The Old Revolution

©Leonard Cohen, released on Songs from a Room (1969)

.

I finally broke into the prison,

I found my place in the chain.

Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows,

all the brave young men

they're waiting now to see a signal

which some killer will be lighting for pay.

.

Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,

you whom I cannot betray.

.

I fought in the old revolution

on the side of the ghost and the King.

Of course I was very young

and I thought that we were winning;

I can't pretend I still feel very much like singing

as they carry the bodies away.

.

Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,

you whom I cannot betray.

.

Lately you've started to stutter

as though you had nothing to say.

To all of my architects let me be traitor.

Now let me say I myself gave the order

to sleep and to search and to destroy.

.

Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,

you whom I cannot betray.

.

Yes, you who are broken by power,

you who are absent all day,

you who are kings for the sake of your children's story,

the hand of your beggar is burdened down with money,

the hand of your lover is clay.

.

Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,

you whom I cannot betray.

.

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