Famous Blue Raincoat

Famous Blue Raincoat

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Famous Blue Raincoat

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"Famous Blue Raincoat" is a song by Leonard Cohen. It is the sixth track on his third album, Songs of Love and Hate, released 1971.


The song is written in the form of a letter, and tells the story of a love triangle between the speaker, a woman named Jane, and the addressed person, who is identified only briefly as, "my brother, my killer." Implied in the song is that Jane was either engaged to or married to the speaker, but after the events, "And you treated my woman to a flake of your life, and when she came back she was nobody's wife."

Later in the song, the speaker admits that he is partially grateful for the affair, because Jane had been troubled, and the affair alleviated it when he hadn't been able to.

The lyric contains a reference to the German love song "Lili Marlene."

Metrical form

Many of the song's lyrics are written in amphibrachs.


In the liner notes to 1975's The Best of Leonard Cohen, which includes the song, he mentions that the famous blue raincoat to which he refers actually belonged to him, and not someone else:

Ron Cornelius played guitar on Songs of Love and Hate and was Cohen's band leader for several years. He told Songfacts: "We played that song a lot before it ever went to tape. We knew it was going to be big. We could see what the crowd did - you play the Royal Albert Hall, the crowd goes crazy, and you're really saying something there. If I had to pick a favorite from the album,...
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