30 Songs of Leonard

Leonard Cohen was primarily known as a singer/song writer. What is not generally known is that he turned to music rather late in 1967, at the age of 33. Before that he was a writer and a poet. The following lyrics are songs that are true poetry and I encourage you to read them in that way. My suggestion is to scroll through the list and pick two or three, without thinking about the melody.

1. “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.

2. “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?

3. “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.

4. “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.

5. “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.

6. “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 …

7. “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.

8. “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.

9. “One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong”

I lit a thin green candle, to make you jealous of me.

But the room just filled up with mosquitos,

they heard that my body was free.

Then I took the dust of a long sleepless night

and I put it in your little shoe.

And then I confess that I tortured the dress

that you wore for the world to look through.

I showed my heart to the doctor: he said I just have to quit.

Then he wrote himself a prescription,

and your name was mentioned in it!

Then he locked himself in a library shelf

with the details of our honeymoon,

and I hear from the nurse that he’s gotten much worse

and his practice is all in a ruin.

I heard of a saint who had loved you,

so I studied all night in his school.

He taught that the duty of lovers

is to tarnish the golden rule.

And just when I was sure that his teachings were pure

he drowned himself in the pool.

His body is gone but back here on the lawn

his spirit continues to drool.

An Eskimo showed me a movie

he’d recently taken of you:

the poor man could hardly stop shivering,

his lips and his fingers were blue.

I suppose that he froze when the wind took your clothes

and I guess he just never got warm.

But you stand there so nice, in your blizzard of ice,

oh please let me come into the storm.

10. “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.

11. “The Partisan”

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 étaient chez moi (The Germans were at my home)

ils m’ont dit “Résigne-toi” (They said, “Surrender,”)

mais je n’ai pas pu (this I could not do)

j’ai repris mon arme (I took my weapon again)

J’ai changé 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 entière (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)

pour la nuit nous a cachés (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.

12. “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…

13. “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…

14. “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

15. “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?

16. “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 …

17. “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.

18. “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?

19. “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?

20. “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?

21. “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

22. “Hallelujah”

(“Various Positions” Version)

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 you

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

23. “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.

24. “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

25. “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

26. “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.

27. “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.

28. “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.

29. “A Thousand Kisses Deep”

The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat.

You win a while, and then it’s done –

Your little winning streak.

And summoned now to deal

With your invincible defeat,

You live your life as if it’s real,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.

You lose your grip, and then you slip

Into the Masterpiece.

And maybe I had miles to drive,

And promises to keep:

You ditch it all to stay alive,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,

We gather up our hearts and go,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against

The limits of the sea:

I saw there were no oceans left

For scavengers like me.

I made it to the forward deck.

I blessed our remnant fleet –

And then consented to be wrecked,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.

I guess they won’t exchange the gifts

That you were meant to keep.

And quiet is the thought of you,

The file on you complete,

Except what we forgot to do,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,

We gather up our hearts and go,

A Thousand Kisses Deep.

The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat

30. “It Seemed The Better Way”

It seemed the better way

When first I heard him speak

Now it’s much too late

To turn the other cheek

Sounded like the truth

Seemed the better way

Sounded like the truth

But it’s not the truth today

I wonder what it was

I wonder what it meant

First he touched on love

Then he touched on death

Sounded like the truth

Seemed the better way

Sounded like the truth

But it’s not the truth today

I better hold my tongue

I better take my place

Lift this glass of blood

Try to say the grace

Seemed the better way

When first I heard him speak

But now it’s much too late

To turn the other cheek

Sounded like the truth

Seemed the better way

Sounded like the truth

But it’s not the truth today

I better hold my tongue

I better take my place

Lift this glass of blood

Try to say the grace

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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