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LEONARD COHEN LYRICS

 
 
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 10:57 pm
BIRD ON THE WIRE

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choire
I have tried in my way to be free

Like a worm on a hook
Like a night in some old fashioned book
I have tried in my way to be free

If I
If I've done somebody wrong
I hope that you can just let it all go by
And if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you

Like a baby stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone that reached out to me

But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
That I will make it up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me You must not ask for so much
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me Hey why not ask for more

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choire
I have tried in my way to be free
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 16,969 • Replies: 150
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 11:22 pm
Four o'clock in the afternoon
and I didn't feel like very much.
I said to myself, "Where are you golden boy,
where is your famous golden touch?"
I thought you knew where
all of the elephants lie down,
I thought you were the crown prince
of all the wheels in Ivory Town.
Just take a look at your body now,
there's nothing much to save
and a bitter voice in the mirror cries,
"Hey, Prince, you need a shave."
Now if you can manage to get
your trembling fingers to behave,
why don't you try unwrapping
a stainless steel razor blade?
That's right, it's come to this,
yes it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
wasn't it a strange way down?
There's no hot water
and the cold is running thin.
Well, what do you expect from
the kind of places you've been living in?
Don't drink from that cup,
it's all caked and cracked along the rim.
That's not the electric light, my friend,
that is your vision growing dim.
Cover up your face with soap, there,
now you're Santa Claus.
And you've got a gift for anyone
who will give you his applause.
I thought you were a racing man,
ah, but you couldn't take the pace.
That's a funeral in the mirror
and it's stopping at your face.
That's right, it's come to this,
yes it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
ah wasn't it a strange way down?

Once there was a path
and a girl with chestnut hair,
and you passed the summers
picking all of the berries that grew there;
there were times she was a woman,
oh, there were times she was just a child,
and you held her in the shadows
where the raspberries grow wild.
And you climbed the twilight mountains
and you sang about the view,
and everywhere that you wandered
love seemed to go along with you.
That's a hard one to remember,
yes it makes you clench your fist.
And then the veins stand out like highways,
all along your wrist.
And yes it's come to this,
it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
wasn't it a strange way down?

You can still find a job,
go out and talk to a friend.
On the back of every magazine
there are those coupons you can send.
Why don't you join the Rosicrucians,
they can give you back your hope,
you can find your love with diagrams
on a plain brown envelope.
But you've used up all your coupons
except the one that seems
to be written on your wrist
along with several thousand dreams.
Now Santa Claus comes forward,
that's a razor in his mit;
and he puts on his dark glasses
and he shows you where to hit;
and then the cameras pan,
the stand in stunt man,
dress rehearsal rag,
it's just the dress rehearsal rag,
you know this dress rehearsal rag,
it's just a dress rehearsal rag.
0 Replies
 
ferrous
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 10:50 am
One of Us, Can't Be Wrong

I lit a thin green candle, to make you jealous of me.
But the room just filled up with mosquitos,
they heard that my body was free.
Then I took the dust of a long sleepless night
and I put it in your little shoe.
And then I confess that I tortured the dress
that you wore for the world to look through.

I showed my heart to the doctor: he said I just have to quit.
Then he wrote himself a prescription,
and your name was mentioned in it!
Then he locked himself in a library shelf

with the details of our honeymoon,
and I hear from the nurse that he's gotten much worse
and his practice is all in a ruin.

I heard of a saint who had loved you,
so I studied all night in his school.
He taught that the duty of lovers
is to tarnish the golden rule.
And just when I was sure that his teachings were pure
he drowned himself in the pool.
His body is gone but back here on the lawn
his spirit continues to drool.

An Eskimo showed me a movie
he'd recently taken of you:
the poor man could hardly stop shivering,
his lips and his fingers were blue.
I suppose that he froze when the wind took your clothes
and I guess he just never got warm.
But you stand there so nice, in your blizzard of ice,
oh please let me come into the storm.
0 Replies
 
Peace and Love
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 11:40 am
Hi edgar....

Ah... Leonard Cohen is one of my favorites!!

here's some lyrics from his recent CD, "Ten New Songs"

"Love Itself"

The light came through the window,
Straight from the sun above,
And so inside my little room
There plunged the rays of Love.

