FIELD COMMANDER COHEN

TOUR OF 1979

February 2001





Click on the song title to see the lyrics, or just scroll down.

Click on the RealAudio or WAV button next to the song
title to hear a 30 second sound clip from the official
Sony site: www.leonardcohen.com.
Copyright © 2001 Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.



1. Field Commander Cohen (4:25)
2. The Window (5:51) - violin solo by Raffi Hakopian
3. The Smokey Life (5:34) - duet with Jennifer Warnes
4. The Gypsy's Wife (5:20) - violin solo by Raffi Hakopian
5. Lover Lover Lover (6:31) - includes two long oud solos by John Bilezikjian
6. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye (4:04) - violin solo by Raffi Hakopian
7. The Stranger Song 4:55
8. The Guests (6:05) - violin solo by Raffi Hakopian
9. Memories (4:38) - sax solo by Paul Ostermayer
10. Why Don't You Try (3:43) - duet with Sharon Robinson, solo by Paul Ostermayer
11. Bird on the Wire (5:10) - guitar solo by Mitch Watkins
12. So long, Marianne (6:44)

Total time: 63:08

Songs recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, on December 4,5,6, 1979; and at the Dome Theatre, Brighton, on December 15, 1979.

Sony Music Entertainment Inc Cat # CK66210



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Field Commander Cohen


Field Commander Cohen, he was our most important spy:
wounded in the line of duty;
parachuting acid into diplomatic cocktail parties;
urging Fidel Castro to abandon fields and castles;
leave it all, and like a man,
came back to nothing special
such as waiting rooms and ticket lines,
silver bullet suicides,
and messianic ocean tides,
and racial roller-coaster rides,
and other forms of boredom advertised as poetry.

I know you need your sleep now.
I know your life's been hard,
But many men are falling,
where you promised to stand guard.

I never asked but I heard that you cast your lot along with the poor;
that you be this and nothing more
than just some grateful, faithful woman's favourite singing millionaire,
the patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair,
working for the Yankee dollar.
Drinkinī rum and Coca-Cola. Go down Point Koomahnah.
Both mother and daughter. Working for the Yankee dollar.

I know you need your sleep now.
I know your life's been hard,
But many men are falling,
where you promised to stand guard.

Lover, come and lie with me, if my lover is who you really are.
And be your sweetest self a while, until I ask for more, my child.
Then let the other selves be rung; let them manifest and come,
`til love is pierced and love is hung
and every taste is on the tongue,
and every kind of freedom done, then
oh my love, oh my love, oh my love




The Window


Why do you stand by the window,
abandoned to beauty and pride?
The thorn of the night in your bosom,
the spear of the age in your side;
lost in the rages of fragrance,
lost in the rags of remorse,
lost in the waves of a sickness
that loosens the high silver nerves.

O chosen love, O frozen love
O tangle of matter and ghost.
O darling of angels, demons and saints
and the whole broken-hearted host -
Gentle this soul.

Come forth from the cloud of unknowing
and kiss the cheek of the moon;
the code of solitude broken
why tarry confused and alone?
And leave no word of discomfort,
and leave no observer to mourn,
but climb on your tears and be silent,
like a rose on its ladder of thorn.

O chosen love...

Then lay your rose on the fire;
the fire give up to the sun;
the sun give over to splendour,
in the arms of the High Holy One;
for the Holy One dreams of a letter,
dreams of a letter's death -
oh bless thee continuous stutter
of the word being made into flesh.

O chosen love, O frozen love, O tangle of matter and ghost.
O darling of angels, demons and saints
and the whole broken-hearted host - Gentle this soul.

Gentle this soul




The Smokey Life


I've never seen your eyes so wide.
I've never seen your appetite quite this occupied.
Elsewhere is your feast of love,
I know. Long ago we agreed to keep it light.
So lets be married one more night.

It's light enough, light enough
to let it go.

Remember when the scenery started fading;
I held you `til you learned to walk on air.
So don't look down, the ground is gone,
there's no one waving anyway.
The smokey life is practiced
everywhere.

