Leonard Cohen Lyrics page - complete collection


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This page contains html version. Albums of Leonard Cohen:

Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968)
Songs From A Room (1969)
Songs Of Love And Hate (1970)
Live Songs (1973)
New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974)
Death Of A Ladies' Man (1977)
Recent Songs (1979)
Various Positions (1984)
I'm Your Man (1988)
The Future (1992)

Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968)

         Suzanne
         Master Song
         Winter Lady
         The Stranger Song
         Sisters of Mercy
         So Long, Marianne
         Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
         Stories of the Street
         Teachers
         One of Us Cannot Be Wrong

 Suzanne
 
Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.
 
And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
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"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.
 
Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

Master Song
 
I believe that you heard your master sing
when I was sick in bed.
I suppose that he told you everything
that I keep locked away in my head.
Your master took you travelling,
well at least that's what you said.
And now do you come back to bring
your prisoner wine and bread?
 
You met him at some temple, where
they take your clothes at the door.
He was just a numberless man in a chair
who'd just come back from the war.
And you wrap up his tired face in your hair
and he hands you the apple core.
Then he touches your lips now so suddenly bare
of all the kisses we put on some time before.
 
And he gave you a German Shepherd to walk
with a collar of leather and nails,
and he never once made you explain or talk
about all of the little details,
such as who had a word and who had a rock,
and who had you through the mails.
Now your love is a secret all over the block,
and it never stops not even when your master fails.
 
And he took you up in his aeroplane,
which he flew without any hands,
and you cruised above the ribbons of rain
that drove the crowd from the stands.
Then he killed the lights in a lonely Lane
and, an ape with angel glands,
erased the final wisps of pain
with the music of rubber bands.
 
And now I hear your master sing,
you kneel for him to come.
His body is a golden string
that your body is hanging from.
His body is a golden string,
my body has grown numb.
Oh now you hear your master sing,
your shirt is all undone.
 
And will you kneel beside this bed
that we polished so long ago,
before your master chose instead
to make my bed of snow?
Your eyes are wild and your knuckles are red
and you're speaking far too low.
No I can't make out what your master said
before he made you go.
 
Then I think you're playing far too rough
for a lady who's been to the moon;
I've lain by this window long enough
to get used to an empty room.
And your love is some dust in an old man's cough
who is tapping his foot to a tune,
and your thighs are a ruin, you want too much,
let's say you came back some time too soon.
 
I loved your master perfectly
I taught him all that he knew.
He was starving in some deep mystery
like a man who is sure what is true.
And I sent you to him with my guarantee
I could teach him something new,
and I taught him how you would long for me
no matter what he said no matter what you'd do.
 
I believe that you heard your master sing
while I was sick in bed,
I'm sure that he told you everything
I must keep locked away in my head.
Your master took you travelling,
well at least that's what you said,
And now do you come back to bring
your prisoner wine and bread?

  Winter Lady
 
Trav'ling lady, stay awhile
until the night is over.
I'm just a station on your way,
I know I'm not your lover.
 
Well I lived with a child of snow
when I was a soldier,
and I fought every man for her
until the nights grew colder.
 
She used to wear her hair like you
except when she was sleeping,
and then she'd weave it on a loom
of smoke and gold and breathing.
 
And why are you so quiet now
standing there in the doorway?
You chose your journey long before
you came upon this highway.
 
Trav'ling lady stay awhile
until the night is over.
I'm just a station on your way,
I know I'm not your lover.
 
Stranger Song
 
It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender,
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.
 
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much
not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
 
And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.
 
But now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams
as though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
his golden arm dispatching cards
but now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter.
 
Ah you hate to see another tired man
lay down his hand
like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder.
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder.
 
You tell him to come in sit down
but something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It's you my love, you who are the stranger.
 
Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this
or any other matter
When he talks like this
you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this,
you don't know what he's after.
 
Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
upon the shore, beneath the bridge
that they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform
for the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later.
 
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind ...
 
And leaning on your window sill ...
 
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

  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.

  So Long Marianne
 
Come over to the window, my little darling,
I'd like to try to read your palm.
I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy
before I let you take me home.
 
Now so long, Marianne, it's time that we began
to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.
 
Well you know that I love to live with you,
but you make me forget so very much.
I forget to pray for the angels
and then the angels forget to pray for us.
 
Now so long, Marianne, it's time that we began ...
 
We met when we were almost young
deep in the green lilac park.
You held on to me like I was a crucifix,
as we went kneeling through the dark.
 
Oh so long, Marianne, it's time that we began ...
 
Your letters they all say that you're beside me now.
Then why do I feel alone?
I'm standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
is fastening my ankle to a stone.
 
Now so long, Marianne, it's time that we began ...
 
For now I need your hidden love.
I'm cold as a new razor blade.
You left when I told you I was curious,
I never said that I was brave.
 
Oh so long, Marianne, it's time that we began ...
 
Oh, you are really such a pretty one.
I see you've gone and changed your name again.
And just when I climbed this whole mountainside,
to wash my eyelids in the rain!
 
Oh so long, Marianne, it's time that we began ...
 
 
  Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it's come to distances and both of us must try,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
 
I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time,
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
 
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.

  Stories of the Street
 
The stories of the street are mine, the Spanish voices laugh.
The Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas,
and I lean from my window sill in this old hotel I chose,
yes one hand on my suicide, one hand on the rose.
 
I know you've heard it's over now and war must surely come,
the cities they are broke in half and the middle men are gone.
But let me ask you one more time, O children of the dusk,
All these hunters who are shrieking now oh do they speak for us?
 
And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?
Why are the armies marching still that were coming home to me?
O lady with your legs so fine O stranger at your wheel,
You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal.
 
The age of lust is giving birth, and both the parents ask
the nurse to tell them fairy tales on both sides of the glass.
And now the infant with his cord is hauled in like a kite,
and one eye filled with blueprints, one eye filled with night.
 
O come with me my little one, we will find that farm
and grow us grass and apples there and keep all the animals warm.
And if by chance I wake at night and I ask you who I am,
O take me to the slaughterhouse, I will wait there with the lamb.
 
With one hand on the hexagram and one hand on the girl
I balance on a wishing well that all men call the world.
We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky,
and lost among the subway crowds I try to catch your eye.

  Teachers
 
I met a woman long ago
her hair the black that black can go,
Are you a teacher of the heart?
Soft she answered no.
 
I met a girl across the sea,
her hair the gold that gold can be,
Are you a teacher of the heart?
Yes, but not for thee.
 
I met a man who lost his mind
in some lost place I had to find,
follow me the wise man said,
but he walked behind.
 
I walked into a hospital
where none was sick and none was well,
when at night the nurses left
I could not walk at all.
 
Morning came and then came noon,
dinner time a scalpel blade
lay beside my silver spoon.
 
Some girls wander by mistake
into the mess that scalpels make.
Are you the teachers of my heart?
We teach old hearts to break.
 
One morning I woke up alone,
the hospital and the nurses gone.
Have I carved enough my Lord?
Child, you are a bone.
 
I ate and ate and ate,
no I did not miss a plate, well
How much do these suppers cost?
We'll take it out in hate.
 
I spent my hatred everyplace,
on every work on every face,
someone gave me wishes
and I wished for an embrace.
 
Several girls embraced me, then
I was embraced by men,
Is my passion perfect?
No, do it once again.
 
I was handsome I was strong,
I knew the words of every song.
Did my singing please you?
No, the words you sang were wrong.
 
Who is it whom I address,
who takes down what I confess?
Are you the teachers of my heart?
We teach old hearts to rest.
 
Oh teachers are my lessons done?
I cannot do another one.
They laughed and laughed and said, Well child,
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?

One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

D e G D
D e G A
h A G D
e C a [or perhaps e] D C

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.

Songs From A Room (1969)

         Bird on the Wire
         Story of Isaac
         A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes
         The Partisan
         Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
         The Old Revolution
         The Butcher
         You Know Who I Am
         Lady Midnight
         Tonight Will Be Fine

  Bird on the Wire
 
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, 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 who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all 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?"
 
Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

  Story of Isaac
 
The door it opened slowly,
my father he came in,
I was nine years old.
And he stood so tall above me,
his blue eyes they were shining
and his voice was very cold.
He said, "I've had a vision
and you know I'm strong and holy,
I must do what I've been told."
So he started up the mountain,
I was running, he was walking,
and his axe was made of gold.
 
Well, the trees they got much smaller,
the lake a lady's mirror,
we stopped to drink some wine.
Then he threw the bottle over.
Broke a minute later
and he put his hand on mine.
Thought I saw an eagle
but it might have been a vulture,
I never could decide.
Then my father built an altar,
he looked once behind his shoulder,
he knew I would not hide.
 
You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father's hand was trembling
with the beauty of the word.
 
And if you call me brother now,
forgive me if I inquire,
"Just according to whose plan?"
When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must,
I will help you if I can.
When it all comes down to dust
I will help you if I must,
I will kill you if I can.
And mercy on our uniform,
man of peace or man of war,
the peacock spreads his fan.

