Thursday, September 25, 2003

"Famous Blue Raincoat" by Leonard Cohen
It's four in the morning
the end of December
I'm writing you now
to see if you're better
New York was 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?

The last time I 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
you came home alone
without Lili Marlene

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 a rose in your teeth
just one more thin gypsy thief
I see Jane's awake now
she sends her regards

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 now
and his woman is free

thanks for the trouble you took
from her eyes
I thought it was there for good
so I never tried

Jane came by with a lock of your hair
she said that you gave it to her
on the night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely, L Cohen

This was coming out of the speakers in Ray's Liquor the other day.

They have Satellite Radio there for some reason. It's hard to believe it helps them sell more wine and beer and stuff, but at least there aren't commercials for competing businesses getting broadcast in their own store every couple minutes. To say nothing of the weather reports and traffic reports and "news" and other things their customers either already know or don't care about. So, every now and then I have to walk to the back of the store, behind the aisles with the plastic grapes overhead, and stand in front of a speaker between the security cameras and marvel at a song I haven't heard on the radio in 20 or 30 years.

Jennifer Warnes also did a fine version of this song, and named her album of Leonard Cohen covers after it. Jenny Sings Lenny was apparently the second choice.

No comments: