Cohen sang this as a duet with Jennifer Warnes, who had been singing backup for him since 1972. On Cohen's 1979 tour, they performed it together live (a version from this tour can be heard on the live album Field Commander Cohen
). Warnes told Songfacts
about recording the song.
"We did it at A&M, and Henry Lewy just said, 'Sing whatever you want.' Which is generally what Leonard always said. 'Whatever you hear. Whatever you want.' And then I would sing for 10-20 passes and then I'd go home. What ended up on the record was whatever they liked."