Song of the Day #3,136: ‘You Want It Darker’ – Leonard Cohen

leonard_cohen_darkerThe seventh best single of 2016, according to Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, is the title track to Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker.

As with David Bowie’s #1 spot on the album list, you have to figure Cohen shows up this high because he shook off this mortal coil. He’s a critical favorite anyway, but nothing invites praise like dying.

I don’t know about the whole spoken word thing. I prefer Cohen when he at least attempts to sing, but I guess that got harder as he got older.

[Verse 1: Leonard Cohen]
If you are the dealer
I’m out of the game
If you are the healer
It means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory then
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

[Verse 2: Leonard Cohen]
Magnified, sanctified
Be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the help that never came
You want it darker

[Chorus: Leonard Cohen]
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my Lord

[Verse 3: Leonard Cohen]
There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

[Verse 4: Leonard Cohen]
They’re lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle-class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission
To murder and to maim
You want it darker

[Chorus: Leonard Cohen]
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my Lord

[Verse 5: Leonard Cohen]
Magnified, sanctified
Be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

[Verse 6: Leonard Cohen]
If you are the dealer
Let me out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker

[Chorus: Leonard Cohen]
Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my Lord

[Outro: Cantor Gideon Zelermyer]
Hineni
Hineni, hineni
Hineni

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One thought on “Song of the Day #3,136: ‘You Want It Darker’ – Leonard Cohen

  1. Dana says:

    I’m waiting for Dylan to go the spoken word route. Not sure I could take a steady diet of this, but this “song” is rather compelling.

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