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“The Traitor” lyrics

LEONARD COHEN LYRICS


Download “The Traitor” Ringtone

“The Traitor”

Now the Swan it floated on the English river 
Ah the Rose of High Romance it opened wide 
A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer 
and the judges watched us from the other side 
I told my mother “Mother I must leave you 
preserve my room but do not shed a tear 
Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you 
it was half my fault and half the atmosphere” 

But the Rose I sickened with a scarlet fever 
and the Swan I tempted with a sense of shame 
She said at last I was her finest lover 
and if she withered I would be to blame 

The judges said you missed it by a fraction 
rise up and brace your troops for the attack 
Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action 
Oh see the men of action falling back 

But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment 
I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still 
My falsity had stung me like a hornet 
The poison sank and it paralysed my will 

I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers 
that they had been deserted from above 
So on battlefields from here to Barcelona 
I’m listed with the enemies of love 

And long ago she said “I must be leaving, 
Ah but keep my body here to lie upon 
You can move it up and down and when I’m sleeping 
Run some wire through that Rose and wind the Swan” 

So daily I renew my idle duty 
I touch her here and there — I know my place 
I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty 
and people call me traitor to my face

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