  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 man 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 story,
before I turn into gold."
 
But no one really could 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.
Put out your cigarette, my love,
you've been alone too long;
and some of us are very hungry now
to hear what it is you've done 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 into gold."

  The Partisan
(by Anna Marly/Hy Zaret)
 
When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
 
I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.
 
An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.
 
There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.
 
Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.
 
Les Allemands e'taient chez moi,      [The Germans were at my home
ils me dirent, "Signe toi,"                         They said, "Sign yourself,"
mais je n'ai pas peur;                                 But I am not afraid
j'ai repris mon arme.                                  I have retaken my weapon.

 


J'ai change' cent fois de nom,                         I have changed names a hundred times
j'ai perdu femme et enfants                            I have lost wife and children
mais j'ai tant d'amis;                                 But I have so many friends
j'ai la France entie`re.                               I have all of France  
Un vieil homme dans un grenier         An old man, in an attic
pour la nuit nous a cache',                            Hid us for the night
les Allemands l'ont pris;                              The Germans captured him
il est mort sans surprise.                             He died without surprise.]  

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.
 

Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
 
It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
looking ate the Late Late show
through a semi-precious stone.
In the House of Honesty
her father was on trial,
in the House of Mystery
there was no one at all,
there was no one at all.
 
It seems so long ago,
none of us were strong;
Nancy wore green stockings
and she slept with everyone.
She never said she'd wait for us
although she was alone,
I think she fell in love for us
in nineteen sixty one,
in nineteen sixty one.
 
It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
a forty five beside her head,
an open telephone.
We told her she was beautiful,
we told her she was free
but none of us would meet her in
the House of Mystery,
the House of Mystery.
 
And now you look around you,
see her everywhere,
many use her body,
many comb her hair.
In the hollow of the night
when you are cold and numb
you hear her talking freely then,
she's happy that you've come,
she's happy that you've come.
 

The Old Revolution
 

I finally broke into the prison,
I found my place in the chain.
Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows,
all the brave young men
they're waiting now to see a signal
which some killer will be lighting for pay.
 
Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,
you whom I cannot betray.
 
I fought in the old revolution
on the side of the ghost and the King.
Of course I was very young
and I thought that we were winning;
I can't pretend I still feel very much like singing
as they carry the bodies away.
 
Into this furnace I ask you now to venture...
 
Lately you've started to stutter
as though you had nothing to say.
To all of my architects let me be traitor.
Now let me say I myself gave the order
to sleep and to search and to destroy.
 
Into this furnace I ask you now to venture...
 
Yes, you who are broken by power,
you who are absent all day,
you who are kings for the sake of your children's story,
the hand of your beggar is burdened down with money,
the hand of your lover is clay.
 
Into this furnace I ask you now to venture...
 

The Butcher
 

I came upon a butcher,
he was slaughtering a lamb,
I accused him there
with his tortured lamb.
He said, "Listen to me, child,
I am what I am
and you, you are my only son."
 
Well, I found a silver needle,
I put it into my arm.
It did some good,
did some harm.
But the nights were cold
and it almost kept me warm,
how come the night is long?
 
I saw some flowers growing up
where that lamb fell down;
was I supposed to praise my Lord,
make some kind of joyful sound?
He said, "Listen, listen to me now,
I go round and round
and you, you are my only child."
 
Do not leave me now,
do not leave me now,
I'm broken down
from a recent fall.
Blood upon my body
and ice upon my soul,
lead on, my son, it is your world.  

You Know Who I Am
 
I cannot follow you, my love,
you cannot follow me.
I am the distance you put between
all of the moments that we will be.
 
You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.
 
Sometimes I need you naked,
sometimes I need you wild,
I need you to carry my children in
and I need you to kill a child.
 
You know who I am...
 
If you should ever track me down
I will surrender there
and I will leave with you one broken man
whom I will teach you to repair.
 
You know who I am...
 
I cannot follow you, my love,
you cannot follow me.
I am the distance you put between
all of the moments that we will be.
 
You know who I am...
 

Lady Midnight
 
I came by myself to a very crowded place;
I was looking for someone who had lines in her face.
I found her there but she was past all concern;
I asked her to hold me, I said, "Lady, unfold me,"
but she scorned me and she told me
I was dead and I could never return.
 
Well, I argued all night like so many have before,
saying, "Whatever you give me, I seem to need so much more."
Then she pointed at me where I kneeled on her floor,
she said, "Don't try to use me or slyly refuse me,
just win me or lose me,
it is this that the darkness is for."
 
I cried, "Oh, Lady Midnight, I fear that you grow old,
the stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold."
"If we cry now," she said, "it will just be ignored."
So I walked through the morning, sweet early morning,
I could hear my lady calling,
"You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
yes, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord."  

Tonight Will Be Fine
 
Sometimes I find I get to thinking of the past.
We swore to each other then that our love would surely last.
You kept right on loving, I went on a fast,
now I am too thin and your love is too vast.
 
But I know from your eyes
and I know from your smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.
 
I choose the rooms that I live in with care,
the windows are small and the walls almost bare,
there's only one bed and there's only one prayer;
I listen all night for your step on the stair.
 
But I know from your eyes
and I know from your smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.
 
Oh sometimes I see her undressing for me,
she's the soft naked lady love meant her to be
and she's moving her body so brave and so free.
If I've got to remember that's a fine memory.
 
And I know from her eyes
and I know from her smile
that tonight will be fine,
will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
for a while.

Songs Of Love And Hate (1970)

         Avalanche
         Last Year's Man
         Dress Rehersal Rag
         Diamonds in the Mine
         Love Calls You By Your Name
         Famous Blue Raincoat
         Sing Another Song, Boys
         Joan of Arc
 

Avalanche

 
Well I stepped into an avalanche,
it covered up my soul;
when I am not this hunchback that you see,
I sleep beneath the golden hill.
You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn, learn to serve me well.
 
You strike my side by accident
as you go down for your gold.
The cripple here that you clothe and feed
is neither starved nor cold;
he does not ask for your company,
not at the centre, the centre of the world.
 
When I am on a pedestal,
you did not raise me there.
Your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare.
I myself am the pedestal
for this ugly hump at which you stare.
 
You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn what makes me kind;
the crumbs of love that you offer me,
they're the crumbs I've left behind.
Your pain is no credential here,
it's just the shadow, shadow of my wound.
 
I have begun to long for you,
I who have no greed;
I have begun to ask for you,
I who have no need.
You say you've gone away from me,
but I can feel you when you breathe.
 
Do not dress in those rags for me,
I know you are not poor;
you don't love me quite so fiercely now
when you know that you are not sure,
it is your turn, beloved,
it is your flesh that I wear.
 

Last Year's Man
 
The rain falls down on last year's man,
that's a jew's harp on the table,
that's a crayon in his hand.
And the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rolled
far past the stems of thumbtacks
that still throw shadows on the wood.
And the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man.
 
I met a lady, she was playing with her soldiers in the dark
oh one by one she had to tell them
that her name was Joan of Arc.
I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while;
I want to thank you, Joan of Arc,
for treating me so well.
And though I wear a uniform I was not born to fight;
all these wounded boys you lie beside,
goodnight, my friends, goodnight.
 
I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived;
Bethlehem the bridegroom,
Babylon the bride.
Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me,
and Bethlehem inflamed us both
like the shy one at some orgy.
And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail.
 
Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain
so I hang upon my altar
and I hoist my axe again.
And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began
when Jesus was the honeymoon
and Cain was just the man.
And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin
that the wilderness is gathering
all its children back again.
 
The rain falls down on last year's man,
an hour has gone by
and he has not moved his hand.
But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
the lovers will rise up
and the mountains touch the ground.
But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man.
 

Dress Rehearsal Rag
 
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.

Diamonds in the Mine
 
The woman in blue, she's asking for revenge,
the man in white -- that's you -- says he has no friends.
The river is swollen up with rusty cans
and the trees are burning in your promised land.
 
And there are no letters in the mailbox,
and there are no grapes upon the vine,
and there are no chocolates in the boxes anymore,
and there are no diamonds in the mine.
 
Well, you tell me that your lover has a broken limb,
you say you're kind of restless now and it's on account of him.
Well, I saw the man in question, it was just the other night,
he was eating up a lady where the lions and Christians fight.
 
And there are no letters in the mailbox
and there are no grapes upon the vine,
and there are no chocolates in the boxes anymore,
and there are no diamonds in the mine.
 
(You tell them now)
 
Ah, there is no comfort in the covens of the witch,
some very clever doctor went and sterilized the bitch,
and the only man of energy, yes the revolution's pride,
he trained a hundred women just to kill an unborn child.
 
And there are no letters in the mailbox,
oh no, there are no, no grapes upon your vine,
and there are, there are no chocolates in your boxes anymore,
and there are no diamonds in your mine.
And there are no letters in the mailbox,
and there are no grapes upon the vine,
and there are no chocolates in your boxes anymore,
and there are no diamonds in your mine.
 

