a difference it was the opposite. There was a woman, she had a child, there were meals on the table, order in the upkeep of the house and harmony. It was the perfect moment to start to do some serious work. I was able to work a lot when I was with Marianne; I wrote Beautiful Losers and some other things. She brought a lot of order into my life.
A material order, in the way we live our daily life?
If you want to call it “material”, okay. But material is spiritual, it is the true order, there is no other. When there is food on the table, when the candles are lit, when you wash the dishes together and put the child to bed together. That is order, that is spiritual order, there is no other.
From “Comme Un Guerrier,” by Christian Fevret, Les Inrockuptibles. Translated by Sophie Miller for Throat Culture magazine, 1992.
Leonard Cohen’s Tradition of Song
Leonard Cohen in an interview with Allan Jones:
"It is, I think, a matter of tradition. You have a tradition on the one hand that says if things are bad we should not dwell on the sadness, that we should play a happy song, a merry tune. Strike up the band and dance the best we can, even if we are suffering from concussion.
"And then there’s another tradition, and this is a more Oriental or Middle Eastern tradition, which says that if things are really bad the best thing to do is sit by the grave and wail, and that’s the way you are going to feel better.
"I think both these efforts are intended to lift the spirit. And my own tradition, which is the Herbraic tradition, suggests that you sit next to the disaster and lament. The notion of the lamentation seemed to me to be the way to do it. You don’t avoid the situation - you throw yourself into it, fearlessly."
From “Leonard Cohen — London, June 1974” by Allan Jones, Uncut, January 24, 2012 (orginally published in June 1974).