So set your restless heart at ease.
Take a lesson from these autumn leaves.
They waste no time waiting for the snow.
Don't argue now you'll be late.
There is nothing to investigate.

It's light enough, light enough
to let it go.
Light enough to let it go.

Remember when the scenery started fading;
I held you `til you learned to walk on air.
So don't look down, the ground is gone,
there's no one waving anyway.
The smokey life is practiced everywhere.

Come on back if the moment lends.
You can look up all my very closest friends.

Itīs light, light enough, light enough,
to let it go.
Light enough to let it go.




The Gypsy's Wife


And where, where, where is my gypsy wife tonight?
I've heard all the wild reports; they can't be right.
But whose head is this she's dancing with on the threshing floor?
Whose darkness deepens in her arms just a little more?

And where, where is my gypsy wife tonight?

The silver knives are flashing in that tired old cafe.
A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee.
She says, "My body is the light. She says, "My body is the way."
I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet.

So where, where is my gypsy wife tonight?

Too early for the rainbow, too early for the dove.
These are your final days; this is the darkness, this is the flood.
And there is no man or woman who can be touched,
but you who come between them, you will surely be judged.

So where, where is my gypsy wife tonight?




Lover Lover Lover


I asked my father,
I said, Father, change my name.
The one I'm using now, it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame.

Lover, lover, lover, lover, come back to me,
yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me.

He said,īI locked you in this body,
I meant it as a kind of trial.
You can use it for a weapon
or to make some woman smile.

Yes and lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me
Lover, lover, lover, lover, come back to me.

"Then let me start again, I cried,
Oh please let me start again.
I want a face that's fair,
I want a spirit that is calm."

Lover, lover, lover, lover, come back to me

"I never never turned aside, he said,
I never walked away.
It was you who built the temple,
it was you who covered up my face.

Lover, lover, lover, lover, come back to me. You may come to me in happiness,
or you may come to me in grief,
you may come to me in deepest faith,
or you may come in disbelief.

Lover, lover, lover, lover, come back to me.




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.
Many loved before us. I know we are not new.
In city and in forest, they smile 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.

I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time.
Walk me to the corner now, our steps will always rhyme.
You know my love goes with you, as your love stays with me.
It's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea.
But let's not talk of love or chains, or things we can't untie.
Your eyes are soft with sorrow.
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.
Many loved before us. I know we are not new.
In city and in forest, they smile 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.




The Stranger Song


It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
every time you gave them shelter.
I know that kind of man.
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender. .

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much,
not even laughter.
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another.
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger.

Leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love, your warmth and your shelter.
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say,
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

Ah, but now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams,
as though they were the burden of some other.
You've seen that man before,
his golden arm dispatching cards,
but now it's rusted from the elbow to the finger.
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter.
Yes, he wants to trade the song he sings for shelter.

Well, you hate to watch another tired man
lay down his hand,
like he was giving up the Holy Game of Poker.
And while he talks his dreams to sleep,
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder.
And now suddenly you look a little older.
Suddenly you feel a little older.

You tell him to come in, sit down,
but something makes you turn around.
The door is open. You cannot close your shelter.
You try the handle of the road.
It opens. Do not be afraid.
It's you my love, it`s you who are the stranger.

I've been waiting, I was sure
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for,
I think it's time to board another.
Please understand I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this,
or any other matter.
He talks like this,
you don't know what he's after.

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose,
upon the shore, beneath the bridge,
that they are building on some endless river.
Then he leaves the platform
for the sleeping car that's warm,
you realize, he's only advertising one more shelter.
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger.
And you say, "Ok, the bridge, or someplace later."

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much,
not even laughter.
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another.
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger.

Leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love, your warmth and your shelter.
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say,
I told you when I came I was a stranger.




The Guests


One by one, the guests arrive,
the guests are coming through.
The open-hearted many,
the broken-hearted few.

But no one knows where the night is going.
No one knows why the wine is flowing.
Ah love, I need you,
I need you,
I need you, now.

