What does Suzanne mean?

Leonard Cohen: Suzanne Meaning

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Album cover for Suzanne album cover

Song Released: 1967

Suzanne Lyrics

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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 24th 2012 !⃝

    A spiritual song about Platonic love and fulfillment through the vision of another person. Suzanne lives on a houseboat on the river. She is eccentric, dressing in rags and feathers, but she is beautiful and her beauty compels the Sun to pour down it's special honey to envelope her. She shows you the beauty all around you--in the garbage and the flowers. She shows you the beauty in Humanity--the unsung heroes and the innocent, loving children. She holds the Mirror up to you, and shows you that you are beautiful and perfect--And you want to be with her forever, and you trust her because she has shown you what Love is. She even makes tea and oranges magical! And you know that God lives inside Suzanne, and like the Sailor, Jesus, sadly watching Humanity flounder,God will pull you to His Harbor by the loving guidance of Suzanne. Humanity killed Jesus, but the sky would open, and "God made into Man" (Jesus) would go home. Jesus poured God into Suzanne, and Suzanne will pour God into you through her Perfect Love. Pass it on! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God, Humanity, and The Force. I AM Suzanne!

  2. anonymous
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    Dec 14th !⃝

    Considering Leonards Jewish spiritual background the song is all about Holy Spirit.

    The invisible Spirit of God, lover of our souls, but... do we trust her, do we want to travel with her, do we dare to travel blind?

    You can trust her for she's has touched your perfectly designed body with her mind....

    Christ is the exact image of the invisible God.

    Since we were made according to God's image and likeness in Gen 1:27, though that image got lost in mankinds fall, Suzanne/Holy Spirit holds the mirror in Christ so we can see what we were made for and become when we trust her and travel with her...

    Do you want to travel with her...?

    You can trust her, for she has touched you with her mind...

    Holy Spirit is often referred to as She.

  3. anonymous
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    Mar 25th 2020 !⃝

    i have admired Cohen's lyrics and poetry for decades.
    i can not interpret his meaning or intentions.

    for me when i listen to Suzanne I see 'Mother Nature', a respect for the natural world .....

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 2nd 2017 !⃝

    Suzanne Verdal Vaillancourt was the (separated) wife of Cohen's friend Armand Vaillancourt, not the friend of Cohen's wife.

    The verse about Jesus stems from a church on the harbor in Montreal, near where Suzanne lived; part of the impressionistic portrait Cohen is poetically painting of the area, which he loved.

  5. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2012 !⃝

    He sings of a beautiful woman but perhaps confused and bewildered by the world and goes her own way she lives alone by a river far from society he never makes love to her , admires her beliefs and strength.

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2010 !⃝

    Very deep song with lots of spiritual meaning. The "Suzanne" the song is titled after is Suzanne Vaillancourt, who was a friend of Cohen's wife.

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