Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

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Hartmut
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Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by Hartmut » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:34 pm

The lyrics of „Born in Chains“ (as played in Salzburg), as far as I can make them out. Maybe someone wants to contribute ...


I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt
I was bound to a burden but the burden it was raised
Oh Lord I can no longer keep this secret
Blessed is the name, the name be praised.

I was led to the edge of a mighty sea of sorrow
Pursued by the water (armies?) of a dark and cruel regime
But the water(s) parted and my soul crossed over
Out of Egypt, out of Pharaoh's dream.

...
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I do not know the rest (I cannot read the rest)

I was ... with my soul, when I heard that you could teach (?) me
I followed very closely, but my love ...
But then you showed me where you had been with me
In every item(?), broken is the name

I was lost on the ..., your love is so confusing
And all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
...

I heard the soul unfolds in the chambers of this longing
There’s the bitter sweet ...
Ah but all the letters ... have fallen
Just darkness now ...
Last edited by Hartmut on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by tomsakic » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:16 pm

DrHGuy wrote:Born In Chains is online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv6aZ945StQ

Thanks Maarten
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by bridger15 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:30 pm

Dr HGuy posted on his blog today the MP3 of "Born in Chains" with instructions for downloading.
He made this MP3 from Maarten's historic youtube video

http://1heckofaguy.com/2010/07/29/leona ... hains-mp3/

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2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by scocoh » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:36 am

Thanks for this Hartmut. I largely concur with you:


I think Sharon sang :

"I fled to the edge..."

"Pursued by the water..."

"But the water parted..."

*****************************************************

Then, before LC sings "Blessed is the name" is a part I can't hear well but Ithink he is singing:

"Word of words. And the measure of all measures."

******************************************************

Then I think I hear Hattie sing:

"I was idled with my soul when I heard that you could use me.
I followed very closely, but my life remained the same
But then you showed me where you had been wounded
In every ______ spoken is the name"


****************************************************

Then I think Charley sings:

"I was alone on the road, your love was so confusing.
and all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
But in the hour of ____________
The sweet unknowing unified the name."


****************************************************************

Then Leonard:

"I heard the soul unfolds in the chambers of this longing
As the bitter, like the sweet too, in the amber cup
Ah but all the ladders of the night have fallen
Just darkness now
-----[i don't know whats next but it sounds like "the lip, the law gate up". :?: -- ]

*************************************************************

Then the girls at the end while Dino plays

(I have no idea)
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by sue7 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:18 am

Great job, Hartmut and scocoh. Thanks.
I combined your ideas, added what I could hear, and came up with this:

I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt
I was bound to a burden but the burden it was raised
Oh Lord I can no longer keep this secret
Blessed is the name, the name be praised.

I fled to the edge of a mighty sea of sorrow
Pursued by the waters of a cruel and dark regime
But the waters parted and my soul crossed over
Out of Egypt, out of Pharaoh's dream.

Word of words and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I do not know the rest

I was idled with my soul, when I heard that you could use me
I followed very closely, but my life remained the same
But then you showed me where you had been wounded
In every item broken is the name

I was lost on the road, your love was so confusing
And all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
But in the hour of …. illusion [this line really sounds as though there's an "and" not an "of" in it, but I can't make sense of it like that]
The sweet unknowing unified the name

Word of words and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

I heard the soul unfold in the chambers of this longing
As the bitter sweetens in the amber cup
Ah but all the ladders of the night have fallen
Just darkness now, the lip [?], the longing of …[?]

Word of words and measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest


[I can't hear what they're singing at the end, except the last line is something like "the spirit of"

Anyone else??

Sue
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by mnkyface » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:24 am

Thanks Sue, scocoh, and Hartmut!

Sounds to me like in the first verse he is saying "YOUR name be praised", and thereafter in the song, he says "the name"...

Also, I think Hattie sings "in every atom"

I think Charley is singing "in the arms of" something. She even lifts her arms there a bit.

Leonard: Bitter (liquid? liquor?) in the amber cup
and
Just darkness now to lift the longing up

I also suspect that is the girls' refrain at the end: "Just darkness now, to lift the spirit up"

This song is incredible. The melody is so beautiful, yet you can't quite get a hold on it. I love that. Sharon is magnificent. Also love the way Dino's horn punctuates the lines.
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Hartmut
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by Hartmut » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:31 am

Thank you, scocoh, Sue, and mnkyface!

This is fun ...

Hartmut
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by sturgess66 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:10 pm

What an amazing song! A most beautiful song. A confession, a prayer, an extolling, an explanation, a blessing - and love.
Both lyrics AND the music are just amazing.
The chords - and the chord progressions.
The arrangements. The rhythms.
And - the words, the words, the words - that we are struggling to determine!

