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Leonard Cohen — The Future
Album: The Future
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3741









Released: 1992
Length: 6:38
Plays (last 30 days): 3
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin Wall
give me Stalin and St. Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it's overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT
I wonder what they meant

You don't know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I'm the little Jew
who wrote the bible
I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder

Things are going to slide in all directions...

There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
there'll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing
You'll see the woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming around
trying to sound like Charlie Manson.

Give me back the Berlin Wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder

Things are going to slide in all directions...
Comments (528)add comment
great song with absolutely apocalyptic lyrics
 steviedeant wrote:

I don't know how someone with such a terrible voice, simple chord progression and pretty basic musicianship can do such an incredible song.




genius?
I don't know how someone with such a terrible voice, simple chord progression and pretty basic musicianship can do such an incredible song.
 Stetsonman wrote:

nope Leonard really blows goats
that was 10 minutes of dross in my ears I could have done without


Gee, what kind of simpleton spends 10 minutes listening to something they don't like. Wait a minute .  .  .  it's the same kind of simpleton who thinks anyone else cares what they think!
It's okay, you can go back and listen to your 38 Special Greatest Hits cassette anytime you like.
nice harmonies

i wish i could do that
My Westmount homie...love ya and miss ya
YAWN
 mattenuttall wrote:
People may struggle with Cohen's phrasing and musical accompaniment, which are off for sure. Perhaps Teddy Thompson's version of this song would clear up some doubt of the poem's merit? Bill, you ever spun that version?
 
Just tried it - and much as though I like the Thompson family's output, Teddy's version signally lacks the bite of Leonard's original. Maybe his dad would give it a bit more bite and blackness. Perhaps Leonard's ouvre, like Dylan's, works best with limited singers!
 On_The_Beach wrote:

So sorry, Leonard's music is intended for adults.
Now run along and play with your Lego; there's a good boy.
 
nope Leonard really blows goats
that was 10 minutes of dross in my ears I could have done without
 Pjesnik wrote:
ppopp wrote:
    He's making fun of Chris Rea.


Try listening to his 'Shamrock Diaries' before write anything like this again. 
 
Jesus, I do hear Chris Rea.

Musical coincidence, I'm sure.
A perfect song for an absolutely political incorrect movie. While hearing the song the pictures appear in my head. 
I love Natural Born Killers.
 BillE wrote:
"give me back Stalin" Are you kidding me. Stalin murdered 20 M. This lyric seems to want to bring back the Golden Age when Mao (killed 45 M) and Hitler (killed 11 M). What am I missing here guys?

Does it really need an explanation?

Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder





Lets sing another song, boys.
This one has grown old and bitter. 
True friends stab you in the front.
disturbingly good
 ppopp wrote:
He's making fun of Chris Rea.
 
Try listening to his 'Shamrock Diaries' before write anything like this again. 
This song and album are why I think Leonard Cohen deserves a Nobel Prize as much as Bob Dylan.   His lyrics are so precise.  They are like a scalpel that exposes the illness at the core of modern culture.  Beautiful and frightening all at once.  A 10 all the way.
 sqqqrly wrote:
 BillE wrote:
"give me back Stalin" Are you kidding me. Stalin murdered 20 M. This lyric seems to want to bring back the Golden Age when Mao (killed 45 M) and Hitler (killed 11 M). What am I missing here guys?

You miss understand the entire song.... He is mirroring us and consequences. He is not advocating. 

The future is now.
 

I think Cohen is also singing the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic vision along the lines of the Book of Revelation.... This song is awesome.
 BillE wrote:
"give me back Stalin" Are you kidding me. Stalin murdered 20 M. This lyric seems to want to bring back the Golden Age when Mao (killed 45 M) and Hitler (killed 11 M). What am I missing here guys?

You miss understand the entire song.... He is mirroring us and consequences. He is not advocating. 

The future is now.
 BillE wrote:
"give me back Stalin" Are you kidding me. Stalin murdered 20 M. This lyric seems to want to bring back the Golden Age when Mao (killed 45 M) and Hitler (killed 11 M). What am I missing here guys?
 
Point of view BillE - broaden your mind to understand, LC was a brilliant poet albeit critical at times.
"give me back Stalin" Are you kidding me. Stalin murdered 20 M. This lyric seems to want to bring back the Golden Age when Mao (killed 45 M) and Hitler (killed 11 M). What am I missing here guys?
 On_The_Beach wrote:

So sorry, Leonard's music is intended for adults.
Now run along and play with your Lego; there's a good boy.
 
