Last Year's Man

©Leonard Cohen, released on Songs of Love and Hate (1971)

.

The rain falls down on last year's man,

that's a jew's harp on the table,

that's a crayon in his hand.

And the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rolled

far past the stems of thumbtacks

that still throw shadows on the wood.

And the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend

and all the rain falls down amen

on the works of last year's man.

.

I met a lady, she was playing with her soldiers in the dark

oh one by one she had to tell them

that her name was Joan of Arc.

I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while;

I want to thank you, Joan of Arc,

for treating me so well.

And though I wear a uniform I was not born to fight;

all these wounded boys you lie beside,

goodnight, my friends, goodnight.

.

I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived;

Bethlehem the bridegroom,

Babylon the bride.

Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me,

and Bethlehem inflamed us both

like the shy one at some orgy.

And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil

that I had to draw aside to see

the serpent eat its tail.

.

Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain

so I hang upon my altar

and I hoist my axe again.

And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began

when Jesus was the honeymoon

and Cain was just the man.

And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin

that the wilderness is gathering

all its children back again.

.

The rain falls down on last year's man,

an hour has gone by

and he has not moved his hand.

But everything will happen if he only gives the word;

the lovers will rise up

and the mountains touch the ground.

But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend

and all the rain falls down amen

on the works of last year's man.

.

Printable page


www.ebbemunk.dk  |  Leonard Cohen's lyrics  |  leonardcohen.com  |  leonardcohenfiles.com