And those who dance, begin to dance.
Those who weep begin.
Welcome, welcome cries a voice,
let all my guests come in.

No one knows where the night is going ...

And all go stumbling through that house
in utmost urgency
saying "Do reveal yourself;
or why has thou forsaken me?"

No one knows where the night is going ...

All at once the torches flare;
the inner door flies open.
One by one they enter there,
in every style of passion.

No one knows where the night is going ...

Those who dance, begin to dance.
Those who weep begin.
Those who earnestly are lost
are lost and lost again.

But no one knows where the night is going ...

One by one the guests arrive,
the guests are coming through.
The broken-hearted many,
The open-hearted few.

No one knows where the night is going.
No one knows why the wine is flowing.
Ah love, I need you,
I need you,
I need you, now.




Memories


Frankie Laine was singing "Jezebel."
I pinned an Iron Cross to my lapel.
I walked up to the tallest and the blondest girl.
I said, "Look, you don't know me now but very soon you will;
so won't you let me see,
won't you let me see,
won't you let me see
your naked body?"

She sayd, "Just dance me to the dark side of the gym.
Chances are, I'll let you do almost anything.
I know you're hungry, I can hear it in your voice,
and there are many parts of me to touch. You have your choice.
But no, you cannot see,
no, you cannot see,
no, you cannot see
my naked body."

We're dancing close, the band is playing "Stardust."
Balloons and paper streamers floating down on us.
She says, "You`ve got a minute left to fall in love."
In solemn moments such as this I`ve put my trust,
and all my faith to see,
all my faith to see,
all my faith to see
her naked body.




Why Don't You Try


Why don't you try to do without him,
why don't you try to live alone?
Do you really need his hands for your passion?
Do you really need his heart for your throne?
Do you need his labour for your baby?
Do you need his beast for the bone?
Do you need to hold a leash to be a lady?
I know that you can make it, you can make it on your own.

Why don't your try to forget him?
Just open up your dainty little hand.
This life is filled with many sweet companions,
many satisfying one-night stands.
Do you want to be the ditch around a tower?
Do you want to be the moonlight in his cave?
Do you want to give your blessing to his power,
as he goes whistling past his daddy, past his daddy's grave?

I'd like to take you take you to the ceremony;
that is; if I remember the way.
Jack and Jill, they're going to join their misery;
I'm afraid it's time for everyone to pray.
You can see they've finally taken cover.
You can see they're willing to obey.
Their vows are difficult, they're for each other.
So let nobody put a loophole, a loophole in their way.




Bird On The Wire


Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a monk bending over the book,
it was the shape of our love twisted me.
If I have been unkind,
I hope you can let it go by.
If I have been untrue,
it`s just that I thought a lover had to be some kind of liar too.

Like a baby stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song,
I swear by all that I have done wrong,
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar, he was standing on his wooden crutch.
He cries out to me, "Hey, you must learn not to ask for so much."
Another pretty woman, waiting there in her darkened door,
she cries out to me, "Hey, why not ask for just a little bit more?"

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in some old midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free.




So Long Marianne


Wonīt you come over to the window, my little darling,
I'd like to try to read your palm.
I used to think I was some kind of gypsy boy
before I let you take me home.

So long, Marianne, it's time that we began
to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.

You know that I love to live with you,
but you make me forget so very much.
I forget to pray for the angels,
and then the angels forget to pray for us.

So long, Marianne ...

We met when we were almost young.
It was down by the green lilac park.
You held on to me like I was a crucifix
as we went kneeling through the dark.

So long, Marianne ...

For now I need your hidden love.
I'm cold as a new razor blade.
You left when I told you I was curious.
Did I ever say that I was brave?

So long, Marianne ...

You are really such a pretty one.
I see you've gone and changed your name again.
And just when I climbed this mountainside
to wash my eyelids in the rain.

So long, Marianne, it's time that we began to laugh and cry and cry
and laugh about it all again.




Copyright © 2001 Leonard Cohen
and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada Company

Thanks to Judith Braun and Marie Mazur for help in creating this page!



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