Utilizing convicted mass murderer Manson in one's lyrics is so Adult
Example of  why he's freakin good... 

The woman in blue, she's asking for revenge,
the man in white -- that's you -- says he has no friends.
The river is swollen up with rusty cans
and the trees are burning in your promised land.

And there are no letters in the mailbox,
and there are no grapes upon the vine,
and there are no chocolates in the boxes anymore,
and there are no diamonds in the mine.
A masterpiece. I would also recommend Democracy on the same album.
If you're a Leonard Cohen fan, look up the memorial concert that was done in Montreal on Youtube. Some very good covers of his work.

I also recommend the movie Leonard and Marianne to Cohen fans.
 easmann wrote:
“I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival”

It’s the same secret message the sages have whispered for many, many years. The same one we know in our hearts is true even while we scoff at it, or simply ignore it, at our increasing peril. While rough beasts race towards Bethlehem on a 24 hour news cycle. 

Spare us. 
“I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival”

It’s the same secret message the sages have whispered for many, many years. The same one we know in our hearts is true even while we scoff at it, or simply ignore it, at our increasing peril. While rough beasts race towards Bethlehem on a 24 hour news cycle. 
Great track, from a great album, by a great artist - one of Canada's finest IMO (and there's been quite a few).     RIP Leonard Cohen.......Long live RP  
My father used to call him "Depresso Cohen."
Moving to 10 ! Agree Costello’s version was truly moving! The entire concert was such an amazing tribute
The wikipedia article lists his genres as “folk” and “soft rock.” I mean… I guess...?
I was blown away by Elvis Costello's performance of The Future during the Tower of Song memorial to L Cohen in 2017. 
The entire show is amazing! 
(See 27 mins)
https://gem.cbc.ca/media/cbc-music-specials/season-2017/tower-of-song--a-memorial-tribute-to-leonard-cohen/38e815a-00d99b3c4e3
I've always liked the sound of his unique voice and what he says with it.
Thanks!
 mongobot wrote:
If I ever stop listening to this station, too much Leonard Cohen will be one of the reasons. 
 
Too eclectic for ya, eh?  Too bad for you....this LC song is great....anal sex and all....Long Live RP!!
well to be honest things did slide in all directions from the time LC wrote this, and I'm not sure that there is anything I can measure anymore, and pretty sure that we don't even know what the order of the soul is, at least here where I live... just saying... thx RP, RIP LC
People may struggle with Cohen's phrasing and musical accompaniment, which are off for sure. Perhaps Teddy Thompson's version of this song would clear up some doubt of the poem's merit? Bill, you ever spun that version?
Kind of like a response to Sympathy for the Devil.
Only 10% contributing! Shame!
repugnant,repugnent, repugnit
Canadian Bob Dylan. I love this man!
Now that I can see the lyrics to that song I had no idea it was soooo dark and disturbing. Cohen and Dylan really dive deep.
What a great Leonard Cohen song!  Thanks for playing!
what a talent ... lord love him
Modern day prophet at work.
 LinThizzy wrote:
TRASH - PSD
 
So sorry, Leonard's music is intended for adults.
Now run along and play with your Lego; there's a good boy.
TRASH - PSD
Really not wanting to hear this right now—"PSD"!
 ojibwe wrote:
Well, that is one interpretation.
 
There's a distinction between "speechless" and "breathless". I'm neither, but someone, at that link, seems to be breathless.
 mongobot wrote:
If I ever stop listening to this station, too much Leonard Cohen will be one of the reasons. 

 
that and Vienna Teng.... soooo painful
Seems a tat ironic to give this song a godlike
I wanted to put it in words, using my best english, but I'm not sure I can.
Just this, each time I hear this song coming up whatever it is I'm doing, I'm seized, frozen. I wish he is wrong, It's just exorcising poetry, isn't it
 ojibwe wrote:

Well, that is one interpretation.

 
Speechless.

Never heard of the whole affair, but it does cast a very different light on him. Sad, but the future he sings about is already here.
Brilliant. 
Gimmee the PSD button.
 jackie0 wrote:
Cohen left the Buddhist monastery where he lived after having discovered that his manager, Kelley Lynch, had stolen almost all his money.  
 
Well, that is one interpretation.
 pixiep wrote:
Love Leonard...would be happy not to ever hear this particular song. Ever again.!

 
cheers to that {#Cheers} 
Love Leonard...would be happy not to ever hear this particular song. Ever again.!
R.I.P.  Leonard Cohen.
        {#Sunny}
{#Cheers} {#Cheers}{#Cheers}
An awesome artist, an example of a strong and determined and civil person living and loving til the end

❤️ 

 
 GTT wrote:
I think the next Nobel prize for literature should go to ... Leonard Cohen.

 
The first one given to a poet singer-songwriter should have gone to Leonard Cohen.  No disrespect intended for Bob Dylan.  
The second LC song on RP that makes me think, "This fits the times." And I am not thinking of his untimely death.
I have seen the future, brother:
It is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned the order of the soul

RIP Mr. Cohen 


R.I.P. Leonard.
You will be missed.

https://media.gq.com/photos/582523dd8d44951638d62812/3:2/w_560/leonard-cohen-obit.jpg
RIP Leonard. 
Lyrically, excellent value for the money.
 jimtyrrell wrote:

I m with You. Wow, He has worn my ass out this one. This was such a beautiful day here in downtown Washington until the mushroom cloud appeared.
I love U Leonard. 9 4me 

 
Right On!!
 GTT wrote:
I think the next Nobel prize for literature should go to ... Leonard Cohen.

 
Yes!! My thoughts exactly! He is a genius. R.I.P.
 GTT wrote:
I think the next Nobel prize for literature should go to ... Leonard Cohen.

 
I m with You. Wow, He has worn my ass out this one. This was such a beautiful day here in downtown Washington until the mushroom cloud appeared.
I love U Leonard. 9 4me 
I think the next Nobel prize for literature should go to ... Leonard Cohen.
 bm.deavenport613 wrote:
Everybody should get a little anal sex from time to time.

 
Ha!!!
Everybody should get a little anal sex from time to time.
Decent song, annoying production.
He's making fun of Chris Rea.
 jimtyrrell wrote:
I love this song. The beautiful voices of the  backup singers contrasted with his gruff voice makes his apocalyptic story all the more humorous.
So what if he doesn't have a great voice, "it's only rock and roll"!

 
"clink" cheers jimtyrrell : )
Oh my god. Make it stop.
 mobboss wrote:
He's an international treasure and should be accorded respect. It's his world weary experienced voice which gives proper counterweight to his lyrics along with his angelic backup singers. Don't like? Press PSD. Like? Enjoy one our greatest living singer/ songwriters. I'd listen to him read his grocery list. Peace.



 


 jackie0 wrote:

Agree.
Cohen left the Buddhist monastery where he lived after having discovered that his manager, Kelley Lynch, had stolen almost all his money.  The result - new songs, and a world tour.  Not bad considering he's in his 80's.  The London concert is on film, an absolute masterpiece of music, soul, and cinematography.  Never have I seen an artist so gracious and generous in crediting his most excellent side men (and women!).

 


Recently, I was in a prison in Estonia, this song came to mind. Really.

OK, the prison had been decommissioned, but nevertheless. 
This song is like a terminal prophecy{#Ask}
But i love the songs of Leonard.
{#Snooty}
 DJ_BellsEye wrote:
Wow, I must be losing my mind- I thought this was Tom Waits!
{#Beat}
Love hearing both Waits and Leonard Cohen on RP!

 
me, Chris Rea :-D
I am a fan of Leonard Cohen 
Haters are gonna hate. Suzanne takes you down, seriously you are not down with the poetry?  We have too many songs and not enough songwriters.  
 
Wow, I must be losing my mind- I thought this was Tom Waits!
{#Beat}
Love hearing both Waits and Leonard Cohen on RP!
LinThizzy wrote:
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.

  

Skydog wrote:

translation;

I 'd rather hear a thousand hyenas drives a collapsing crane to 52nd Street . 

 
Or does Lin mean I'd rather be on the Road to Hell with Chris Rea? Because that's what I think of when hearing this song.
 mongobot wrote:
If I ever stop listening to this station, too much Leonard Cohen will be one of the reasons. 

