Monday, October 26, 2009

LYRICS AS POETRY: LEONARD COHEN'S 'WAITING FOR THE FUTURE'

Every so often, I'd like to present on the blog some lyrics that I find pretty damn noteworthy to me -- poetic. That said, I give you Leonard Cohen's "Waiting for the Miracle."

This is a feature I wanted to start at Bukowski's Basement for a while. I guess you can say that the Oliver Stone film "Natural Born Killers" pushed me to do it since the song I'm featuring is on the soundtrack. Watching the film (again) the other night on cable got me thinking about how incredible the lyrics to Cohen's breathtaking tune "Waiting for the Miracle" actually is (Another Cohen gem "The Future" is also featured in the film).

The All Music Guide refers to Cohen and the disc the tune stems from as:

brooding
ominous
bleak
wry
bittersweet
reflective
melancholy
literate and
somber


... In other words, right up our alley.

The brooding tune is chock full of eerie sentiments and comes pretty close to spoken word at times. In fact, most of the disc resembles poetry set to music than simply mere songs. The entire album comes off as one long manifesto calling all to challenge the concepts of righteousness and despair in Cohen's modern world.

The All Music Guide calls him "one man against the world with nothing but a gruff voice and a cause." And what a gruff voice it is...

That said, play the tune below and follow the lyrics. As always, enjoy...

video

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.

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 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.

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.

7 comments:

  1. Jeanette Cheezum

    I love this. With the right music it would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc_dgbCHs58
    Hopefully copy this url to Youtube and this it will take you to leonard cohen singing it. Almost spoken rather than sung, but still mesmerizing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jeanette Cheezum

    Thanks I'll do it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Janet... you can actually play the clip on my blog. Look below Cohen's pic. I embedded a video that plays the tune

    ReplyDelete
  5. like tom waits.
    love leonard cohen.
    Thanks for including him here.
    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed

    ReplyDelete
  6. What remarkable words

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ant, I just got home. I've been gone for a week. I was able to get the sound this time and it was meserizing.
    Thanks!

    Jeanette Cheezum

    ReplyDelete

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