The Street – Leonard Cohen

The Street
by Leonard Cohen

I used to be your favorite drunk
Good for one more laugh.
Then we both ran out of luck
And luck was all we had.
You put on a uniform
To fight the civil war
I tried to join but no one liked
The side I’m fighting for.

So let’s drink to when it’s over
And let’s drink to when we meet
I’ll be waiting on this corner
Where there used to be a street

It wasn’t all that easy
When you upped and walked away
But I’ll save that little story
For another rainy day
I know the burden’s heavy
As you wheel it through the night
The guru says it’s empty
But that doesn’t mean it’s light.

So let’s drink to when it’s over
And let’s drink to when we meet
I’ll be waiting on this corner
Where there used to be a street

You left me with the dishes
And a baby in the bath
And you’re tight with the militia
And you wear their camouflage
Well I guess that makes us equal
But I want to march with you
It’s just an extra to the sequel
To the old, Red, White & Blue

So let’s drink to when it’s over
And let’s drink to when we meet
I’ll be waiting on this corner
Where there used to be a street

It’s gonna be September now
For many years to come
Many hearts adjusting
To that strict September drum
I see the ghost of culture
With numbers on his wrist
Salute some new conclusion
That all of us have missed.

So let’s drink to when it’s over
And let’s drink to when we meet
I’ll be waiting on this corner
Where there used to be a street.

Heard this on NPR yesterday afternoon. It was a Freshair rerun, “Leonard Cohen’s ‘Book of Longing'”. At the end Cohen recited this poem, which he is still working out the melody for. It is very pretty. I got interested. Almost wanted to get that book they were talking about in the interview, “Book of Longing. I looked for other poems by Cohen on line. Didn’t like any of them.

But this one is good. 🙂