Song Lyric Sunday: Find/Found – ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’

Looks like I was seven days ahead of the action  with a song for this week’s prompt of ‘Find/Found’. Hey ho, I can hardly post the same song two weeks running.

After I therefore had to set aside U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, the next one that came to mind was ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ by – as a little bit of research told me – a group called Third World. Catchy tune, but not great lyrics.

At the back of my head, though, I knew that I had listened to a song quite recently that had ‘find’ in it. Sure enough, this was it: a cheery Leonard Cohen ditty from ‘Songs of Love and Hate’.

Four o’clock in the afternoon
and I didn’t feel like very much.
I said to myself, "Where are you golden boy,
where is your famous golden touch’"
I thought you knew where
all of the elephants lie down,
I thought you were the crown prince
of all the wheels in Ivory Town.
Just take a look at your body now,
there’s nothing much to save
and a bitter voice in the mirror cries,
"Hey, Prince, you need a shave."
Now if you can manage to get
your trembling fingers to behave,
why don’t you try unwrapping
a stainless steel razor blade’
That’s right, it’s come to this,
yes it’s come to this,
and wasn’t it a long way down,
wasn’t it a strange way down’

There’s no hot water
and the cold is running thin.
Well, what do you expect from
the kind of places you’ve been living in’
Don’t drink from that cup,
it’s all caked and cracked along the rim.
That’s not the electric light, my friend,
that is your vision growing dim.
Cover up your face with soap, there,
now you’re Santa Claus.
And you’ve got a gift for anyone
who will give you his applause.
I thought you were a racing man,
ah, but you couldn’t take the pace.
That’s a funeral in the mirror
and it’s stopping at your face.
That’s right, it’s come to this,
yes it’s come to this,
and wasn’t it a long way down,
ah wasn’t it a strange way down’

Once there was a path
and a girl with chestnut hair,
and you passed the summers
picking all of the berries that grew there;
there were times she was a woman,
oh, there were times she was just a child,
and you held her in the shadows
where the raspberries grow wild.
And you climbed the twilight mountains
and you sang about the view,
and everywhere that you wandered
love seemed to go along with you.
That’s a hard one to remember,
yes it makes you clench your fist.
And then the veins stand out like highways,
all along your wrist.
And yes it’s come to this,
it’s come to this,
and wasn’t it a long way down,
wasn’t it a strange way down’

You can still find a job,
go out and talk to a friend.
On the back of every magazine
there are those coupons you can send.
Why don’t you join the Rosicrucians,
they can give you back your hope,
you can find your love with diagrams
on a plain brown envelope.
But you’ve used up all your coupons
except the one that seems
to be written on your wrist
along with several thousand dreams.
Now Santa Claus comes forward,
that’s a razor in his mit;
and he puts on his dark glasses
and he shows you where to hit;
and then the cameras pan,
the stand in stunt man,
dress rehearsal rag,
it’s just the dress rehearsal rag,
you know this dress rehearsal rag,
it’s just a dress rehearsal rag.

Written by Leonard Cohen

Song Lyric Sunday 7 October 2018

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