Elvis Costello – Bird On The Wire
Elvis Costello – The Future
Huston: How do you think that’s going to affect the future, given the fact that we are panicked and that things seem to be closing in on us?
This just may be each individual human’s translation of the certainty of their own death. I mean, things are closing in on us in a real way. I found when I was writing about the future, in a song called ‘The Future,’ I found that the hook I came up with, the one I could get behind and sing in several hundred concerts, was, ‘I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.’ That seems to be true.
From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). Photography Dana Lixenberg. Originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
This appears to be the 1993 iteration of the 1988 promotions Leonard Cohen made with backup singers, usually anonymous stand-ins, lip-synching his songs on TV in France, Germany, Belgium, and other European countries. Those 1988 versions can be viewed
Leonard Cohen – The Future
Spanish TV: 1993
‘There’ll be the breaking of the Western code, I mean your private life will suddenly explode.’ That is the whole investment in private space that the West has painfully established over the centuries. That is specifically what is going to collapse. ‘There will be phantoms, there’ll be fires on the road’ – a return to suspicion, superstition, return to the tribal paranoia and the white man dancing. It evokes a scene of the end of things but with certain variations.
From TV Interview by Barbara Gowdy. Broadcast Nov 19, 1992 on TVOntario and published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, edited by Leanna Crouch (1994).
If I’d just nailed the lyrics of The Future to a church door in Wittenberg, it would be a heavy and foreboding and sinister document – but it’s married to a hot little dance track. So the music dissolves in the lyric and the lyric dissolves in the music, and you’re left with a kind of refreshment, a kind of oxygen.
From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993. Originally posted Jan 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
The Future would be pretty grim if I just nailed it up on the church door like Martin Luther. I mean it is a hot little track and you can dance to it. It’s gotta have that. The last thing we need is something else to bring us down. And I never meant to do that. I always meant to invigorate.
From Rebirth of a Ladies’ Man By Brendan Kelly. The Financial Post: December 12, 1992.