In streams of light I clearly saw
The dust you seldom see,
Out of which the Nameless makes
A Name for one like me.

I'll try to say a little more;
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door --
Then Love Itself
Love Itself was gone.

All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance.
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance.

I'll try to say a little more;
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door --
Then Love Itself
Love Itself was gone.

Then I came back from where I'd been.
My room, it looked the same --
But there was nothing left between
The Nameless and the Name.

All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance.
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance.

I'll try to say a little more:
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door --
Then Love itself,
Love Itself was gone.
Love Itself was gone.


Very Happy
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 11:56 am
Now the courtroom is quiet, but who will confess.
Is it true you betrayed us? The answer is Yes.
Then read me the list of the crimes that are mine,
I will ask for the mercy that you love to decline.
And all the ladies go moist, and the judge has no choice,
a singer must die for the lie in his voice.
And I thank you, I thank you for doing your duty,
you keepers of truth, you guardians of beauty.
Your vision is right, my vision is wrong,
I'm sorry for smudging the air with my song.

Oh, the night it is thick, my defences are hid
in the clothes of a woman I would like to forgive,
in the rings of her silk, in the hinge of her thighs,
where I have to go begging in beauty's disguise.
Oh goodnight, goodnight, my night after night,
my night after night, after night, after night, after night, after night.

I am so afraid that I listen to you,
your sun glassed protectors they do that to you.
It's their ways to detain, their ways to disgrace,
their knee in your balls and their fist in your face.
Yes and long live the state by whoever it's made,
sir, I didn't see nothing, I was just getting home late.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:00 pm
I became involved with Cohen the same way I did with Dylan - had never heard of the man, but found his first album in a record store (with Cohen it was 1968); it looked interesting; I bought it. Got hooked with the first song.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:28 pm
A BUNCH OF LONESOME HEROES

A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes
Were smoking out along the open road
The night was very dark and thick between them
Each one beneath his ordinary load
"I'd like to tell my story"
Said one of them so young and bold
"I'd like to tell my sttory
Before I turn into gold"

But no one could really hear him
The night so dark and thick and green
Well I guess that these heroes must always live there
Where you and I have only been
Out out your cigarette my love
You've been alone too long
And some of us are very hungry now
To learn what it was you did that was so wrong

I sing this for the crickets
I sing this for the army
I sing this for your children
And for all who do not need me
"I'd like to tell my story"
Said one of them so bold
"Oh yes I'd like to tell my story
Cause you know I feel I'm turning to gold"
0 Replies
 
Peace and Love
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:33 pm
Hi edgar.....

I think I first discovered Leonard Cohen by seeing the movie "McCabe And Mrs. Miller"....

The song I remember from that movie is "Sisters Of Mercy"....


Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.
And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:
When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned.

Well they lay down beside me, I made my confession to them.
They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.
Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.
And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right,
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.


Very Happy
0 Replies
 
cobalt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:39 pm
Ah, Cohen! My favs include the album with Jennifer Warnes - "Famous Blue Raincoat" is my all-time enchanting work.

This last September I brought a gift home to Dallas and bestowed a wonderous book upon a Dillo. I will always wish I had a copy myself, but I know it is in good hands...

At this point, I believe I am to post a link, but, alas, there has been so many books written by and about, that I haven't found the one book yet! Here are a few good links.... the first is rather general but wait till you check out the Bomp Bookshelf!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0711968780/102-4378557-3049733?vi=glance
Leonard Cohen: In His Own Words, by Jim Devlin


This next link is incredible! See this subset link for Cohen "see also: Tortured Geniuses; Folk Music; Singer-Songwriters; Canadian Music" - ha ha!
The Bomp Bookshelf, index to Cohen books

Quote:

I'D LIKE TO READ


I'd like to read
one of the poems
that drove me into poetry
I can't remember one line
or where to look


