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Lyr Add: Ballad of the Absent Mare (Leonard Cohen)

Peter T. 12 Aug 99 - 05:33 PM
Jim Dixon 22 May 13 - 03:12 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: BALLAD OF THE ABSENT MARE (Leonard Cohen)
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Aug 99 - 05:33 PM

Two versions, the male and female, of this utterly romantic song -- Leonard Cohen original from Recent Songs; Emmylou Harris from "Cowgirl's Prayer". Harris version corrected from www.roughstock.com/cowpie.

BALLAD OF THE ABSENT MARE
Leonard Cohen

Say a prayer for the cowboy His mare's run away
And he'll walk till he finds her His darling, his stray,
But the river's in flood and the roads are awash
And the bridges break up in the panic of loss.

And there's nothing to follow. There's nowhere to go
She's gone like the summer gone like the snow
And the crickets are breaking his heart with their song
As the day caves in and the night is all wrong --

Did he dream, was it she who went galloping past
And bent down the fern, broke open the grass
And printed the mud with the iron and the gold
That he nailed to her feet when he was the lord?

And although she goes grazing a minute away,
He tracks her all night. He tracks her all day
Oh, blind to her presence except to compare
His injury here with her punishment there.

Then at home on a branch in the highest tree
A songbird sings out so suddenly,
Ah, the sun is warm and the soft winds ride
On the willow trees by the riverside.

Oh the world is sweet the world is wide,
And she's there where the light and the darkness divide,
And the steam's coming off her, she's huge and she's shy,
And she steps on the moon when she paws at the sky.

And she comes to his hand but she's not really tame,
She longs to be lost, he longs for the same,
And she'll bolt and she'll plunge through the first open pass
To roll and to feed in the sweet mountain grass

Or she'll make a break for the high plateau
Where there's nothing above and there's nothing below;
And it's time for the burden; it's time for the whip --
Will she walk through the flame? Can he shoot from the hip?

So he binds himself to the galloping mare
And she binds herself to the rider there
And there is no space, but there is left and right
And there is no time, but there is day and night

And he leans on her neck and he whispers low
"Whither thou goest, I will go"
And they turn as one and they head for the plain
No need for the whip, Oh, no need for the rein.

Now the clasp of this union, who fastens it tight?
Who snaps it asunder the very next night?
Some say the rider, some say the mare
Or that love's like the smoke beyond all repair.

But my darling says: "Leonard, just let it go by
That old silhouette on the great western sky"
So I pick out a tune, and they move right along
And they're gone like the smoke, and they're gone like this song.

BALLAD OF A RUNAWAY HORSE
(Leonard Cohen: Emmylou Harris version)

Say a prayer for the cowgirl, her horse ran away,
She'll walk till she finds him, her darling her stray,
But the river's in flood, and the roads are awash,
And the bridges break up in the panic of loss.

And there's nothing to follow, nowhere to go,
He's gone like the summer, gone like the snow,
And the crickets are breaking her heart with their song;
As the day caves in, and the night is all wrong.

Did she dream was it he who went galloping past,
And bent down the fern, broke open the grass,
And printed the mud with the well-hammered shoe,
That she nailed to his feet in the dreams of her youth?

And although he goes grazing a minute away,
She tracks him all night; she tracks him all day,
And she's blind to his presence except to compare
Her injury here with his punishment there;

Then at home on a branch in the highest tree,
A songbird sings out so suddenly
And the sun is warm and the soft winds ride
On a willow tree by the riverside

Oh, the world is sweet and the world is wide,
He's there where the light and the darkness divide,
And the steam's coming off him -- he's huge and he's shy
And he steps on the moon when he paws at the sky,

And he comes to her hand, but he's not really tame,
He longs to be lost, she longs for the same,
And he'll bolt and he'll plunge through the first open pass
To roll and to feed in the sweet mountain grass

Or he'll make a break for the high plateau,
Where there's nothing above and nothing below.
And it's time for their burden, the whip and the spur,
Will she ride with him, or will he ride with her?

So she binds herself to her galloping steed,
And he binds himself to the woman in need
And there is no space, just left and right
And there is no time, but there is day and night

And she leans on his neck and whispers low:
"Whither thou goest I will go" --
And they turn as one, and they head for the plain
No need for the whip or no need for the rein,

Now the clasp of this union, who fastens it tight?
Who snaps it asunder the very next night?
Some say it's him; some say it's her;
Some say love's like smoke beyond all repair

So my darling, my darling, just let it go by
That old silhouette on the great western sky
And I'll pick out a tune, and they'll move right along,
And they're gone like smoke, and they're gone -- like this song.

Say a prayer for the cowgirl.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Absent Mare (Leonard Cohen)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 May 13 - 03:12 PM

Leonard Cohen's version, Verse 12, line 1 is ambiguous. It could be:
    "But my darling," says Leonard, "just let it go by...."
Or:
    But my darling says, "Leonard, just let it go by...."
.


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