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A Thousand Kisses Deep Lyrics

A Thousand Kisses Deep Lyrics Sung by Leonard Cohen

(scroll down to enjoy the video and explore the song meaning)

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done –
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
I made it to the forward deck.
I blessed our remnant fleet –
And then consented to be wrecked,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
And quiet is the thought of you,
The file on you complete,
Except what we forgot to do,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat . . .

Enjoy This Video of A Thousand Kisses Deep Lyrics and Leonard Cohen

Some Interesting Facts and Insight about A Thousand Kisses Deep Lyrics

The following are Leonard’s own comments on this song:

‘I have been working on this song for a long time. It seemed to come together a few days ago. I want to dedicate it to those very kind people (more like my family) who greeted me on my birthday, and who, so generously, have embraced my work.’

Leonard Cohen; September 24, 1998, then, two days later:

‘This is getting pretty close. (…) The process has become rather comic. But I think we’ve got it now. It took the crisis of posting it to your site to force a clarification of the text (after three years of secret tinkering).

There is an apparent violation of the metre in some verses (e.g. #4) but the old poets would have justified them with devices such as th’Holy Spirit, or th’Means. And these curiosities actually correspond to the accents of the poem when it is sung.

This version represents a distillation of many, many verses, all of them tottering over the final line, A thousand kisses deep. I hope this is an end to it for a while.’

Leonard Cohen; September 26, 1998

What can “a thousand kisses deep” mean? Is it love beyond death, i.e. the grave, or simply the physical act of love, or something else? I think it means all of those things and more to be honest with you – but if you also look at the poem ‘For Those Who Greeted Me’ – what I think it means to me overall, is something like saying… sincerely within/from the soul. Sometimes it is reference to a positive thing, sometimes to a negative thing – but always felt sincerely to the bone nonetheless.

It could refer to a state of mind that is permeated with very intense emotion – it could be any emotion, or a tangled mix of many emotions; as the word “deep” is often used in connection with water, it could refer to a feeling of being immersed, even drowning, in this very deep, tangled web of emotion.

Life is a contradiction: to the active, inquisitive mind – life is transient. All is grass and all will pass away. What I value as permanent and “real” in my life, really is neither. But here we are — in this transient reality where G-d put us. We have no choice except to pretend that our life does have substance and a greater reality. We are asked to commit to our own lives and deeds with a passion that is at the same time, not justified by our greater awareness of transcendence. So what better way to define this real, passionate commitment to things which are ephemeral then to say we go “A Thousand Kisses Deep?”

 

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