Love Calls You By Your Name
 
You thought that it could never happen
to all the people that you became,
your body lost in legend, the beast so very tame.
But here, right here,
between the birthmark and the stain,
between the ocean and your open vein,
between the snowman and the rain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
 
The women in your scrapbook
whom you still praise and blame,
you say they chained you to your fingernails
and you climb the halls of fame.
Oh but here, right here,
between the peanuts and the cage,
between the darkness and the stage,
between the hour and the age,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
 
Shouldering your loneliness
like a gun that you will not learn to aim,
you stumble into this movie house,
then you climb, you climb into the frame.
Yes, and here, right here
between the moonlight and the lane,
between the tunnel and the train,
between the victim and his stain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
 
I leave the lady meditating
on the very love which I, I do not wish to claim,
I journey down the hundred steps,
but the street is still the very same.
And here, right here,
between the dancer and his cane,
between the sailboat and the drain,
between the newsreel and your tiny pain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
 
Where are you, Judy, where are you, Anne?
Where are the paths your heroes came?
Wondering out loud as the bandage pulls away,
was I, was I only limping, was I really lame?
Oh here, come over here,
between the windmill and the grain,
between the sundial and the chain,
between the traitor and her pain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
 

Famous Blue Raincoat
 
It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.
 
I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record.
 
Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?
 
Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene
 
And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife.
 
Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake --
 
She sends her regards.
 
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way.
 
If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.
 
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.
 
And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear --
 
Sincerely, L. Cohen
 

Sing Another Song, Boys
 
(Let's sing another song, boys, this one has grown old and bitter.)
 
Ah his fingernails, I see they're broken,
his ships they're all on fire.
The moneylender's lovely little daughter
ah, she's eaten, she's eaten with desire.
She spies him through the glasses
from the pawnshops of her wicked father.
She hails him with a microphone
that some poor singer, just like me, had to leave her.
She tempts him with a clarinet,
she waves a Nazi dagger.
She finds him lying in a heap;
she wants to be his woman.
He says, "Yes, I might go to sleep
but kindly leave, leave the future,
leave it open."
 
He stands where it is steep,
oh I guess he thinks that he's the very first one,
his hand upon his leather belt now
like it was the wheel of some big ocean liner.
And she will learn to touch herself so well
as all the sails burn down like paper.
And he has lit the chain
of his famous cigarillo.
Ah, they'll never, they'll never ever reach the moon,
at least not the one that we're after;
it's floating broken on the open sea, look out there, my friends,
and it carries no survivors.
But lets leave these lovers wondering
why they cannot have each other,
and let's sing another song, boys,
this one has grown old and bitter.
 

Joan of Arc
 
Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
as she came riding through the dark;
no moon to keep her armour bright,
no man to get her through this very smoky night.
She said, "I'm tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before,
a wedding dress or something white
to wear upon my swollen appetite."
 
Well, I'm glad to hear you talk this way,
you know I've watched you riding every day
and something in me yearns to win
such a cold and lonesome heroine.
"And who are you?" she sternly spoke
to the one beneath the smoke.
"Why, I'm fire," he replied,
"And I love your solitude, I love your pride."
 
"Then fire, make your body cold,
I'm going to give you mine to hold,"
saying this she climbed inside
to be his one, to be his only bride.
And deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and high above the wedding guests
he hung the ashes of her wedding dress.
 
It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

Live Songs (1973)

         Minute Prologue
         Passing Through
         You Know Who I Am
         Bird on the Wire
         Nancy [actually "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy"]
         Improvisation
         Story of Isaac
         Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace)
         Tonight Will Be Fine
         Queen Victoria
 

Minute Prologue
 
I've been listening
to all the dissention.
I've been listening
to all the pain.
And I feel that no matter
what I do for you,
it's going to come back again.
But I think that I can heal it,
but I think that I can heal it,
I'm a fool, but I think I can heal it
with this song.
 

Passing Through
(Traditional Song)
 
I saw Jesus on the cross on a hill called Calvary
"Do you hate mankind for what they done to you?"
He said, "Talk of love not hate, things to do - it's getting late.
I've so little time and I'm only passing through."
 
Passing through, passing through.
Sometimes happy, sometimes blue,
glad that I ran into you.
Tell the people that you saw me passing through.
 
I saw Adam leave the Garden with an apple in his hand,
I said "Now you're out, what are you going to do?"
"Plant some crops and pray for rain, maybe raise a little cane.
I'm an orphan now, and I'm only passing through."
 
Passing through, passing through ...
 
I was with Washington at Valley Ford, shivering in the snow.
I said, "How come the men here suffer like they do?"
"Men will suffer, men will fight, even die for what is right
even though they know they're only passing through"
 
Passing through, passing through ...
 
I was with Franklin Roosevelt's side on the night before he died.
He said, "One world must come out of World War Two" (ah, the fool)
"Yankee, Russian, white or tan," he said, "A man is still a man.
We're all on one road, and we're only passing through."
 
Passing through, passing through ...
 
(let's do it one more time)
 
Passing through, passing through ...
 
Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace)
 
I was walking in New York City and I brushed up against the man in front of me. I felt a cardboard placard on his back. And
when we passed a streetlight, I could read it, it said "Please don't pass me by - I am blind, but you can see - I've been blinded
totally - Please don't pass me by." I was walking along 7th Avenue, when I came to 14th Street I saw on the corner curious
mutilations of the human form; it was a school for handicapped people. And there were cripples, and people in wheelchairs and
crutches and it was snowing, and I got this sense that the whole city was singing this:
 
Oh please don't pass me by,
oh please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, but you can see,
yes, I've been blinded totally,
oh please don't pass me by.
 
And you know as I was walking I thought it was them who were singing it, I thought it was they who were singing it, I thought it
was the other who was singing it, I thought it was someone else. But as I moved along I knew it was me, and that I was singing
it to myself. It went:
 
Please don't pass me by,
oh please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, but you can see,
well, I've been blinded totally,
oh please don't pass me by.
 
Oh please don't pass me by.
 
Now I know that you're sitting there deep in your velvet seats and you're thinking "Uh, he's up there saying something that he
thinks about, but I'll never have to sing that song." But I promise you friends, that you're going to be singing this song: it may not
be tonight, it may not be tomorrow, but one day you'll be on your knees and I want you to know the words when the time
comes. Because you're going to have to sing it to yourself, or to another, or to your brother. You're going to have to learn to
sing this song, it goes:
 
Please don't pass me by,
ah you don't have to sing this .. not for you.
Please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, but you can see,
yes, I've been blinded totally,
oh please don't pass me by.
 
Well I sing this for the Jews and the Gypsies and the smoke that they made. And I sing this for the children of England, their
faces so grave. And I sing this for a saviour with no one to save. Hey, won't you be naked for me? Hey, won't you be naked
for me? It goes:
 
Please don't pass me by,
oh please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, but you can see,
yes, I've been blinded totally,
oh now, please don't pass me by.
 
Now there's nothing that I tell you that will help you connect the blood tortured night with the day that comes next. But I want it
to hurt you, I want it to end. Oh, won't you be naked for me? Oh now:
 
Please don't pass me by,
oh please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, but you can see,
but I've been blinded totally,
oh, please don't pass me by.
 
Well I sing this song for you Blonde Beasts, I sing this song for you Venuses upon your shells on the foam of the sea. And I sing
this for the freaks and the cripples, and the hunchback, and the burned, and the burning, and the maimed, and the broken, and
the torn, and all of those that you talk about at the coffee tables, at the meetings, and the demonstrations, on the streets, in your
music, in my songs. I mean the real ones that are burning, I mean the real ones that are burning
 
I say, please don't pass me by,
oh now, please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, yeah but you can see,
ah now, I've been blinded totally,
oh no, please don't pass me by.
 
I know that you still think that its me. I know that you think that there's somebody else. I know that these words aren't yours.
But I tell you friends that one day
 
You're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down on your knees,
you're going to get down ..
 
Oh, please don't pass me by,
oh, please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, yeah but you can see,
yes, I've been blinded totally,
oh, please don't pass me by.
 
Well you know I have my songs and I have my poems. I have my book and I have the army, and sometimes I have your
applause. I make some money, but you know what my friends, I'm still out there on the corner. I'm with the freaks, I'm with the
hunted, I'm with the maimed, yes I'm with the torn, I'm with the down, I'm with the poor. Come on now ...
 
Ah, please don't pass me by,
well I've got to go now friends,
but, please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, yeah but you can see,
oh, I've been blinded, I've been blinded totally,
oh now, please don't pass me by.
 
Now I want to take away my dignity, yes take my dignity. My friends, take my dignity, take my form, take my style, take my
honour, take my courage, take my time, take my time, .. time .. 'Cause you know I'm with you singing this song. And I wish you
would, I wish you would, I wish you would go home with someone else. Wish you'd go home with someone else. I wish you'd
go home with someone else. Don't be the person that you came with. Oh, don't be the person that you came with, Oh don't be
the person that you came with. Ah, I'm not going to be. I can't stand him. I can't stand who I am. That's why I've got to get
down on my knees. Because I can't make it by myself. I'm not by myself anymore because the man I was before he was a
tyrant, he was a slave, he was in chains, he was broken and then he sang:
 
Oh, please don't pass me by,
oh, please don't pass me by,
for I am blind, yes I am blind, Oh but you can see,
yes, I've been blinded totally,
oh, please don't pass me by.
 
