Teachers

©Leonard Cohen, released on Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

.

I met a woman long ago

her hair the black that black can go,

Are you a teacher of the heart?

Soft she answered no.

.

I met a girl across the sea,

her hair the gold that gold can be,

Are you a teacher of the heart?

Yes, but not for thee.

.

I met a man who lost his mind

in some lost place I had to find,

follow me the wise man said,

but he walked behind.

.

I walked into a hospital

where none was sick and none was well,

when at night the nurses left

I could not walk at all.

.

Morning came and then came noon,

dinner time a scalpel blade

lay beside my silver spoon.

.

Some girls wander by mistake

into the mess that scalpels make.

Are you the teachers of my heart?

We teach old hearts to break.

.

One morning I woke up alone,

the hospital and the nurses gone.

Have I carved enough my Lord?

Child, you are a bone.

.

I ate and ate and ate,

no I did not miss a plate, well

How much do these suppers cost?

We'll take it out in hate.

.

I spent my hatred everyplace,

on every work on every face,

someone gave me wishes

and I wished for an embrace.

.

Several girls embraced me, then

I was embraced by men,

Is my passion perfect?

No, do it once again.

.

I was handsome I was strong,

I knew the words of every song.

Did my singing please you?

No, the words you sang were wrong.

.

Who is it whom I address,

who takes down what I confess?

Are you the teachers of my heart?

We teach old hearts to rest.

.

Oh teachers are my lessons done?

I cannot do another one.

They laughed and laughed and said, Well child,

are your lessons done?

are your lessons done?

are your lessons done?

.

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