sing Leonard Cohen Montreal

by David Handelman

WATCH: Montrealers united to sing a Leonard Cohen song Sunday night

Martha Wainwright led a citywide “So Long, Marianne” sing-along.

POP Montreal streamed the voice of “virtual choir master” Martha Wainwright last night at 8 p.m. to lead Montrealers in a citywide sing-along. The festival invited people across Montreal in self-isolation due to COVID-19 / Coronavirus to sing “So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen from their balconies, porches and windows. This was followed by “Le coeur est un oiseau” by Richard Desjardins and other songs. Watch it here:

Here’s what POP Montreal had to say about the event on Facebook:

“We as Montrealers are proud of our ability to work together through difficult times. We did it during the ice storm and we are ready to do it again. So while there are dark clouds ahead, let us gather together and conjure the spirit, endurance, and wit of our favorite son — Leonard Cohen.”

They also provided the lyrics for both songs:

“So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen:

Come over to the window, my little darling
I’d like to try to read your palm
I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy
Before I let you take me home

Now so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

Well, you know that I love to live with you
But you make me forget so very much
I forget to pray for the angels
And then the angels forget to pray for us

Now so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

We met when we were almost young
Deep in the green lilac park
You held on to me like I was a crucifix
As we went kneeling through the dark

Oh, so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

Your letters, they all say that you’re beside me now
Then why do I feel alone?
I’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
Is fastening my ankle to a stone

Now so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

For now I need your hidden love
I’m cold as a new razorblade
You left when I told you I was curious
I never said that I was brave

Oh, so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

Oh, you are really such a pretty one
I see you’ve gone and changed your name again
And just when I climbed this whole mountainside
To wash my eyelids in the rain

Oh, so long, Marianne
It’s time that we began to laugh
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again

“Le cœur est un oiseau” by Richard Desjardins

Par-delà les frontières
Les prairies et la mer
Dans les grandes noirceurs
Sous le feu des chasseurs
Dans les mains de la mort
Il s’envole encore
Plus haut plus haut
Le cœur est un oiseau

Dans les yeux des miradors
Dans les rues de nulle part
Au milieu des déserts
De froid de faim et de fer
Contre la tyrannie
Il refait son nid
Plus chaud plus chaud
Le cœur est un oiseau

Ce n’était qu’un orage
Ce n’était qu’une cage
Tu reprendras ta course
Tu iras à la source
Tu boiras tout le ciel
Ouvre tes ailes
Liberté, liberté
Liberté

Sing “So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen in Montreal on Sunday, March, 22, 8 p.m. See more details here.

See our recent interview with Martha Wainwright here.

For more coverage of the Montreal music scene, see the Music section.

To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.

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