Take This Waltz
(After Lorca)

Little Viennese Waltz



Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.
There's a shoulder where death comes to cry.
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows.
There's a tree where the doves go to die.
There's a piece that was torn from the morning,
and it hangs in the Gallery of Frost --
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz with the clamp on its jaws.


In Vienna there are ten little girls
a shoulder for death to cry on
and a forest of dried pigeons.
There is a fragment of tomorrow
in the museum of winter frost.
There is a thousand-windowed dance hall.


Ay, ay, ay, ay!
Take this close-mouthed waltz.

Little waltz, little waltz, little waltz,
of itself, of death, and of brandy
that dips its tail in the sea.

I want you, I want you, I want you
on a chair with a dead magazine.
In the cave at the tip of the lily,
in some hallway where love's never been.
On a bed where the moon has been sweating,
in a cry filled with footsteps and sand --
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take its broken waist in your hand.

I love you, I love you, I love you,
with the armchair and the book of death
down the melancholy hallway,
in the iris's dark garret,
in our bed that was once the moon's bed,
and in that dance the turtle dreamed of.

Ay, ay, ay, ay!
Take this broken-waisted waltz

This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
with its very own breath
of brandy and death,
dragging its tail in the sea.


There's a concert hall in Vienna
where your mouth had a thousand reviews.
There's a bar where the boys have stopped talking,
they've been sentenced to death by the blues.
Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture
with a garland of freshly cut tears?
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz, it's been dying for years.

In Vienna there are four mirrors
in which your mouth and the echoes play.
There is a death for piano
that paints the little boys blue.
There are beggars on the roof.
There are fresh garlands of tears.

Aye, ay, ay, ay!
Take this waltz that dies in my arms.


There's an attic where children are playing,
where I've got to lie down with you soon,
in a dream of Hungarian lanterns,
in the mist of some sweet afternoon.
And I'll see what you've chained to your sorrow,
all your sheep and your lilies of snow --
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
with its "I'll never forget you, you know!"


Because I love you, I love you, my love,
in the attic where children play,
dreaming ancient lights of Hungary
through the noise, the balmy afternoon,
seeing sheep and irises of snow
through the dark silence of your forehead.

Ay, ay, ay ay!
Take this "I will always love you" waltz.


And I'll dance with you in Vienna,
I'll be wearing a river's disguise.
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
my mouth on the dew of your thighs.
And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
with the photographs there and the moss.
And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty,
my cheap violin and my cross.
And you'll carry me down on your dancing
to the pools that you lift on your wrist --
O my love, O my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
it's yours now. It's all that there is.


In Vienna I will dance with you
in a costume with a river's head.
See how the hyacinths line my banks!
I will leave my mouth between your legs,
my soul in photographs and lilies,
and in the dark wake of your footsteps,
my love, my love, I will have to leave
violin and grave, the waltzing ribbons.




Leonard Cohen
I'm Your Man
and Stranger Music
Copyright © 1988 by Leonard Cohen
and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada Company
Copyright © 1993 by Leonard Cohen
and Leonard Cohen Stranger Music
Reprinted with permission.

Federico García Lorca










Thank you to Joseph Bornstein
who posted Lorca's poem on the
Leonard Cohen Newsgroup in 1997
and to Kelley Lynch and Leonard Cohen
for permission to reprint "Take This Waltz."






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