It was actually one of Pat Leonard's first versions of "Treaty" that Cohen ended up using, but only after the singer-songwriter originally rejected it. Co-producer Anjani Thomas recalled to Uncut magazine: "I remember Pat Leonard playing me this amazing track for Treaty. It was so beautiful. I cried when I heard it. Pat loved it. I loved it. I looked at Len and he said, 'You know what, it's too beautiful.' He said the music was too obviously moving, almost manipulative. Too emotional, too poignant. Too much! It was distracting him. He wanted to control it, he wanted some edge."
Pat Leonard added. "Ironically, that early version is the one that's on the record. We used to talk about 'Treaty: the Movie', as I did no less than 25 versions of Treaty. There were some really interesting ones - the last one was so interesting. I think it pushed him back to the first one. In fact, his request for me to do a little string arrangement of it was an homage to how much effort went into the damn song. He said to me that ultimately it was about the line that he didn't have. There were many variations of the chorus, and until he found what he wanted it to say, we just kept trying it."