Sing some Leonard Cohen from your balcony Sunday night at 8 p.m.

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In an effort to create unity as Montrealers remain housebound to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, POP Montreal is inviting everyone to sing along to Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne,” from their balconies on Sunday. Fellow Montrealer Martha Wainwright will lead the choir.

Folks are invited to sing from their balconies or out of their windows, on their roofs or their porches alongside Wainwright, whose voice will be streamed virtually.

The event’s Facebook page mentions how resilient Montrealers are as a community who lived through the 1998 ice storm, which left the city frozen and without power for more than a month. The storm saw the Montreal community come together to ensure everyone was taken care of; some offered shelter, others offered food. 

“We… are proud of our ability to work together through difficult times,” the page reads. “So while there are dark clouds ahead, let us gather together and conjure the spirit, endurance, and wit of our favorite son - Leonard Cohen.” 

The event is set to start at 8 p.m. After “So Long, Marianne,” the plan is to sing other Cohen favourites. 

The page’s description ends with a poignant Cohen lyric, from his song “Anthem”: “There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.”

Last week, in Italy, where the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a country-wide lockdown, Italians sang to each other from their balconies to keep up their spirits in trying times.

Here are the lyrics if you don't know them:

  • 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 razor blade
  • 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 

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