Given the season, I figure I can slip God in here without anyone noticing... Leonard Cohen wrote novels, not just songs, and I found this wonderful piece in one of them. Buffy Saint-Marie later set it to music, as she said:
Leonard Cohen's book "Beautiful Losers" stole my heart in 1963 and so did the idea of electronic processing on a vocal record.I had a recording session scheduled and Leonard was in town. I propped two pages of his book up on a music stand and I just sang it out, ad libbing the melody and guitar music together as I went along. I've always wanted to re-record it, as I love the way the power of the words obviously commands the music and drives it beyond any consideration of time signature.
God is alive, magic is afoot God is alive, magic is afoot God is alive, magic is afoot God is afoot, magic is alive Alive is afoot, magic never died God never sickened Many poor men lied Many sick men lied Magic never weakened Magic never hid Magic always ruled God is afoot, God never died God was ruler Though his funeral lengthened Though his mourners thickened Magic never fled Though his shrouds were hoisted The naked God did live Though his words were twisted The naked magic thrived Though his death was published Round and round the world The heart did not believe Many hurt men wondered Many struck men bled Magic never faltered Magic always lead Many stones were rolled But God would not lie down Many wild men lied Many fat men listened Though they offered stones Magic still was fed Though they locked their coffers God was always served Magic is afoot, God is alive Alive is afoot Alive is in command Many weak men hungered Many strong men thrived Though they boast of solitude God was at their side Nor the dreamer in his cell Nor the captain on the hill Magic is alive Though his death was pardoned Round and round the world The heart would not believe Though laws were carved in marble They could not shelter men Though altars built in parliaments They could not order men Police arrested magic and magic went with them Mmmmm.... for magic loves the hungry But magic would not tarry It moves from arm to arm It would not stay with them Magic is afoot It cannot come to harm It rests in an empty palm It spawns in an empty mind But magic is no instrument Magic is the end Many men drove magic But magic stayed behind Many strong men lied They only passed through magic And out the other side Many weak men lied They came to God in secret And though they left Him nourished They would not tell who healed Though mountains danced before them They said that God was dead Though his shrouds were hoisted The naked God did live This I mean to whisper to my mind This I mean to laugh within my mind This I mean my mind to serve Til' service is but magic Moving through the world And mind itself is magic Coursing through the flesh And flesh itself is magic Dancing on a clock And time itself The magic length of God
© 1966- Leonard Cohen.