Well I hope I see you out there on the corner. Yeah I hope as I go by that I hear you whisper with the breeze. Because I'm
going to leave you now, I'm going to find me someone new. Find someone knew.
 
And please don't pass me by.
 

Queen Victoria
(A Cohen poem set to music)
 
Queen Victoria,
My father and all his tobacco loved you,
I love you too in all your forms,
the slim and lovely virgin floating among German beer,
the mean governess of the huge pink maps,
the solitary mourner of a prince.
 
Queen Victoria,
I am cold and rainy,
I am dirty as a glass roof in a train station,
I feel like an empty cast iron exhibition,
I want ornaments on everything,
ybecause my love, she gone with other boys.
 
Queen Victoria,
do you have a punishment under the white lace,
will you be short with her, will you make her read those little Bibles,
will you spank her with a mechanical corset.
I want her pure as power, I want her skin slightly musty with petticoats
will you wash the easy bidet out of her head?
 
Queen Victoria,
I'm not much nourished by modern love,
will you come into my life
with your sorrow and your black carriages,
And your perfect
memories.
 
Queen Victoria,
the Twentieth Century belongs to you and me.
Let us be two severe giants not less lonely for our partnership,
who discolour test tubes in the halls of Science,
who turn up unwelcome at every World's Fair,
heavy with proverbs and corrections,
confusing the star-dazed tourists
with our incomparable sense of loss.

New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974)

         Is This What You Wanted?
         Chelsea Hotel #2
         Lover Lover Lover
         Field Commander Cohen
         Why Don't You Try
         There is A War
         A Singer Must Die
         I Tried to Leave You
         Who By Fire
         Take This Longing
         Leaving Green Sleeves
 

Is This What You Wanted
 
You were the promise at dawn,
I was the morning after.
You were Jesus Christ my Lord,
I was the money lender.
You were the sensitive woman,
I was the very reverend Freud.
You were the manual orgasm,
I was the dirty little boy.
 
And is this what you wanted
to live in a house that is haunted
by the ghost of you and me?
 
Is this what you wanted ...
 
You were Marlon Brando,
I was Steve McQueen.
You were K.Y. Jelly,
I was Vaseline.
You were the father of modern medicine,
I was Mr. Clean.
You where the whore and the beast of Babylon,
I was Rin Tin Tin.
 
And is this what you wanted ...
 
And is this what you wanted ...
 
You got old and wrinkled,
I stayed seventeen.
You lusted after so many,
I lay here with one.
You defied your solitude,
I came through alone.
You said you could never love me,
I undid your gown.
 
And is this what you wanted ...
 
And is this what you wanted ...
 
I mean is this what you wanted ...
 
That's right, is this what you wanted ...

Chelsea Hotel #2
 
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
 
Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.
 
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music."
 
And then you got away, didn't you babe...
 
I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can't keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that's all, I don't even think of you that often.
 

Lover Lover Lover
 
I asked my father,
I said, "Father change my name."
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame.
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me,
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 
He said, "I locked you in this body,
I meant it as a kind of trial.
You can use it for a weapon,
or to make some woman smile."
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 
"Then let me start again," I cried,
"please let me start again,
I want a face that's fair this time,
I want a spirit that is calm."
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 
"I never never turned aside," he said,
"I never walked away.
It was you who built the temple,
it was you who covered up my face."
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 
And may the spirit of this song,
may it rise up pure and free.
May it be a shield for you,
a shield against the enemy.
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 
Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.
 

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 favourite 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
till every taste is on the tongue,
till 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.
 

Why Don't You Try
 
Why don't you try to do without him?
Why don't you try to live alone?
Do you really need his hands for your passion?
Do you really need his heart for your throne?
Do you need his labour for your baby?
Do you need his beast for the bone?
Do you need to hold a leash to be a lady?
I know you're going to make, make it on your own.
 
Why don't your try to forget him?
Just open up your dainty little hand.
You know this life is filled with many sweet companions,
many satisfying one-night stands.
Do you want to be the ditch around a tower?
Do you want to be the moonlight in his cave?
Do you want to give your blessing to his power
as he goes whistling past his daddy, past his daddy's grave.
 
I'd like to take you take you to the ceremony,
well, that is if I remember the way.
You see Jack and Jill they're going to join their misery,
I'm afraid it's time for everyone to pray.
You can see they've finally taken cover,
they're willing, yeah they're willing to obey.
Their vows are difficult, they're for each other,
so let nobody put a loophole, a loophole in their way.
 

There is a War
 
There is a war between the rich and poor,
a war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
and the ones who say there isn't.
 
Why don't you come on back to the war, that's right, get in it,
why don't you come on back to the war, it's just beginning.
 
Well I live here with a woman and a child,
the situation makes me kind of nervous.
Yes, I rise up from her arms, she says "I guess you call this love";
I call it service.
 
Why don't you come on back to the war, don't be a tourist,
why don't you come on back to the war, before it hurts us,
why don't you come on back to the war, let's all get nervous.
 
You cannot stand what I've become,
you much prefer the gentleman I was before.
I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control,
I didn't even know there was a war.
 
Why don't you come on back to the war, don't be embarrassed,
why don't you come on back to the war, you can still get married.
 
There is a war between the rich and poor,
a war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the left and right,
a war between the black and white,
a war between the odd and the even.
 
Why don't you come on back to the war, pick up your tiny burden,
why don't you come on back to the war, let's all get even,
why don't you come on back to the war, can't you hear me speaking?
 

A Singer Must Die
 
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.
 

I Tried To Leave You
 
I tried to leave you, I don't deny
I closed the book on us, at least a hundred times.
I'd wake up every morning by your side.
 
The years go by, you lose your pride.
The baby's crying, so you do not go outside,
and all your work it's right before your eyes.
 
Goodnight, my darling, I hope you're satisfied,
the bed is kind of narrow, but my arms are open wide.
And here's a man still working for your smile.
 

Who By Fire
 
And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?
 
And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
and who by avalanche, who by powder,
who for his greed, who for his hunger,
and who shall I say is calling?
 
And who by brave assent, who by accident,
who in solitude, who in this mirror,
who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
who in mortal chains, who in power,
and who shall I say is calling?
 

Take This Longing
 
Many men have loved the bells
you fastened to the rein,
and everyone who wanted you
they found what they will always want again.
Your beauty lost to you yourself
just as it was lost to them.
 
Oh take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things these hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love.
 
Your body like a searchlight
my poverty revealed,
I would like to try your charity
until you cry, "Now you must try my greed."
And everything depends upon
how near you sleep to me
 
Just take this longing from my tongue
all the lonely things my hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one your love.
 
Hungry as an archway
through which the troops have passed,
I stand in ruins behind you,
with your winter clothes, your broken sandal straps.
I love to see you naked over there
especially from the back.
 
Oh take this longing from my tongue,
all the useless things my hands have done,
untie for me your hired blue gown,
like you would do for one that you love.
 
You're faithful to the better man,
I'm afraid that he left.
So let me judge your love affair
in this very room where I have sentenced
mine to death.
I'll even wear these old laurel leaves
that he's shaken from his head.
 
Just take this longing from my tongue,
all the useless things my hands have done,
let me see your beauty broken down,
like you would do for one you love.
 
Like you would do for one you love.
 

Leaving Green Sleeves
 
Alas, my love, you did me wrong,
to cast me out discourteously,
for I have loved you so long,
delighting in your very company.
Now if you intend to show me disdain,
don't you know it all the more enraptures me,
for even so I still remain your lover in captivity.
 
Green sleeves, you're all alone,
the leaves have fallen, the men have gone.
Green sleeves, there's no one home,
not even the Lady Green Sleeves
 
I sang my songs, I told my lies,
to lie between your matchless thighs.
And ain't it fine, ain't it wild
to finally end our exercise
Then I saw you naked in the early dawn,
oh, I hoped you would be someone new.
I reached for you but you were gone,
so lady I'm going too.
 
Green sleeves, you're all alone ...
 
Green sleeves, you're all alone,
the leaves have fallen, the men have all gone home.
Green sleeves, it's so easily done,
leaving the Lady Green Sleeves.


