I Tried To Leave You – “This Is A Monogamous Song”
Interviewer: In so much of your poetry and songs your lovers are forever parting.
Leonard Cohen: That’s true.
Interviewer: Do you know why?
Leonard Cohen: I don’t remember the songs I wrote a long time ago – they are all saying goodbye.
Interviewer: Well they are leaving each other.
Leonard Cohen: Well I have some here in which they are condemned to each other for eternity, on my new record, for instance I have this song that goes like this:
I tried to leave you, I don’t deny
I closed the book on us at least a hundred times I wake up every morning by your side
the years go by, you loose your pride
the baby is crying so You do not go outside
and all your work is right before your eyes goodnight, my darling
I hope you’re satisfied
the bed is kind of narrow,
but my arms are opened wide
and here’s a man working for your smile.
This is a monogamous song.
Interviewer: You still use the word, “condemn”
Leonard Cohen: Lovers condemned like mated beasts to tie same cage with a long embrace and fighting over scraps of freedom there is aversion of the thing, which is very unattractive. I think anyone who has lived with anyone else knows what I mean.
From an interview with Malka Marom (1970s)