Evolution of a Song - "Suzanne"

by Jonas Jacobs

19 February 2010

 

The next piece has a thousand covers, but I’m only going to include the ones I find relevant personally. 

I was taken back to this song by a specific Nina Simone version from Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of Nina Simone 1967 - 1972. The lyrics of the song first appeared in a poetry book Cohen wrote in 1966. It appeared as “Suzanne takes you down.” There was also recently an LA Weekly cover piece called “Living Off the Grid” that spotlighted the actual Suzanne that Cohen wrote the poem for and what she is doing today.

Leonard Cohen is one of the many artists I was introduced to by my parents growing up. His songs always touched me deeply and below are some videos that I think help give a trajectory of how the song evolved. In this case, I have included multiple live version of Cohen singing “Suzanne,” so we can see how he has evolved as an artist and how crowds have evolved as crowds.

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

READ the article