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Famous Blue Raincoat Lyrics

Famous Blue Raincoat Lyrics Sung by Leonard Cohen

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It’s four in the morning, the end of December
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living
There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.
I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert
You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You’d been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane’s awake —

She sends her regards.

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I’m glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely L. Cohen

Enjoy This Video of Famous Blue Raincoat Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

Some Facts About Famous Blue Raincoat Lyrics

Famous Blue Raincoat” is a song by Leonard Cohen. It is the sixth track on his third album, Songs of Love and Hate, released in 1971. The song is written in the form of a letter (although many of the lines are written in amphibrachs). The lyric tells the story of a love triangle between the speaker, a woman named Jane, and the male addressee, who is identified only briefly as “my brother, my killer.”

The lyrics contain references to the German love song “Lili Marlene,” to Scientology, and to Clinton Street. Cohen lived on Clinton Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1970s when it was a lively Latino area.

In the 1999 book, The Complete Guide to the Music of Leonard Cohen, the authors comment that Cohen’s question, “Did you ever go clear?”, in the song, is a reference to the Scientology state of “Clear”. Cohen was very briefly a member of the Church of Scientology, which he had heard was a “good place to meet women.”

In the liner notes to 1975’s The Best of Leonard Cohen, which includes the song, he mentions that the famous blue raincoat to which he refers actually belonged to him, and not someone else:

I had a good raincoat then, a Burberry I got in London in 1959. Elizabeth thought I looked like a spider in it. That was probably why she wouldn’t go to Greece with me. It hung more heroically when I took out the lining, and achieved glory when the frayed sleeves were repaired with a little leather. Things were clear. I knew how to dress in those days. It was stolen from Marianne’s loft in New York sometime during the early seventies. I wasn’t wearing it very much toward the end.

Ron Cornelius played guitar on Songs of Love and Hate and was Cohen’s band leader for several years. He told Songfacts: “We played that song a lot before it ever went to tape. We knew it was going to be big. We could see what the crowd did – you play the Royal Albert Hall, the crowd goes crazy, and you’re really saying something there. If I had to pick a favorite from the album, it would probably be ‘Famous Blue Raincoat.'”

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