If there’s one Leonard Cohen song everyone should hear, it’s his heartbreaking ballad, “So Long, Marianne.” And if there’s one story every Cohen fan should know from the late poet and singer’s early years, it’s his relationship with Marianne Ihlen.
Marianne was a Norwegian woman who Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, just after she’d been left by her husband, Norwegian poet Axel Jensen. (the girl liked poets…)
She quickly became his longtime muse, and the two lived together for most of the ’60s, splitting their time between Hydra, Oslo, New York and Montreal. We can specifically thank her inspiring numerous songs on Cohen’s first two albums, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) and Songs from a Room (1969).
Now Cohen and Ihlen’s prolific partnership is the subject of a new documentary, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, which hits theaters this July. Watch the trailer below.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.