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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Gaët

Eleven Leonard Cohen lyrics on death and ageing

Written by
Amy Smith

Leonard Cohen was one of the world's greatest lyricists and one of the key themes throughout his long career was death and ageing. Lets honour the 'grandfather of gloom' with some of his finest, fatalistic words:

Dance Me To The End of Love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love

Waiting For The Miracle

Nothing left to do 
When you know that you've been taken. 
Nothing left to do 
When you're begging for a crumb 
Nothing left to do
When you've got to go on waiting 
Waiting for the miracle to come. 

Everybody Knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied 

Boogie Street

So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made
In love we disappear

Tower of Song

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey 
I ache in the places where I used to play 
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on 

In My Secret Life

There's no one in sight
And we're still making love
In my secret life


And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them

Take This Waltz

There's a shoulder where Death comes to cry
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows
There's a tree where the doves go to die
There's a piece that was torn from the morning
And it hangs in the Gallery of Frost

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


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Stranger Song

Well, 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 

Still want more Cohen? Watch his final NYC shows from 2012 and 2013.

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