- As a response to locals being asked to stay home in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, a Facebook event was created requesting that Montrealers sing Leonard Cohen's So Long, Marianne from their balconies on March 22 at 8 p.m.
- This event is both in line with social distancing, and heartwarming — the best of both worlds!
In Barcelona, locals went on their balconies to play Céline Dion's My Heart Will Go On together (yet separately), while the people of Italy used their quarantine time to belt out a number of different songs from the comfort of their windows. And now, it's Montreal's turn. Due to the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, locals have been asked to practice social distancing for the next few weeks.
Since Cohen was a local Montrealer who left his mark on the hearts of many locals, I can't think of anyone better's lyrics to sing to our city during this time.
The Facebook event's description reads "We as Montrealers are proud of our ability to work together through difficult times... So while there are dark clouds ahead, let us gather together and conjure the spirit, endurance, and with of our favorite son - Leonard Cohen."
"Let us gather together (in our safe distances), on our porches, from our windows to summon our voices in prayer and hope in a rousing collective singalong of So Long, Marianne and some other favorites."
Back in 2016, after Cohen passed away at the age of 82, Montrealers paid tribute to him all over the city.
In reference to the song that locals will shout into the streets from their balconies on March 22, "So Long," was added to the Montreal's Marie-Anne street sign, along with "and Leonard Cohen."
Two murals of Leonard Cohen were painted on walls of our city shortly after his passing as well.
One, by artist Kevin Ledo, is found on boulevard Saint-Laurent.
And the other, named "Tower of Songs," which was done by artists Gene Pendon and El Mac, is located on rue Crescent.
Maybe some Montreal locals partaking in tonight's balcony singing will be lucky enough to see these murals while hearing Cohen's lyrics sung from the mouths of many.
The iconic chorus that Montrealers will sing tonight goes:
"Oh, so long, Marianne.
It's time that we began to laugh.
And cry and cry and laugh about it all again."
You can prepare yourself by listening to the video above on repeat until 8 p.m. tonight!
Montrealers Singing Leonard Cohen Songs From Their Balconies
What: Montrealers will sing Leonard Cohen's So Long, Marianne together from their balcony or window.
When: March 22 at 8 p.m.
Check out the Facebook event page here!
Quebec health officials released guidelines for individuals to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province. You can read about them.
More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.