I love the beginning - is that Charley? I think it is but not sure. Singing "I was born ..." - and there is an unresolved chord - holding ...
And then Leonard starts "I was born" - and the chord resolves - and Leonard goes on to explain ... "I was born, in chains, but I was taken out of Egypt"
He was born - and he has borne ...
A burden - a blessing ...

I've copied Sue's post and I've added some possibilities in square brackets - some of them Esther's.

[CHARLEY?]
I was born …

[LEONARD]
I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt
I was bound to a burden, but the burden it was raised
Oh Lord I can no longer keep this secret
Blessed is the name, the name be praised.

[SHARON]
I fled to the edge of a mighty sea of sorrow
Pursued by the waters of a cruel and dark regime
But the waters parted and my soul crossed over
Out of Egypt, out of Pharaoh's dream.

[LEONARD]
Word of words and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I do not know the rest

[HATTIE]
I was idled with my soul, when I heard that you could use me [GUIDED with my soul?]
I followed very closely, but my life remained the same
But then you showed me where you had been wounded
In every item broken is the name ITEM??? [In every _____? BLESSED is the name?]

[CHARLEY]
I was lost on the road, your love was so confusing [I was ALONE on the road?]
And all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
But in the hour of …. illusion [this line really sounds as though there's an "and" not an "of" in it, but I can't make sense of it like that]
The sweet unknowing unified the name BEAUTIFIES

[LEONARD]
Word of words, and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

[LEONARD]
I heard the soul unfold in the chambers of this longing
As the bitter sweetens in the amber cup [BITTER LIQUID WEAKENS}
Ah but all the ladders of the night have fallen
Just darkness now, the lip [?], the longing of …[?] [THE LIFT?]

[LEONARD]
Word of words and measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be praised
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest [THAT CANNOT BE THE REST?]

[Sue wrote - I can't hear what they're singing at the end, except the last line is something like "the spirit of"]

I can't hear either - but glorious arrangement with saxophone and his angels.
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by sue7 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:43 pm

Wow, thanks, Linda and Esther. This is great. I think we're getting closer....
Here it is as I hear it, incorporating your ideas. That third line of Charley's still eludes me.

[CHARLEY?]
I was born …

[LEONARD]
I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt
I was bound to a burden, but the burden it was raised
Oh Lord I can no longer keep this secret
Blessed is the name, the name be praised.

[SHARON]
I fled to the edge of a mighty sea of sorrow
Pursued by the waters of a cruel and dark regime
But the waters parted and my soul crossed over
Out of Egypt, out of Pharaoh's dream.

[LEONARD]
Words of words and the measure of all measures [it really sounds like “words” in this verse; “word” in the others]
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I do not know the rest

[HATTIE]
I was idled with my soul, when I heard that you could use me [GUIDED with my soul?]
I followed very closely, but my life remained the same
But then you showed me where you had been wounded
In every atom broken is the name

[CHARLEY]
I was lost on the road, your love was so confusing
And all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
But in the arms?? stands an?? illusion [I’m pretty sure about the word “stands” now: not the rest]
The sweet unknowing beautifies the name [still not sure if its’ “beautifies” or “unifies”]

[LEONARD]
Word of words, and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

[LEONARD]
I heard the soul unfold in the chambers of this longing
As the bitter liquor sweetens in the amber cup
Ah but all the ladders of the night have fallen
Just darkness now, to lift the longing up.

[LEONARD]
Word of words and measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

[SHARON, HATTIE AND CHARLEY]
Just darkness now, to lift the spirit up
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by scocoh » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:40 pm

sturgess66 wrote:What an amazing song! A most beautiful song. A confession, a prayer, an extolling, an explanation, a blessing - and love.
Both lyrics AND the music are just amazing.
The chords - and the chord progressions.
The arrangements. The rhythms.
And - the words, the words, the words - that we are struggling to determine!

I love the beginning - is that Charley? I think it is but not sure. Singing "I was born ..." - and there is an unresolved chord - holding ...
And then Leonard starts "I was born" - and the chord resolves - and Leonard goes on to explain ... "I was born, in chains, but I was taken out of Egypt"
He was born - and he has borne ...
A burden - a blessing ...
Amen. Well said.

A wonderful song. Trying to figure this out yesterday made me really concentrate on it and -----it is just beautiful. I can't wait to hear it on an album and in person.

Thanks for everyone pitching in as we try to get this down. Very fun!!!
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by Hartmut » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:21 am

I still suspect that
"Pursued by the waters of a dark and cruel regime"
is a mistake of Sharon's.

Some time ago Leonard quoted this line in an interview, and it was:
"Pursued by the armies of a dark and cruel regime"
– which makes more sense.

We have to wait for a recording of another concert to see if that suspicion is true ...
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by scocoh » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:54 am

Thank you all for doing this. You are making my day.


