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Leonard Cohen : Ten New Songs

1. In My Secret Life
2. A Thousand Kisses Deep
3. That Don't Make It Junk
4. Here It Is
5. Love Itself
6. By The Rivers Dark
7. Alexandra Leaving
8. You Have Loved Enough
9. Boogie Street
10. The Land of Plenty

Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson

 

 

In My Secret Life

I saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can't seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
There's no one in sight.
And we're still making love
In My Secret Life.

I smile when I'm angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong.
And I know what is right.
And I'd die for the truth
In My Secret Life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I'll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of My Secret Life.

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it's either black or white.
Thank G-d it's not that simple
In My Secret Life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I'm told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I'm always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it's crowded and cold
In My Secret Life.

 

A Thousand Kisses Deep
for Sandy

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...

 

That Don't Make It Junk

I fought against the bottle,
But I had to do it drunk -
Took my diamond to the pawnshop -
But that don't make it junk.

I know that I'm forgiven,
But I don't know how I know
I don't trust my inner feelings -
Inner feelings come and go.

How come you called me here tonight?
How come you bother
With my heart at all?
You raise me up in grace,
Then you put me in a place,
Where I must fall.

Too late to fix another drink -
The lights are going out -
I'll listen to the darkness sing -
I know what that's about.

I tried to love you my way,
But I couldn't make it hold.
So I closed the Book of Longing
And I do what I am told.

How come you called me here tonight?
How come you bother with my heart at all?
You raise me up in grace,
Then you put me in a place,
Where I must fall.

I fought against the bottle,
But I had to do it drunk -
Took my diamond to the pawnshop -
But that don't make it junk.

 

Here It Is

Here is your crown
And your seal and rings;
And here is your love
For all things.

Here is your cart,
And your cardboard and piss;
And here is your love
For all of this.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

Here is your wine,
And your drunken fall;
And here is your love.
Your love for it all.

Here is your sickness.
Your bed and your pan;
And here is your love
For the woman, the man.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

And here is the night,
The night has begun;
And here is your death
In the heart of your son.

And here is the dawn,
(Until death do us part);
And here is your death,
In your daughter's heart.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

And here you are hurried,
And here you are gone;
And here is the love,
That it's all built upon.

Here is your cross,
Your nails and your hill;
And here is your love,
That lists where it will.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

 

Love Itself
for L.W.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

By The Rivers Dark

By the rivers dark
I wandered on.
I lived my life
in Babylon.

And I did forget
My holy song:
And I had no strength
In Babylon.

By the rivers dark
Where I could not see
Who was waiting there
Who was hunting me.

And he cut my lip
And he cut my heart.
So I could not drink
From the river dark.

And he covered me,
And I saw within,
My lawless heart
And my wedding ring,

I did not know
And I could not see
Who was waiting there,
Who was hunting me

By the rivers dark
I panicked on.
I belonged at last
To Babylon.

Then he struck my heart
With a deadly force,
And he said, 'This heart:
It is not yours.'

And he gave the wind
My wedding ring:
And he circled us
With everything.

By the rivers dark,
In a wounded dawn,
I live my life
In Babylon.

Though I take my song
From a withered limb,
Both song and tree,
They sing for him.

Be the truth unsaid
And the blessing gone,
If I forget
My Babylon.

I did not know
And I could not see
Who was waiting there.
Who was hunting me.

By the rivers dark,
Where it all goes on:
By the rivers dark
In Babylon.

 

Alexandra Leaving

Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The god of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.

Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure,
They gain the light, they formlessly entwine;
And radiant beyond your widest measure
They fall among the voices and the wine.

It's not a trick, your senses all deceiving,
A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust -
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for this to happen,
Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
Your firm commitments tangible again.

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored -
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked -
Do not choose a coward's explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed -
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

 

You Have Loved Enough

I said I'd be your lover.
You laughed at what I said.
I lost my job forever.
I was counted with the dead.

I swept the marble chambers,
But you sent me down below.
You kept me from believing
Until you let me know:

That I am not the one who loves -
It's love that seizes me.
When hatred with his package comes,
You forbid delivery.

And when the hunger for your touch
Rises from the hunger,
You whisper, "You have loved enough,
Now let me be the Lover."

I swept the marble chambers,
But you sent me down below.
You kept me from believing
Until you let me know:

That I am not the one who loves -
It's love that chooses me.
When hatred with his package comes,
You forbid delivery.

And when the hunger for your touch
Rises from the hunger ...


 

Boogie Street

O Crown of Light, O Darkened One,
I never thought we'd meet.
You kiss my lips, and then it's done:
I'm back on Boogie Street.

A sip of wine, a cigarette,
And then it's time to go
I tidied up the kitchenette;
I tuned the old banjo.
I'm wanted at the traffic-jam.
They're saving me a seat.
I'm what I am, and what I am,
Is back on Boogie Street.

And O my love, I still recall
The pleasures that we knew;
The rivers and the waterfall,
Wherein I bathed with you.
Bewildered by your beauty there,
I'd kneel to dry your feet.
By such instructions you prepare
A man for Boogie Street.

O Crown of Light, O Darkened One...

So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear.
Though all the maps of blood and flesh
Are posted on the door,
There's no one who has told us yet
What Boogie Street is for.

O Crown of Light, O Darkened One,
I never thought we'd meet.
You kiss my lips, and then it's done:
I'm back on Boogie Street.

A sip of wine, a cigarette,
And then it's time to go...


 

The Land of Plenty

Don't really have the courage
To stand where I must stand.
Don't really have the temperament
To lend a helping hand.

Don't really know who sent me
To raise my voice and say:
May the lights in The Land of Plenty
Shine on the truth some day.

I don't know why I come here,
Knowing as I do,
What you really think of me,
What I really think of you.

For the millions in a prison,
That wealth has set apart -
For the Christ who has not risen,
From the caverns of the heart -

For the innermost decision,
That we cannot but obey -
For what's left of our religion,
I lift my voice and pray:
May the lights in The Land of Plenty
Shine on the truth some day.

I know I said I'd meet you,
I'd meet you at the store,
But I can't buy it, baby.
I can't buy it anymore.

And I don't really know who sent me,
To raise my voice and say:
May the lights in The Land of Plenty
Shine on the truth some day.

For the innermost decision
That we cannot but obey
For what's left of our religion
I lift my voice and pray:
May the lights in The Land of Plenty
Shine on the truth some day.

Copyright 2001 Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada Company.
Posted with permission.

 

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