 
3 plays in the last 30 days.  What don't you understand about "eclectic" and the PSD button (Play Something Different) button? {#Stupid}
If I ever stop listening to this station, too much Leonard Cohen will be one of the reasons. 
Instant Natual Born Killers flashback! {#Cowboy}
 LinThizzy wrote:
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.

 
What?
Genious.
The words of the Apocalypse set to the music of the Chicken Dance ... pure genius.
 LinThizzy wrote:
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.

 
translation;

I 'd rather hear a thousand hyenas drives a collapsing crane to 52nd Street . 
Hey,

I've just finished reading Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

This is just the feel of the book!
 LinThizzy wrote:
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.

 
Your translation program does not work properly. What kind of German is your phrase supposed to be ?
 LinThizzy wrote:
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.

 
Leonard cohen doesn't even listen to leonard cohen
Ich würde eher zu tausend Hyänen hören einen zusammenbrechenden Kran bis 52. Straße fährt.
I don't like his voice much but his songwriting is epic.
 Michellegoguen wrote:
oh the pain. Audio waterboarding.

 
{#Roflol}{#Clap}{#Notworthy}

Makes you wonder whether Leonard wondered about the effect of  this ditty when he sang the line "there's no one left to torture"

This wouldn't be such a bad song if it featured someone who could actually sing.
 jimtyrrell wrote:
I love this song. The beautiful voices of the  backup singers contrasted with his gruff voice makes his apocalyptic story all the more humorous.
So what if he doesn't have a great voice, "it's only rock and roll"!

 
AND, this is like Mark II of his voice... His early stuff is about 3 octaves higher!
 LinThizzy wrote:
Cohen's voice and phrasing sucks, he sounds like he's some random person doing a karaoke version of his own song, unfamiliar with the pitch or the phrasing.

 
Listen to it like a poetry reading. Wouldn't it be cool if all poets could put this kind of passion and aural aesthetics into their readings?
UGH. 
 LinThizzy wrote:
Cohen's voice and phrasing sucks, he sounds like he's some random person doing a karaoke version of his own song, unfamiliar with the pitch or the phrasing.

 
Um, yeah. Great songs, but I'd almost always rather hear someone else doing them.
You can call it religion, morality or ethics,...of which a little more of it in society certainly wouldn't hurt.  Go for it Leonard!
Religion is like a Leonard Cohen.
It's okay to have one
It's okay to be proud of it 
HOWEVER
Do not pull it out in public
do not push it on children
do not write laws with it
do not think with it. 
oh the pain. Audio waterboarding.
Cohen's voice and phrasing sucks, he sounds like he's some random person doing a karaoke version of his own song, unfamiliar with the pitch or the phrasing.
This is flat out lame. Just what I need for an uplifting Sunday morning.

Can we get a PSD button on iTunes?
hm...maybe L.C. is growing on me.  not quite up to Tom Waits level though.
 GeneP59 wrote:

right now that would help

{#Lol} 

 
Yep!

I'm in for a Highland Park 12, and a whole lot less of Leonard Cohen on RP.
 
Nobody sings the Book of Revelation better than Leonard Cohen.
peace
 MargoMallen wrote:
Leonard Cohen is an acquired taste, not unlike scotch or tequilia.

 
right now that would help

{#Lol} 
YES enough!

I'm tolerant of a wide variety of music, but this is not singing but grunt singing.
Placing the emoji of Munch's the SCREEEEM  here  {#Eek}
Leonard Cohen is an acquired taste, not unlike scotch or tequilia.
Agree..enough of Leonard for a awhile PLEASE!
 
please make it stop!! Wish the phone app had a PSD button… switching off
 easmann wrote:
Radio Paradise gives you a lot of music you love. It also introduces you to artists you may not love, but that have influenced, probably, the artists you love. Musicians draw inspiration from other musicians, poets, writers, painters, photographers, films, and who knows what. Leonard Cohen is, and for a long time has been, revered by many but most signicantly by other artists for his lyrics particularly as well as his song craftmanship.
 
Agree.
Cohen left the Buddhist monastery where he lived after having discovered that his manager, Kelley Lynch, had stolen almost all his money.  The result - new songs, and a world tour.  Not bad considering he's in his 80's.  The London concert is on film, an absolute masterpiece of music, soul, and cinematography.  Never have I seen an artist so gracious and generous in crediting his most excellent side men (and women!).
 they meant repent.. {#Mrgreen}