Joan Of Arc

Album: Songs Of Love And Hate (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • Joan Of Arc was a young woman of modest means who rose to legend in France by leading an army to victory at Orléans against English forces. She was eventually captured, and in 1431, at age 19, she was burned at the stake.

    Cohen's song imagines a conversation between Joan and the flames that consume her. In his tale, they form a bond as the fire turns her to ash. Destiny and sacrifice are some of the themes.
  • Cohen implied that his inspiration for the song was Nico, who sang with the Velvet Underground. Cohen was a formidable ladies' man, but he couldn't win the heart of the German singer.
  • When Cohen started performing this song in 1970, he called it "The Marriage of Joan Of Arc."
  • Cohen sang this as a duet with Jennifer Warnes on Famous Blue Raincoat, her 1986 album of his songs. It was one of nine songs chosen for the set, which helped boost Cohen's profile in America. At the time, Warnes had a much bigger following in that country, thanks in large part to her #1 Joe Cocker duet "Up Where We Belong."

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