Death Of A Ladies' Man (1977)

         True Love Leaves No Traces
         Iodine
         Paper Thin Hotel
         Memories
         I Left A Woman Waiting
         Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On
         Fingerprints
         Death of a Ladies' Man


True Love Leaves No Traces
 
As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill
So my body leaves no scar
On you and never will
 
Through windows in the dark
The children come, the children go
Like arrows with no targets
Like shackles made of snow
 
True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun
 
As a falling leaf may rest
A moment on the air
So your head upon my breast
So my hand upon your hair
 
And many nights endure
Without a moon or star
So we will endure
When one is gone and far
 
True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun
 

Iodine
 
I needed you, I knew I was in danger
of losing what I used to think was mine
You let me love you till I was a failure,
You let me love you till I was a failure --
Your beauty on my bruise like iodine
 
I asked you if a man could be forgiven
And though I failed at love, was this a crime?
You said, Don't worry, don't worry, darling
You said, Don't worry, don't you worry, darling
There are many ways a man can serve his time
 
You covered up that place I could not master
It wasn't dark enough to shut my eyes
So I was with you, O sweet compassion
Yes I was with you, O sweet compassion
Compassion with the sting of iodine
 
Your saintly kisses reeked of iodine
Your fragrance with a fume of iodine
And pity in the room like iodine
 
Your sister fingers burned like iodine
And all my wanton lust was iodine
My masquerade of trust was iodine
And everywhere the flare of iodine
 

Paper Thin Hotel
 
The walls of this hotel are paper-thin
Last night I heard you making love to him
The struggle mouth to mouth and limb to limb
The grunt of unity when he came in
 
I stood there with my ear against the wall
I was not seized by jealousy at all
In fact a burden lifted from my soul
I heard that love was out of my control
A heavy burden lifted from my soul
I heard that love was out of my control
 
I listened to your kisses at the door
I never heard the world so clear before
You ran your bath and you began to sing
I felt so good I couldn't feel a thing
 
I stood there with my ear against the wall ...
 
And I can't wait to tell you to your face
And I can't wait for you to take my place
You are The Naked Angel In My Heart
You are The Woman With Her Legs Apart
It's written on the walls of this hotel
You go to heaven once you've been to hell
 
A heavy burden lifted from my soul
I heard that love was out of my control
 

Memories
 
Frankie Lane, he was singing Jezebel
I pinned an Iron Cross to my lapel
I walked up to the tallest and the blondest girl
I said, Look, you don't know me now but very soon you will
  So won't you let me see
  I said "won't you let me see"
  I said "won't you let me see
    Your naked body?"
 
Just dance me to the dark side of the gym
Chances are I'll let you do most anything
I know you're hungry, I can hear it in your voice
And there are many parts of me to touch, you have your choice
  Ah but no you cannot see
  She said "no you cannot see"
  She said "no you cannot see
    My naked body"
 
So We're dancing close, the band is playing Stardust
Balloons and paper streamers floating down on us
She says, You've got a minute left to fall in love
In solemn moments such as this I have put my trust
  And all my faith to see
  I said all my faith to see
  I said all my faith to see
    Her naked body
 

I Left A Woman Waiting
 
I left a woman waiting
I met her sometime later
She said, I see your eyes are dead
What happened to you, lover?
What happened to you, my lover?
What happened to you, lover?
What happened to you?
 
And since she spoke the truth to me
I tried to answer truthfully
Whatever happened to my eyes
Happened to your beauty
Happened to your beauty
What happened to your beauty
Happened to me
 
We took ourselves to someone's bed
And there we fell together
Quick as dogs and truly dead were we
And free as running water
Free as running water
Free as running water
Free as you and me
The way it's got to be
The way it's got to be, lover
 

Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On
 
I was born in a beauty salon
My father was a dresser of hair
My mother was a girl you could call on
When you called she was always there
 
When you called she was always there
When you called she was always there
When you called she was always there
When you called she was always there
 
  Ah but don't go home with your hard-on
  It will only drive you insane
  You can't shake it (or break it) with your Motown
  You can't melt it down in the rain
 
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
 
I've looked behind all of the faces
That smile you down to you knees
And the lips that say, Come on, taste us
And when you try to they make you say Please
 
When you try to they make you say Please
When you try to they make you say Please
When you try to they make you say Please
When you try to they make you say Please
 
Ah but don't go home with your hard-on ...
 
Here come's your bride with her veil on
Approach her, you wretch, if you dare
Approach her, you ape with your tail on
Once you have her she'll always be there
 
Once you have her she'll always be there
Once you have her she'll always be there
Once you have her she'll always be there
Once you have her she'll always be there
 
Ah but don't go home with your hard-on ...
 
So I work in that same beauty salon
I'm chained to the old masquerade
The lipstick, the shadow, the silicone
I follow my father's trade
 
I follow my father's trade
Yes I follow my father's trade
Yes I follow my father's trade
Yes I follow my father's trade
 
  Ah but don't go home with your hard-on
  It will only drive you insane
  You can't shake it (or break it) with your Motown
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
  You can't melt it down in the rain
 

Fingerprints
 
I touched you once too often
Now I don't know who I am
My fingerprints were missing
When I wiped away the jam
 
Yes I called my fingerprints all night
But they don't seem to care
The last time that I saw them
They were leafing through your hair
 
Fingerprints, fingerprints
Where are you now my fingerprints?
 
Yeah I thought I'd leave this morning
So I emptied out your drawer
A hundred thousand fingerprints
They floated to the floor
 
You know you hardly stopped to pick them up
You don't care what you lose
Ah you don't even seem to know
Whose fingerprints are whose
 
Fingerprints, fingerprints
Where are you now my fingerprints?
 
And now you want to marry me
You want to take me down the aisle
You want to throw confetti fingerprints
You know that's not my style
 
O sure I'd like to marry you
But I can't face the dawn
With any girl who knew me
When my fingerprints were on
 
Fingerprints, fingerprints
Where are you now my fingerprints?
 
Fingerprints, oh fingerprints
Where are you now my fingerprints?
 

Death of a Ladies' Man
 
Ah the man she wanted all her life was hanging by a thread
"I never even knew how much I wanted you," she said.
His muscles they were numbered and his style was obsolete.
"O baby, I have come too late." She knelt beside his feet.
"I'll never see a face like yours in years of men to come
I'll never see such arms again in wrestling or in love."
And all his virtues burning in the smoky Holocaust
She took unto herself most everything her lover lost
 
Now the master of this landscape he was standing at the view
with a sparrow of St. Francis that he was preaching to
She beckoned to the sentry of his high religious mood
She said, "I'll make a place between my legs,
  I'll show you solitude."
 
He offered her an orgy in a many mirrored room
He promised her protection for the issue of her womb
She moved her body hard against a sharpened metal spoon
She stopped the bloody rituals of passage to the moon
 
She took his much admired oriental frame of mind
and the heart-of-darkness alibi his money hides behind
She took his blonde madonna and his monastery wine --
"This mental space is occupied and everything is mine."
 
He tried to make a final stand beside the railway track
She said, "The art of longing's over and it's never coming back."
She took his tavern parliament, his cap, his cocky dance,
she mocked his female fashions and his working-class moustache.
 
The last time that I saw him he was trying hard to get
a woman's education but he's not a woman yet
And the last time that I saw her she was living with some boy
who gives her soul an empty room and gives her body joy.
 
So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed
it would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed
It's like our visit to the moon or to that other star
I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far.
 
It's like our visit to the moon or to that other star
I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far.
 
It's like our visit to the moon or to that other star
I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far.

Recent Songs (1979)

         The Guests
         Humbled in Love
         The Window
         Came So Far For Beauty
         Un Canadien Errant (The Lost Canadian)
         The Traitor
         Our Lady of Solitude
         The Gypsy's Wife
         The Smokey Life
         Ballad of the Absent Mare
 

The Guests
 
One by one, the guests arrive
The guests are coming through
The open-hearted many
The broken-hearted few
 
And no one knows where the night is going
And no one knows why the wine is flowing
Oh love I need you
I need you
I need you
I need you
Oh . . . I need you now
 
And those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
And "Welcome, welcome" cries a voice
"Let all my guests come in."
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...
 
And all go stumbling through that house
in lonely secrecy
Saying "Do reveal yourself"
or "Why has thou forsaken me?"
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...
 
All at once the torches flare
The inner door flies open
One by one they enter there
In every style of passion
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...
 
And here they take their sweet repast
While house and grounds dissolve
And one by one the guests are cast
Beyond the garden wall
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...
 
Those who dance, begin to dance
Those who weep begin
Those who earnestly are lost
Are lost and lost again
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...
 
One by the guests arrive
The guests are coming through
The broken-hearted many
The open-hearted few
 
And no one knows where the night is going ...

Humbled in Love
 
Do you remember all of those pledges
That we pledged in the passionate night
Ah they're soiled now, they're torn at the edges
Like moths on a still yellow light
No penance serves to renew them
No massive transfusions of trust
Why not even revenge can undo them
So twisted these vows and so crushed
 
And you say you've been humbled in love
Cut down in your love
Forced to kneel in the mud next to me
Ah but why so bitterly turn from the one
Who kneels there as deeply as thee
 
Children have takes these pledges
They have ferried them out of the past
Oh beyond all the graves and the hedges
Where love must go hiding at last
And here where there is no description
Oh here in the moment at hand
No sinner need rise up forgiven
No victim need limp to the stand
 
And you say you've been humbled in love...
 
