Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Captain by Leonard Cohen

Now the Captain called me to his bed
He fumbled for my hand
"Take these silver bars," he said
"I'm giving you command."
"Command of what, there's no one here
There's only you and me --
All the rest are dead or in retreat
Or with the enemy."
"Complain, complain, that's all you've done
Ever since we lost
If it's not the Crucifixion
Then it's the Holocaust."
"May Christ have mercy on your soul
For making such a joke
Amid these hearts that burn like coal
And the flesh that rose like smoke."

"I know that you have suffered, lad,
But suffer this awhile:
Whatever makes a soldier sad
Will make a killer smile."
"I'm leaving, Captain, I must go
There's blood upon your hand
But tell me, Captain, if you know
Of a decent place to stand."

"There is no decent place to stand
In a massacre;
But if a woman take your hand
Go and stand with her."
"I left a wife in Tennessee
And a baby in Saigon --
I risked my life, but not to hear
Some country-western song."

"Ah but if you cannot raise your love
To a very high degree,
Then you're just the man I've been thinking of --
So come and stand with me."
"Your standing days are done," I cried,
"You'll rally me no more.
I don't even know what side
We fought on, or what for."

"I'm on the side that's always lost
Against the side of Heaven
I'm on the side of Snake-eyes tossed
Against the side of Seven.
And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
And some of it was true
But there wasn't any burden left
So I'm laying it on you."

Now the Captain he was dying
But the Captain wasn't hurt
The silver bars were in my hand
I pinned them to my shirt.

ALMOST NO SONG SO PERFECTY CAPTURES THE MADNESS OF OUR TIME. RIP MR. COHEN. AS I SAID BEFORE, SOMEONE NEEDS TO START A RELIGION WITH YOUR SONG LYRICS AS ITS SCRIPTURE.

2 comments:

Aaron Vattano said...

cohen wrote the best songs ever. He had an amazing gift for lyrics and song. Some of my favorite memories are tied into his songs. Album after album he just got better and deeper. My favorite song of all time was written by him. It's called love itself. Life is better with his music. There will never be another song by him. Time to die

Pirate Aggro said...

He was indeed one of the best that has been in our time. And his song Anthem is probably the song that has given me the most comfort of any song or poem in my life. The song doesn't pull any punches. It says the dove of peace will be bought and sold and bought again. The dove is never free. But it also says that we should keep ringing the bells that still can ring. I have some of the lyrics in a frame on my desk. "There is a crack/ a crack in everything/ that's how the light gets in. It keeps me going. No matter what shit I see. Or who gets elected.