Saturday, June 23, 2018

Poetry Sunday: Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen

I've been in a Leonard Cohen frame of mind over the last few days. I've listened to his music over and over again. One song in particular keeps popping up and has embedded itself in my brain, becoming my latest earworm, and now I pass it on to you. 

"Everybody Knows" is perhaps one of Cohen's darkest, most pessimistic and cynical lyrics. This from a man whose default sentiment often seemed to be pessimism. The song was released in 1988 but somehow it seems to fit the times in which we live: "Everybody knows that the boat is leaking..."

But if everybody knows, why don't we do something about it? 

Everybody Knows

by Leonard Cohen 

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows 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

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows


~~~






7 comments:

  1. Ah Leonard. He can surely capture those low moments. I had a day last week when I felt sure we are doomed. Yesterday driving around on errands with my husband I observed that it all looked fine, nice houses and cars, plenty of food and water, fog and clouds and sun. How could anything be wrong? But we know it is.

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  2. One more thing: having read that Joni Mitchell biography last year, I suspect the song might have something to do with her.

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    1. Ah, Joni Mitchell. I've been listening to her, too. I think I am reverting to an earlier life.

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  3. Interesting stuff you've come up with! Everybody knows...

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  4. I've been so pessimistic lately - someone is writing much of what I feel right now (but with a lot more skill.)

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    1. I agree that things seem very depressing at the moment and yet we must not let ourselves slip into despair and apathy. We must keep resisting and trying in whatever way we can to make things better.

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