And look dear heart, look at the virgin
Look how she welcomes him into her gown
Yes, and mark how the stranger's cold armour
Dissolves like a star falling down
Why trade this vision for desire
When you may have them both
You will never see a man this naked
I will never hold a woman this close
 
And you say you've been humbled in love...
 

The Window
 
Why do you stand by the window
Abandoned to beauty and pride
The thorn of the night in your bosom
The spear of the age in your side
Lost in the rages of fragrance
Lost in the rags of remorse
Lost in the waves of a sickness
That loosens the high silver nerves
 
Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love
Oh tangle of matter and ghost
Oh darling of angels, demons and saints
And the whole broken-hearted host
Gentle this soul
 
And come forth from the cloud of anoint
And kiss the cheek of the moon
The New Jerusalem glowing
Why tarry all night in the ruin
And leave no word of discomfort
And leave no observer to mourn
But climb on your tears and be silent
Like a rose on its ladder of thorns
 
Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love...
 
Then lay your rose on the fire
The fire give up to the sun
The sun give over to splendour
In the arms of the high holy one
For the holy one dreams of a letter
Dreams of a letter's death
Oh bless thee continuous stutter
Of the word being made into flesh
 
Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love...
 
Gentle this soul
 

I Came So Far For Beauty
 
I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned
I thought I'd be rewarded
For such a lonely choice
And surely she would answer
To such a very hopeless voice
I practiced all my sainthood
I gave to one and all
But the rumours of my virtue
They moved her not at all
I changed my style to silver
I changed my clothed to black
And where I would surrender
Now I would attack
I stormed the old casino
For the money and the flesh
And I myself decided
What was rotten and what was fresh
And men to do my bidding
And broken bones to teach
The value of my pardon
The shadow of my reach
But no, I could not touch her
With such a heavy hand
Her star beyond my order
Her nakedness unmanned
I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned
 
Un Canadien Errant (The Lost Canadian)
(by Antoine Gerin-Lajoie)
 
Un Canadien Errant                [A wandering Canadian,
Banni de ses foyers,               banned from his hearths,
Parcourait en pleurant             travelled while crying
Des pays etrangers.                in foreign lands.
Parcourait en pleurant             travelled while crying
Des pays etrangers.                in foreign lands.  
Un jour, triste et pensif,         One day, sad and pensive,
Assis au bord des flots,           sitting by the flowing waters,
Au courant fugitif                 to the fleeing current
Il adressa ces mots:               he addressed these words:
Au courant fugitif                 to the fleeing current
Il adressa ces mots:               he addressed these words:  
"Si tu vois mon pays,              "If you see my country,
Mon pays malheureux,               my unhappy country,
Va dire a mes amis                 go tell my friends
Que je me souviens d'eux.          that I remember them.
Va dire a mes amis                 go tell my friends
Que je me souviens d'eux.          that I remember them.  
O jours si pleins d'appas,         O days so full of charms,
Vous etes disparus...              you have vanished...
Et ma patrie, helas!               And my native land, alas!
Je ne la verrai plus.              I will see it no more.
Et ma patrie, helas!               And my native land, alas!
Je ne la verrai plus.              I will see it no more. ]   The Traitor
 
Now the Swan it floated on the English river
Ah the Rose of High Romance it opened wide
A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer
and the judges watched us from the other side
 
I told my mother "Mother I must leave you
preserve my room but do not shed a tear
Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you
it was half my fault and half the atmosphere"
 
But the Rose I sickened with a scarlet fever
and the Swan I tempted with a sense of shame
She said at last I was her finest lover
and if she withered I would be to blame
 
The judges said you missed it by a fraction
rise up and brace your troops for the attack
Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action
Oh see the men of action falling back
 
But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment
I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still
My falsity had stung me like a hornet
The poison sank and it paralysed my will
 
I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers
that they had been deserted from above
So on battlefields from here to Barcelona
I'm listed with the enemies of love
 
And long ago she said "I must be leaving,
Ah but keep my body here to lie upon
You can move it up and down and when I'm sleeping
Run some wire through that Rose and wind the Swan"
 
So daily I renew my idle duty
I touch her here and there -- I know my place
I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty
and people call me traitor to my face
 

Our Lady of Solitude
 
All summer long she touched me
She gathered in my soul
From many a thorn, from many thickets
Her fingers, like a weaver's
Quick and cool
 
And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
And I knew her, I knew her
Face to face
 
And her dress was blue and silver
And her words were few and small
She is the vessel of the whole wide world
Mistress, oh mistress, of us all
 
Dearly dead; Queen of Solitude
I thank you with my heart
for keeping me so close to thee
while so many, oh so many, stood apart
 
And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
I knew her, I knew her
Face to face
 

The Gypsy's Wife
 
And where, where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight
I've heard all the wild reports, they can't be right
But whose head is this she's dancing with on the threshing floor
whose darkness deepens in her arms a little more
 
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
 
Ah the silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe
A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee
She says, "My body is the light, my body is the way"
I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet
 
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?...
 
Too early for the rainbow, too early for the dove
These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood
And there is no man or woman who can't be touched
But you who come between them will be judged
 
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?...
 

The Smokey Life
 
I've never seen your eyes so wide
I've never seen your appetite quite this occupied
Elsewhere is your feast of love
I know ... where long ago we agreed to keep it light
So lets be married one more night
 
It's light, light enough
To let it go
It's light enough to let it go
 
Remember when the scenery started fading
I held you til you learned to walk on air
So don't look down the ground is gone,
there's no one waiting anyway
The Smoky Life is practiced
Everywhere
 
So set your restless heart at ease
Take a lesson from these Autumn leaves
They waste no time waiting for the snow
Don't argue now you'll be late
There is nothing to investigate
 
It's light enough, light enough
To let it go
Light enough to let it go
 
Remember when the scenery started fading
I held you til you learned to walk on air
So don't look down the ground is gone,
there's no one waiting anyway
The Smoky Life is practiced everywhere
 
Come on back if the moment lends
You can look up all my very closest friends
 
Light, light enough
To let it go
It's light enough to let it go
 

Ballad of the Absent Mare
 
Say a prayer for the cowboy
His mare's run away
And he'll walk til he finds her
His darling, his stray
but the river's in flood
and the roads are awash
and the bridges break up
in the panic of loss.
 
And there's nothing to follow
There's nowhere to go
She's gone like the summer
gone like the snow
And the crickets are breaking
his heart with their song
as the day caves in
and the night is all wrong
 
Did he dream, was it she
who went galloping past
and bent down the fern
broke open the grass
and printed the mud with
the iron and the gold
that he nailed to her feet
when he was the lord
 
And although she goes grazing
a minute away
he tracks her all night
he tracks her all day
Oh blind to her presence
except to compare
his injury here
with her punishment there
 
Then at home on a branch
in the highest tree
a songbird sings out
so suddenly
Ah the sun is warm
and the soft winds ride
on the willow trees
by the river side
 
Oh the world is sweet
the world is wide
and she's there where
the light and the darkness divide
and the steam's coming off her
she's huge and she's shy
and she steps on the moon
when she paws at the sky
 
And she comes to his hand
but she's not really tame
She longs to be lost
he longs for the same
and she'll bolt and she'll plunge
through the first open pass
to roll and to feed
in the sweet mountain grass
 
Or she'll make a break
for the high plateau
where there's nothing above
and there's nothing below
and it's time for the burden
it's time for the whip
Will she walk through the flame
Can he shoot from the hip
 
So he binds himself
to the galloping mare
and she binds herself
to the rider there
and there is no space
but there's left and right
and there is no time
but there's day and night
 
And he leans on her neck
and he whispers low
"Whither thou goest
I will go"
And they turn as one
and they head for the plain
No need for the whip
Ah, no need for the rein
 
Now the clasp of this union
who fastens it tight?
Who snaps it asunder
the very next night
Some say the rider
Some say the mare
Or that love's like the smoke
beyond all repair
 
But my darling says
"Leonard, just let it go by
That old silhouette
on the great western sky"
So I pick out a tune
and they move right along
and they're gone like the smoke


Various Positions (1984)

         Dance Me To The End Of Love
         Coming Back To You
         The Law
         Night Comes On
         Hallelujah
         The Captain
         Hunter's Lullaby
         Heart With No Companion
         If It Be Your Will
 

Dance Me to the End of Love
 
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
 
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
 
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
 
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love
 
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
 

Coming Back to You
 
Maybe I'm still hurting
I can't turn the other cheek
But you know that I still love you
It's just that I can't speak
I looked for you in everyone
And they called me on that too
I lived alone but I was only
Coming back to you
 
Ah they're shutting down the factory now
Just when all the bills are due
And the fields they're under lock and key
Tho' the rain and the sun come through
And springtime starts but then it stops
In the name of something new
And all the senses rise against this
Coming back to you
 
And they're handing down my sentence now
And I know what I must do
Another mile of silence while I'm
Coming back to you
 
