Poems by Leonard Cohen

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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.

– Leonard Cohen


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.

– Leonard Cohen


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.

– Leonard Cohen (Co-written by Sharon Robinson)


 

Hallelujah

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

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, she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby, I’ve been here before
I know this room,
I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch,
but love is not a victory march
it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah!

There was a time you let me know
what’s really going on below
but now you never show it to me, do you?
I remember when I moved in you,
and the holy dove was moving, too,
and every breath we drew was Hallelujah!

Now maybe there’s a God above,
but all I ever learned from love
is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
And it’s no complaint you hear tonight,
and it’s not some pilgrim who’s seen the light—
it’s a cold and it’s a lonely 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

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

– Leonard Cohen 1984



 

 

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