Dabbling With Suzanne

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This week in The Dabbler I pioneer a new form of close textual analysis of classic songs, starting with “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen. And when I say “close”, I mean close – in my attempt to winkle out the deep meaning of the song I concentrate on a single six-word phrase, jettisoning the rest of it. And when I say “winkle”, well, as you will discover when you pore over my piece, winkles and other hardy organic life-forms of the tide pool have a crucial part to play in the heretofore hidden deep structure of the song.

One unexpected advantage of my brain-numbing work was the realisation that there is a connection, albeit tentative and tangential, with my concurrent lobster research. I make no great claims for what we might call “the Suzanne lobster”, but it suffices, I think, that the word “lobsters” appears, not at all gratuitously, in my analysis.

These are hideously complicated matters, but I hope I have been able to shed some little light on them.

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