Song of the Day #240: ‘Waiting for the Miracle’ – Leonard Cohen

cohenOK, enough of the light stuff, it’s time for something meaty.

Here’s a song I haven’t thought about in years by an artist with whom I should be far more familiar. Leonard Cohen is one of those unheralded geniuses who more popular artists always mention as an influence. And the one song of his that absolutely everybody has heard — ‘Hallelujah’ — they undoubtedly heard sung by somebody else.

His impossibly deep and gravelly voice makes him something of a tough listen, but other times it suits his songs just perfectly. This one is an excellent example. The second track on his 1992 album The Future, ‘Waiting for the Miracle’ is a moody epic about wasted opportunities that eats right into your soul.

I believe the “miracle” the singer is waiting for is true love, and he has shot down chances at more earthbound romance along the way and now finds himself regretful, having “waited half my life away.”

This is a great lyric start to finish. I especially love the line “The maestro says it’s Mozart but it sounds like bubble gum” and the final verse could stand alone as a lovely poem in its own right.

Baby, I’ve been waiting,
I’ve been waiting night and day.
I didn’t see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
and I know you sent me some,
but I was waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

I know you really loved me.
but, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
it must have hurt your pride
to have to stand beneath my window
with your bugle and your drum,
and me I’m up there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Ah I don’t believe you’d like it,
You wouldn’t like it here.
There ain’t no entertainment
and the judgments are severe.
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
but it sounds like bubble gum
when you’re waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Waiting for the miracle
There’s nothing left to do.
I haven’t been this happy
since the end of World War II.

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.

I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked
Ah but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling
from your fingers and your thumb,
and you were waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Ah baby, let’s get married,
we’ve been alone too long.
Let’s be alone together.
Let’s see if we’re that strong.
Yeah let’s do something crazy,
something absolutely wrong
while we’re waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Nothing left to do …

When you’ve fallen on the highway
and you’re lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you’re doing
of course you’ll say you can’t complain.
If you’re squeezed for information,
that’s when you’ve got to play it dumb.
You just say you’re out there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come

e

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #240: ‘Waiting for the Miracle’ – Leonard Cohen

  1. Amy says:

    How is this more meaty than Kokomo? 😉

  2. pegclifton says:

    I like the song and the fact that I can understand every word without reading the lyrics, and also that you’ ve included a “senior” in your blog.

  3. Dana says:

    Good song by a great songwriter, but I agree that it is a bit hard to warm up to his voice.

  4. Amy says:

    Sheesh… this song goes on forever, doesn’t it? His voice creates a cool enough background vibe, but I don’t think I could sit there concentrating on it. His “Hallelujah” must be a very different experience than the one we know. I’m thinking perhaps this is a singer songwriter who should have stuck to letting others sing the songs he had written.

  5. Clay says:

    Look at you, dissing the senior citizen, and in front of your mother no less!

Leave a Reply to pegclifton Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.