There are many in your life
And many still to be
Since you are a shining light
There's many that you'll see
But I have to deal with envy
When you choose the precious few
Who've left their pride on the other side of
Coming back to you
 
Even in your arms I know
I'll never get it right
Even when you bend to give me
Comfort in the night
I've got to have your word on this
Or none of it is true
And all I've said was just instead of
Coming back to you
 

The Law
 
How many times did you call me
And I knew it was late
I left everybody
But I never went straight
I don't claim to be guilty
But I do understand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
 
Now my heart's like a blister
From doing what I do
If the moon has a sister
It's got to be you
I'm going to miss you forever
Tho' it's not what I planned
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
 
Now the deal has been dirty
Since dirty began
I'm not asking for mercy
Not from the man
You just don't ask for mercy
While you're still on the stand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
 
I don't claim to be guilty
Guilty's too grand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
 
That's all I can say, baby
That's all I can say
It wasn't for nothing
That they put me away
I fell with my angel
Down the chain of command
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
There's a Law, there's an Arm, there's a Hand
 

The Night Comes On
 
I went down to the place
Where I knew she lay waiting
Under the marble and the snow
I said, Mother I'm frightened
The thunder and the lightning
I'll never come through this alone
She said, I'll be with you
My shawl wrapped around you
My hand on your head when you go
And the night came on
It was very calm
I wanted the night to go on and on
But she said, Go back to the World
 
We were fighting in Egypt
When they signed this agreement
That nobody else had to die
There was this terrible sound
And my father went down
With a terrible wound in his side
He said, Try to go on
Take my books, take my gun
Remember, my son, how they lied
And the night comes on
It's very calm
I'd like to pretend that my father was wrong
But you don't want to lie, not to the young
 
We were locked in this kitchen
I took to religion
And I wondered how long she would stay
I needed so much
To have nothing to touch
I've always been greedy that way
But my son and my daughter
Climbed out of the water
Crying, Papa, you promised to play
And they lead me away
To the great surprise
It's Papa, don't peek, Papa, cover your eyes
And they hide, they hide in the World
 
Now I look for her always
I'm lost in this calling
I'm tied to the threads of some prayer
Saying, When will she summon me
When will she come to me
What must I do to prepare
When she bends to my longing
Like a willow, like a fountain
She stands in the luminous air
And the night comes on
And it's very calm
I lie in her arms and says, When I'm gone
I'll be yours, yours for a song
 
Now the crickets are singing
The vesper bells ringing
The cat's curled asleep in his chair
I'll go down to Bill's Bar
I can make it that far
And I'll see if my friends are still there
Yes, and here's to the few
Who forgive what you do
And the fewer who don't even care
And the night comes on
It's very calm
I want to cross over, I want to go home
But she says, Go back, go back to the World
 

Hallelujah
 
Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
 
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah
 

The Captain
 
Now the Captain called me to his bed
He fumbled for my hand
"Take these silver bars," he said
"I'm giving you command."
  "Command of what, there's no one here
   There's only you and me --
   All the rest are dead or in retreat
   Or with the enemy."
 
"Complain, complain, that's all you've done
 Ever since we lost
 If it's not the Crucifixion
 Then it's the Holocaust."
  "May Christ have mercy on your soul
   For making such a joke
   Amid these hearts that burn like coal
   And the flesh that rose like smoke."
 
"I know that you have suffered, lad,
 But suffer this awhile:
 Whatever makes a soldier sad
 Will make a killer smile."
  "I'm leaving, Captain, I must go
   There's blood upon your hand
   But tell me, Captain, if you know
   Of a decent place to stand."
 
"There is no decent place to stand
 In a massacre;
 But if a woman take your hand
 Go and stand with her."
   "I left a wife in Tennessee
    And a baby in Saigon --
    I risked my life, but not to hear
    Some country-western song."
 
"Ah but if you cannot raise your love
 To a very high degree,
 Then you're just the man I've been thinking of --
 So come and stand with me."
   "Your standing days are done," I cried,
   "You'll rally me no more.
    I don't even know what side
    We fought on, or what for."
 
"I'm on the side that's always lost
 Against the side of Heaven
 I'm on the side of Snake-eyes tossed
 Against the side of Seven.
 And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
 And some of it was true
 But there wasn't any burden left
 So I'm laying it on you."
 
  Now the Captain he was dying
  But the Captain wasn't hurt
  The silver bars were in my hand
  I pinned them to my shirt.
 

Hunter's Lullaby
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
He's deep in the forest so wild
And he cannot take his wife with him
He cannot take his child
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
In the quicksand and the clay
And a woman cannot follow him
Although she knows the way
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
Through the silver and the glass
Where only greed can enter
But spirit, spirit cannot pass
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
For the beast we'll never cannot bind
And he leaves a baby sleeping
And his blessings all behind
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
And he's lost his lucky charm
And he's lost the guardian heart
That keeps the hunter from the harm
 
Your father's gone a-hunting
He asked me to say goodbye
And he warned me not to stop him
I wouldn't, I wouldn't even try
 

Heart With No Companion
 
I greet you from the other side
Of sorrow and despair
With a love so vast and shattered
It will reach you everywhere
 
And I sing this for the captain
Whose ship has not been built
For the mother in confusion
Her cradle still unfilled
 
For the heart with no companion
For the soul without a king
For the prima ballerina
Who cannot dance to anything
 
Through the days of shame that are coming
Through the nights of wild distress
Tho' your promise count for nothing
You must keep it nonetheless
 
You must keep it for the captain
Whose ship has not been built
For the mother in confusion
Her cradle still unfilled
 
For the heart with no companion ...
 
I greet you from the other side ...
 

If It Be Your Will
 
If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
  I will speak no more
  I shall abide until
  I am spoken for
If it be your will
 
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
  From this broken hill
  All your praises they shall ring
  If it be your will
To let me sing
  From this broken hill
  All your praises they shall ring
  If it be your will
To let me sing
 
If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
  Let your mercy spill
  On all these burning hearts in hell
  If it be your will
To make us well
 
And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
  In our rags of light
  All dressed to kill
  And end this night
If it be your will
 
If it be your will.


I'm Your Man (1988)

         First We Take Manhattan
         Ain't No Cure For Love
         Everybody Knows
         I'm Your Man
         Take This Waltz
         Jazz Police
         I Can't Forget
         Tower of Song
 

First We Take Manhattan
 
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 
I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 
I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those
 
Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 
I don't like your fashion business mister
And I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 
I'd really like to live beside you, baby ...
 
And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 
I am guided
 
Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
 

Ain't No Cure For Love
 
I loved you for a long, long time
I know this love is real
It don't matter how it all went wrong
That don't change the way I feel
And I can't believe that time's
Gonna heal this wound I'm speaking of
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure for love
 
I'm aching for you baby
I can't pretend I'm not
I need to see you naked
In your body and your thought
I've got you like a habit
And I'll never get enough
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure for love
 
There ain't no cure for love
There ain't no cure for love
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky
The holy books are open wide
The doctors working day and night
But they'll never ever find that cure for love
There ain't no drink no drug
(Ah tell them, angels)
There's nothing pure enough to be a cure for love
 
I see you in the subway and I see you on the bus
I see you lying down with me, I see you waking up
I see your hand, I see your hair
Your bracelets and your brush
And I call to you, I call to you
But I don't call soft enough
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure for love
 
I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul
I don't need to be forgiven for loving you so much
It's written in the scriptures
It's written there in blood
I even heard the angels declare it from above
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure for love
 
There ain't no cure for love
There ain't no cure for love
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky
The holy books are open wide
The doctors working day and night
But they'll never ever find that cure,
That cure for love
 

Everybody Knows
 
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
 
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows
 
Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows
 
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows
 
And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows
 
And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows
 
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
Everybody knows
 

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
 
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
 
 
 

Take This Waltz
 
Now in Vienna there's ten pretty women
There's a shoulder where Death comes to cry
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows
There's a tree where the doves go to die
There's a piece that was torn from the morning
And it hangs in the Gallery of Frost
  Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take this waltz with the clamp on its jaws
 
Oh I want you, I want you, I want you
On a chair with a dead magazine
In the cave at the tip of the lily
In some hallways where love's never been
On a bed where the moon has been sweating
In a cry filled with footsteps and sand
  Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take its broken waist in your hand
 
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
With its very own breath of brandy and Death
Dragging its tail in the sea
 
There's a concert hall in Vienna
Where your mouth had a thousand reviews
There's a bar where the boys have stopped talking
They've been sentenced to death by the blues
Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture
With a garland of freshly cut tears?
  Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
Take this waltz it's been dying for years
 
There's an attic where children are playing
Where I've got to lie down with you soon
In a dream of Hungarian lanterns
In the mist of some sweet afternoon
And I'll see what you've chained to your sorrow
All your sheep and your lilies of snow
  Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
With its "I'll never forget you, you know!"
 
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz ...
 
