The Music Crept By Us

Leonard Cohen

(Poem #339) The Music Crept By Us

I would like to remind
the management
that the drinks are watered
and the hat-check girl
has syphilis
and the band is composed
of former SS monsters
However since it is
New Year’s Eve
and I have lip cancer
I will place my
paper hat on my
concussion and dance.

I have always loved this poem. It seems more apropos than ever now, given the jolt of fascism America  just delivered to our world—and on the day Leonard died, no less. But it’s also fitting because arrayed against that Armageddon was the spirit and hilarity of the anti-Trump rally I attended last night in Vancouver. Thank you for all the love and beauty in the face of horror, Leonard.

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One Response to “The Music Crept By Us”

  1. LB Says:

    I think this was wishful thinking, though.

    Democracy
    Leonard Cohen
    It’s coming through a hole in the air
    From those nights in Tiananmen Square
    It’s coming from the feel
    That this ain’t exactly real
    Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there
    From the wars against disorder
    From the sirens night and day
    From the fires of the homeless
    From the ashes of the gay
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    It’s coming through a crack in the wall
    On a visionary flood of alcohol
    From the staggering account
    Of the Sermon on the Mount
    Which I don’t pretend to understand at all
    It’s coming from the silence
    On the dock of the bay,
    From the brave, the bold, the battered
    Heart of Chevrolet
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    It’s coming from the sorrow in the street
    The holy places where the races meet
    From the homicidal bitchin’
    That goes down in every kitchen
    To determine who will serve and who will eat
    From the wells of disappointment
    Where the women kneel to pray
    For the grace of God in the desert here
    And the desert far away:
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    Sail on, sail on
    Oh mighty ship of State
    To the shores of need
    Past the reefs of greed
    Through the Squalls of hate
    Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on
    It’s coming to America first
    The cradle of the best and of the worst
    It’s here they got the range
    And the machinery for change
    And it’s here they got the spiritual thirst
    It’s here the family’s broken
    And it’s here the lonely say
    That the heart has got to open
    In a fundamental way
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    It’s coming from the women and the men
    Oh baby, we’ll be making love again
    We’ll be going down so deep
    The river’s going to weep,
    And the mountain’s going to shout Amen
    It’s coming like the tidal flood
    Beneath the lunar sway
    Imperial, mysterious
    In amorous array
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    Sail on, sail on
    O mighty ship of State
    To the shores of need
    Past the reefs of greed
    Through the squalls of hate
    Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on
    I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
    I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
    And I’m neither left or right
    I’m just staying home tonight
    Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
    But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
    As time cannot decay
    I’m junk but I’m still holding up this little wild bouquet
    Democracy is coming to the USA
    To the USA

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