The same thing
happened with money
girls and late evenings of talk


Where are the poems
that led me away
from everything I loved


to stand here
naked with the thought of finding thee

-Leonard Cohen
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:45 pm
Cohen was of course an award winning poet before he ever took to recorded song. I have books with all of his poems of the time and both of his novels. I love his way with words and the twists and turns in his thinking.
0 Replies
 
cobalt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 01:47 pm
Edgar - I read something quickly in one of the links I looked through - there was a photo of him in 1996, something about being ordained as a monk? Now called something like Jiakim? Do you know any of this?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 05:14 pm
The last thing I read of Cohen's personal life he was living the life of a Buddhist monk in California.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 06:27 pm
but not a monk, he does live in a buddhist monastary north of L.A., my brother sees him often in San Diego where he appears regularly.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2003 11:13 am
Beautiful Losers is a novel that marked my youth.

I'm Your Man is, IMHO, the best album of the eighties.

I'm your man

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man
If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I'll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver
Climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I'm your man

Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man

And if you've got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2003 11:43 am
BOOK OF MERCY. It is a paperback reprint, originally published in 1984.
Here is the first page:

I stopped to listen, but he did not come. I began again with a sense of loss. As this sense deepened I heard him again. I stopped stoppin and I stopped starting, and I allowed myself to be crushed by ignorance. This was a strategy and didn't work at all. Much time, years were wasted in such a minor mode. I bargain now. I offer buttons for his love. I beg for mercy. Slowly he yields. Haltingly he moves toward his throne. Reluctantly the angels grant to one another permission to sing. In a transition so delicate it cannot be marked, the court is established on beams of golden symmetry, and once again I am a singer in the lower choirs, born fifty years ago to raise my voice this high and no higher.

The book goes on in this way to the end. I like it, but much prefer his songs and of course BEAUTIFUL LOSERS.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2003 12:39 am
PRIESTS

And who will write love songs for you
When I am lord at last
And your body is a little highway shrine
That all my priests have passed
That all my priests have passed

My priests they will put flowers there
They will stand before the glass
But they'll wear away your little window lawn
They will trample on the grass
They will trample on the grass

And who will shoot the arrow
That all men will follow through your grace
When I am lord of memory
And all your armour has turned to lace
And all your armour has turned to lace

The simple life of heroes
The twisted life of saints
They just confuse the sunny calendar
With their red and golden paints
With their red and golden paints

And all of you have seen the dance
That God has kept from me
But he has seen me watching you
When all your minds were free
When all your minds were free

And who will write love songs for you
When I am lord at last
And your body is some little highway shrine
That all my priests have passed
That all my priests have passed
0 Replies
 
cobalt
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2003 10:57 am
Good one edgar! When I end up travelling back from Illinois into Texas and beyond out West, I surely would love to meet up with you in "Tom-Buck-Two"... Read the Fired Up Part 30 yet?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2003 09:50 pm
FIELD COMMANDER COHEN

Field Commander Cohen he was our most important spy
Wounded in the line of duty
Parachuting acid into diplomatic cocktail parties
Urging Fidel Castro to abandon fields and castles
Leave it all and like a man
Come back to nothing special
Such as waiting rooms and ticket lines
Silver bullet suicides
And messianic ocean tides
And racial roller-coaster rides
And other forms of boredom advertised as poetry

I know you need your sleep now
I know your life's been hard
But many men are falling
Where you promised to stand guard

I never asked but I heard you cast your lot along with the poor
But then I overheard your prayer
That you be this and nothing more
Than just some grateful faithful woman's favorite singing millionaire
The patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair
Working for the Yankee Dollar

I know you need your sleep now
..................

Ah lover come and lie with me if my lover is who you are
And be your sweetest self awhile until I ask for more my child
Then let the other selves be wrong yeah let them manifest and come
Til every taste is on the tongue
Til love is pierced and love is hung
And every kind of freedom done then oh
Oh my love oh my love oh my love
Oh my love oh my love oh my love
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2003 09:53 pm
and jesus was a sailor
when he walked upon the water
and when he knew for certain
only drowning men could see him
he said all men will be sailors then
until the sea shall free them.
then he sank beneath your wisdom
like a stone.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2003 09:59 pm
He himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken
Almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
0 Replies
 
 

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