And I'll dance with you in Vienna
I'll be wearing a river's disguise
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder,
My mouth on the dew of your thighs
And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there, and the moss
And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty
My cheap violin and my cross
And you'll carry me down on your dancing
To the pools that you lift on your wrist
Oh my love, Oh my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz
It's yours now. It's all that there is
 

Jazz Police
 
Can you tell me why the bells are ringing?
Nothing's happened in a million years
I've been sitting here since Wednesday morning
Wednesday morning can't believe my ears
 
Jazz police are looking through my folders
Jazz police are talking to my niece
Jazz police have got their final orders
Jazzer, drop your axe, it's Jazz police!
 
Jesus taken serious by the many
Jesus taken joyous by a few
Jazz police are paid by J.Paul Getty
Jazzers paid by J.Paul Getty II
 
Jazz police I hear you calling
Jazz police I feel so blue
Jazz police I think I'm falling,
I'm falling for you
 
Wild as any freedom loving racist
I applaud the actions of the chief
Tell me now oh beautiful and spacious
Am I in trouble with the Jazz police?
 
Jazz police are looking through my folders ...
 
They will never understand our culture
They'll never understand the Jazz police
Jazz police are working for my mother
Blood is thicker margarine than grease
 
Let me be somebody I admire
Let me be that muscle down the street
Stick another turtle on the fire
Guys like me are mad for turtle meat
 
Jazz police I hear you calling
Jazz police I feel so blue
Jazz police I think I'm falling,
I'm falling for you
 

I Can't Forget
 
I stumbled out of bed
I got ready for the struggle
I smoked a cigarette
And I tightened up my gut
I said this can't be me
Must be my double
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what
 
I'm burning up the road
I'm heading down to Phoenix
I got this old address
Of someone that I knew
It was high and fine and free
Ah, you should have seen us
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember who
 
I'll be there today
With a big bouquet of cactus
I got this rig that runs on memories
And I promise, cross my heart,
They'll never catch us
But if they do, just tell them it was me
 
Yeah I loved you all my life
And that's how I want to end it
The summer's almost gone
The winter's tuning up
Yeah, the summer's gone
But a lot goes on forever
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what
 

Tower of Song
 
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
 
I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song
 
I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song
 
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman kill you
Not in the Tower of Song
 
Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song
 
I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never have to lose it again
 
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower of Song
 
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song
 

The Future (1992)

         The Future
         Waiting for the Miracle
         Be For Real
         Closing Time
         Anthem
         Democracy
         Light as the Breeze
         Always
         Tacoma Trailer
 
The Future
 
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
 
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.
 
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
 
You don't know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I'm the little jew
who wrote the Bible
I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder
 
Things are going to slide ...
 
There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing
You'll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin'
 
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder
 
Things are going to slide ...
 
When they said REPENT REPENT ...
 

Waiting For The Miracle
 
Baby, I've been waiting,
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
and I know you sent me some,
but I was waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
 
I know you really loved me.
but, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
it must have hurt your pride
to have to stand beneath my window
with your bugle and your drum,
and me I'm up there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
 
Ah I don't believe you'd like it,
You wouldn't like it here.
There ain't no entertainment
and the judgements are severe.
The Maestro says it's Mozart
but it sounds like bubble gum
when you're waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
 
Waiting for the miracle
There's nothing left to do.
I haven't been this happy
since the end of World War II.
 
Nothing left to do
when you know that you've been taken.
Nothing left to do
when you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
when you've got to go on waiting
waiting for the miracle to come.
 
I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked
Ah but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling
from your fingers and your thumb,
and you were waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come
 
Ah baby, let's get married,
we've been alone too long.
Let's be alone together.
Let's see if we're that strong.
Yeah let's do something crazy,
something absolutely wrong
while we're waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
 
Nothing left to do ...
 
When you've fallen on the highway
and you're lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you're doing
of course you'll say you can't complain --
If you're squeezed for information,
that's when you've got to play it dumb:
You just say you're out there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
 

Be For Real
(by Frederick Knight)
 
Are you back in my life to stay
Or is it just for today
Oh that you're gonna need me?
If it's a thrill you're looking for
Honey, I'm flexible. Oh, yeah.
 
Just be for real won't you, Baby
Be for real oh, Baby
You see I, I don't want to be hurt by love again
 
So you see I'm not naive.
I just would like to believe
Ah what you tell me.
So don't give me the world today
And tomorrow take it away.
Don't do that to me, darling.
 
Just be for real won't you, Baby
Be for real won't you, Baby
 
Been hurt so many times
You see I, I don't want to be hurt by love again.
 
(I don't give a damn about the truth, Baby
 Except for the naked truth. Oh yeah)
 
Just be for real won't you, Baby
Be for real won't you, Baby
 
No, no, no, no
It's just that I, I don't want to be hurt by love again.
 
Thanks for the song Mr. Knight.
 

Closing Time
 
Ah we're drinking and we're dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
she's the Angel of Compassion
she's rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
lifts a happy face to thank her
the fiddler fiddles something so sublime
all the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it's CLOSING TIME
 
Yeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it's CLOSING TIME
 
Ah we're lonely, we're romantic
and the cider's laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit's crying, "Where's the beef?"
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
but CLOSING TIME
 
I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
CLOSING TIME
 
I loved you for your beauty
but that doesn't make a fool of me:
you were in it for your beauty too
and I loved you for your body
there's a voice that sounds like God to me
declaring, declaring, declaring that your body's really you
And I loved you when our love was blessed
and I love you now there's nothing left
but sorrow and a sense of overtime
and I missed you since the place got wrecked
And I just don't care what happens next
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it's something in between, I guess
it's CLOSING TIME
 
Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it's something in between, I guess
it's CLOSING TIME
 
Yeah we're drinking and we're dancing
but there's nothing really happening
and the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night
And my very close companion
gets me fumbling gets me laughing
she's a hundred but she's wearing
something tight
and I lift my glass to the Awful Truth
which you can't reveal to the Ears of Youth
except to say it isn't worth a dime
And the whole damn place goes crazy twice
and it's once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
we're busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME
 
The whole damn place goes crazy twice
and it's once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
we're busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME
 
Oh the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
  It's CLOSING TIME
And it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's hell to pay when the fiddler stops
  It's CLOSING TIME
I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
  It's CLOSING TIME
The Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
  But CLOSING TIME
I loved you when our love was blessed
I love you now there's nothing left
  But CLOSING TIME
I miss you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex.

Anthem
 
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
 
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.
 
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
 
We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.
 
I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.
 
Ring the bells that still can ring ...
 
You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.
 
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
 
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
 

Democracy
 
It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 
It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 
Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.
 
It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 
It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 
Sail on, sail on ...
 
I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
 

Light As The Breeze
 
She stands before you naked
you can see it, you can taste it,
and she comes to you light as the breeze.
Now you can drink it or you can nurse it,
it don't matter how you worship
as long as you're
down on your knees.
 
So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
at the cradle of the river and the seas.
And like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was healed and my heart
was at ease.
 
O baby I waited
so long for your kiss
for something to happen,
oh something like this.
 
And you're weak and you're harmless
and you're sleeping in your harness
and the wind going wild
in the trees,
and it ain't exactly prison
but you'll never be forgiven
for whatever you've done
with the keys.
 
O baby I waited ...
 
It's dark now and it's snowing
O my love I must be going,
The river has started to freeze.
And I'm sick of pretending
I'm broken from bending
I've lived too long on my knees.
 
Then she dances so graceful
and your heart's hard and hateful
and she's naked
but that's just a tease.
And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and comes to you
light as the breeze.
 
O baby I waited ...
 
There's blood on every bracelet
you can see it, you can taste it,
and it's Please baby
please baby please.
And she says, Drink deeply, pilgrim
but don't forget there's still a woman
beneath this
resplendent chemise.
 
So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
I knelt there like one who believes.
And the blessings come from heaven
and for something like a second
I'm cured and my heart
is at ease
 

Always
(by Irving Berlin)
 
(Oh friends, .. don't matter if you're a man or a woman. If you're in love
 with somebody, these are the words that you got to learn to say. Now
 listen carefully. Here it comes...)
 
I'll be loving you always
with a love that's true, always
When the thing you've planned
needs my helping hand,
I will understand, always, always
 
Days may not be fair, always
Yeah but that's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year, but always.
 
I said that I'll be loving you, always
with a love that's true, always.
When the thing you've planned
needs my helping hand,
I will, I will understand, always, always
 
(Oh that's pretty ... that's pretty too ... Oh darling)
 
The days may not be fair, always
Yeah but that's when I'll be there, always
Not for just a second, or a minute, or an hour,
Not for just a weekend and a shake down in the shower,
Not for just the summer and the winter going sour,
But always, always, always
 
(Ok if you don't want to quit, let's try it one more time)
 
I'll be loving you, always
with a love that's true, always.
When the thing you've planned
needs my helping hand,
I will understand, I will, I will understand, always, always
 
The days may not be fair, always
(Don't worry, baby)
That's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year, but always.
 

Tacoma Trailer
<Instrumental>
  
email: Petr@hippie.wz.cz 
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