Couple thoughts:

********
I think it's all three women singing the open. Sharon is doing her vocal very subtly.

*******

I LOVE the way Sharon sings the word "Pursued" in her part

*******

I think Leonard sings "Word" (no 's') in the first one. See the Gospel of John 1:1.

*******

I think Hattie sings "In every atom, spoken is the name"

*******

I think Charley sings "I was alone on the road..."
I still can't get the middle, but am sure she sings "unifies the name".
"the sweet unknowing" is a reference to God from the book of christian mysticism, "The Cloud of Unknowing" which was also referenced in "The Window".

*******

I think Leonard sings "I heard the soul unfolds"
which matches the 's' in the next line--"sweetens". This second line, I believe, is a reference to Holy Communion, where wine becomes Christ's blood.
The "chambers of this longing" is a reference to the human heart. The soul resides in the human heart as Christ' blood does in the cup of wine. He may even be saying "Abba cup" but I am not sure. I can't yet match "amber" with "cup" in any effective way.

*******

I think you guys have pegged most of it. Thank you Hartmut, Sue, mnkyface, Sturgess.
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by scocoh » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:00 am

Hartmut wrote:I still suspect that
"Pursued by the waters of a dark and cruel regime"
is a mistake of Sharon's.

Some time ago Leonard quoted this line in an interview, and it was:
"Pursued by the armies of a dark and cruel regime"
– which makes more sense.

We have to wait for a recording of another concert to see if that suspicion is true ...
I didn't see that interview but surely you are correct.
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by sturgess66 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:27 am

This is fun scohoh - and thanks to all as we keep solving away.

Scohoh - I think it is all three women singing at the beginning, shortly after Sharon starts singing her verse (so beautiful!). Just brilliant arrangement! It is not easy to hear and at first I actually thought there was a change from 4/4 rhythm to 2/4 rhythm - when Sharon started singing - because of a quickening feeling. She establishes a rhythm beautifully. And there are parts being sung in the "in the spaces" :D by Charley and Hattie!! Maybe I am saying this backwards - but - something like that!

Also, I can't help thinking about another of Leonard's "new songs" - "The Darkness" - and the lyrics (not verified yet, but sorted out as best we know) -
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16675&p=234653&hili ... ss#p234653
Caught the darkness, baby
Drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness, baby
From your little ruby cup
I said, ‘Is this contagious?’
You said, ‘Just drink it up.
Reference there to "the cup" and "the darkness." A ruby cup. (In "Born In Chains" it is an amber cup.)

BUT in "Born In Chains" - "the darkness" has changed - is enlightened?
And if we are correct - whereas before - the liquid was "contagious"
- NOW it sweetens - "As the bitter liquor sweetens in the amber cup"
And - as Sue has added - at the end - the part sung by Sharon, Charley and Hattie -
Just darkness now to lift the spirit up
Anyway - back to the task -
We need Sue to do one of her clean-ups again to incorporate new input? :D

Oh - and I pray - please dear Leonard. Sing this beautiful song again.
(Not to mention again, and again.)
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Re: Lyrics of „Born in Chains“, as far as I can make them out

Post by sue7 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:42 am

Here is my most recent attempt to incorporate everyone's suggestions. We still don't have that third line of Charley's, and although I've listened to it many many times now, it isn't getting any clearer.

This is a composite effort, based on the posts of Hartmut, scocoh, sturgess66, mnkyface, and sue7.

[SHARON, HATTIE AND CHARLEY]
I was born …

[LEONARD]
I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt
I was bound to a burden, but the burden it was raised
Oh Lord I can no longer keep this secret
Blessed is the name, the name be praised.

[SHARON]
I fled to the edge of a mighty sea of sorrow
Pursued by the armies of a cruel and dark regime [Sharon sings “waters,” but based on the line as quoted by Leonard in an interview, and the sense of the line, we think it’s “armies]
But the waters parted and my soul crossed over
Out of Egypt, out of Pharaoh's dream.

[LEONARD]
Word of words and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I do not know the rest

[HATTIE]
I was idled with my soul, when I heard that you could use me
I followed very closely, but my life remained the same
But then you showed me where you had been wounded
In every atom spoken is the name

[CHARLEY]
I was lost on the road, your love was so confusing
And all the teachers told me that I had myself to blame
But in the arms?? stands?? the?? illusion
The sweet unknowing unifies the name

[LEONARD]
Word of words, and the measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

[LEONARD]
I heard the soul unfolds in the chambers of this longing
As the bitter liquor sweetens in the amber cup
Ah but all the ladders of the night have fallen
Just darkness now, to lift the longing up.

[LEONARD]
Word of words and measure of all measures
Blessed is the name, the name be blessed
Written on my heart in burning letters
That’s all I know, I cannot read the rest

[SHARON, HATTIE AND CHARLEY]
Just darkness now, to lift the spirit up

Thanks to everyone so far: this has really been fun. And spending time with this song has been wonderful.
Sue
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