Leonard Cohen Traces Process From “Waiting For The Miracle” To “I’ve Cried Enough for You” To “I’m Your Man”

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I’m Your Man, that started off as a song about ‘waiting for the miracle.’ It had some funny lines in it like waiting for the miracle, there’s nothing left to do / I haven’t been this happy since the end of World War II. But I couldn’t sing it. I wasn’t waiting for the miracle, or maybe I was and I didn’t like the victimized position. Then it became a song called I’ve Cried Enough for You, where I was talking to myself, you know, I’ve never seen the sky so blue the grass so green the day so new / I can’t believe it but it must be true / I’ve cried enough for you. And that didn’t work. ‘Cause what I was really trying to say was, ‘I’ll do anything for you.’ But it took two or three more writings and recordings of the song to get to I’m Your Man, which is just a perfect little song. It was hard to get to those truths.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988

“People have to decide between themselves whether they’re going to be true to one another, and what ‘being true’ means” Leonard Cohen on the “range of friendships that are available”


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But you’ve got to be able to say that [‘If you want to work the street alone / I’ll disappear for you’ – from I’m Your Man] to someone you love. A man has to let another man bring gifts to his wife. That goes for us all. And the notion that a thing is fixed and doesn’t admit of any need for change or modification, that’s the sure formula for suffering. People have to decide between themselves whether they’re going to be true to one another, and what ‘being true’ means, they have to define for themselves. You may decide to share that thing exclusively with each other. But there’s a whole range of friendships that are available to people, and perhaps you suffer a great deal if you refuse them. Maybe I have a more radical view of the thing, which is private and even inarticulate to myself. But I know in myself there are times when that line is true. At times you have to disappear for your lover, and you have to let them cook by themselves and in whatever way they want. Otherwise you can’t hold it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From As a New Generation Discovers Leonard Cohen’s Dark Humour Kris Kirk Ruffles the Great Man’s Back Pages by Kris Kirk in Poetry Commotion, June 18, 1988. More Leonard Cohen quotations about relationships can be found at  Leonard Cohen on Relationships. Originally posted April 26, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric