Joan Of Arc

Album: Songs Of Love And Hate (1971)


  • 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."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Subversive Songs Used To Sell

Subversive Songs Used To SellSong Writing

Songs about drugs, revolution and greed that have been used in commercials for sneakers, jeans, fast food, cruises and cars.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Harry Shearer

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.