The real Nancy

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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The real Nancy

Post by jarkko » Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:42 pm

Tim Challies tells the story of Nancy, his aunt:

At the end of the story you will find a link to
a photo of Nancy
Last edited by jarkko on Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:29 pm

Oh, I am so glad to have this, Jarkko. I'm going to read it now. Thank you.

~ Elizabeth

I have just read this very moving account of the song "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy," written by her nephew, Tim. I wish we had this kind of serious, in-depth exploration of the others. Thankfully, the others are not portraying such a tragic situation, with which Leonard dealt most sensitively, in memory and honour of Nancy. I was tempted but was glad that I didn't look at her picture until the end. Such a noble and beautiful face she had, yet her torment seems revealed. I agree with Tim that she sought deeper than the societal or family realms for answers. It's even sadder that nothing from the deeper realities was able to reach her in time. Such a well-written, sensitive, and wonderful tribute that Tim has written for his aunt. I'm glad he has sought to make her real, rather than letting her go. The family tragically continued to lose, yet miraculously, gained something, in the end. This is an amazing account. I'm certain people who read it will be only too glad to respect Tim's wishes regarding the photo. I certainly hope so.
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Post by Tony » Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:23 pm

A sad and deeply moving story which should remind all of us of our obligations to each other and to show humanity to every person with whom we come into contact.

Matthew. Ch.25 vv.34-40.
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Post by Paula » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:54 am

What an incredibly beautiful lady Nancy was. What a terrible shame she took her life and so young.
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:44 pm

I found comfort in Leonard's words to Tim. It simply had to mean so much to Tim that, while his family denied her in their way, Leonard memorialized Nancy in his song, with tenderness, compassion, and caring. His words to Tim, years later, showed the same deep understanding and love in tribute to her.

~ Elizabeth
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Post by Achilles » Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:08 am

Thank you Jarkko for linking this. And Thank you Tim for writing this essay about Nancy and your family.
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Post by linmag » Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:55 pm

Thank you Jarkko for the link, and to Tim for sharing this story. It is good on many levels that this can be spoken about now. There were so many young people at that time who were confused and searching and fell foul of social correctness. Even though Leonard kept her name, and his song is specifically for and about her, the very writing of it has made her a symbol for all those young people. They are all remembered through her.

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Post by MadisonB » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:04 pm

Wow. I never knew.... Its nice to get the backstory and I will hear this song in a new way next time.
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Re: The real Nancy

Post by swirling sands » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:47 pm

That's such a great story for such a great song ...
I enjoyed the song from the first time i listened to it . I never thought that the lyrics could have such a sad interpretation , as i rather pictured a more abstract Nancy , a kind of a spectral presence , as the lyrics say :
"And now you look around you,
see her everywhere,
many use her body,
many comb her hair. "

Nevertheless , "seems so long ago , nancy" remains one of my favourite ( if not the favourite ) song of leonard cohen , for leonard's mournful , and , in the same time , extremely delicate , tone , and for the sheer feeling it gives to me .
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Re: The real Nancy

Post by B4real » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:20 pm

Hi Arlene and all,

There's also this info on Nancy which was posted earlier in March 2010 to complete the story -

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=21129#p219932 ... one-at-all

It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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