Music: Leonard Cohen - First we take Manhattan (Wiki data about the song) - I Can't Forget - Lyrics

Posted by Ricardo Marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 12:05

Leonard Cohen - First we take Manhattan 
(live on tv in 1988)

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you I told you I told you I was one of those

You loved me as a loser
But now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me
But you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this:
to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I don't like your fashion business, mister
And I don't like these drugs
that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to your sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

And thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night and now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me,
I brought your groceries in
It's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

"First We Take Manhattan" is a song written by Leonard Cohen. It was originally recorded by Jennifer Warnes on her 1987 album Famous Blue Raincoat, which consisted entirely of songs written or co-written by Cohen.

Background and writing

Gwynne Dyer suspects the song refers to the "naivety and narcissism" of the West German Red Army Faction, "...designer terrorism by celebrity terrorists, as much about radical chic as about real politics."[1]
Jennifer Warnes version

The original recording is notable for the distinctive driving lead guitar played by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Producer Roscoe Beck was from Austin, Texas and friends with Vaughan. In late February 1986, at the annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Beck asked Vaughan to record the guitar for the song. In a 2007 interview, Beck recalls that Vaughan did not have his guitar or amp with him, and used one of Beck's old Strats instead. After working on a few technical issues, the finished recording was achieved after 2 or 3 takes.[2] According to Jennifer Warnes' official site, Vaughan finished recording his takes at 4 AM.[3]
Music video

The music video for Warnes' version of "First We Take Manhattan" was directed by Paula Walker. Filmed in New York City, the video features Stevie Ray Vaughan playing his weathered "Number One" guitar (with its distinctive "SRV" logo) on the Brooklyn Bridge. Cohen also appears with Warnes in the video.

The album version of the song is 3:47 in length, whereas the single is 3:32 long. A promotional 12" single version entitled "Jennifer Warnes — First We Take Manhattan, Radio Remix — featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan", contained extended and edited versions.


    Lead guitar – Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Guitar – Robben Ford
    Bass guitar – Roscoe Beck
    Drums – Vinnie Colaiuta
    Percussion – Lenny Castro
    Synthesizer – Russell Ferrante
    Synthesizer programmed by – Gary Chang

Leonard Cohen version

Leonard Cohen's own quasi-synthpop version of "First We Take Manhattan" (with additional verses) was released in 1988 as the first track on his album I'm Your Man. Cohen's then girlfriend, Dominique Isserman, shot a black and white promotional video for Cohen's version of the track.

On his 1988 tour, instead of the original, Euro-disco-influenced arrangement of both his and Warnes' studio versions, Cohen introduced the new, funk-influenced arrangement, suggested by his backing singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen. He continued to perform the song this way in 1993, 2008 and 2009 tours.

Cohen's studio recording plays over the closing credits of the 2009 film Watchmen.

    Jeff Fisher – arranger and performer
    Leonard Cohen – vocals and production
    Anjani – vocals

Other cover versions

R.E.M. contributed a cover for the Cohen tribute album I'm Your Fan. Their presence on the compilation led to a re-arranging of the I'm Your Fan tracklist. In the US release of the tribute, R.E.M.'s cover appeared as the first track, rather than House of Love's "Who by Fire" which was the starting track in all other countries. The song also appeared as a B-side on some versions of the single "Drive".

Joe Cocker covered "First We Take Manhattan" on his 1999 album No Ordinary World.

Warren Zevon, citing Cohen as one of his favorite songwriters, performed the song on tour in support of the Mr. Bad Example album accompanied by Odds.

The German martial group Von Thronstahl samples the song in their song "Babylon the Great has Fallen" off of their Return Your Revort Into Style album.

Other artists to cover the song include Cookies 'N' Beans, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,[4] Boris Grebenshchikov, Yasmine, Sirenia, Maxx Klaxon, Tyskarna från Lund, and Enrique Morente.

Photo by Magdalena Stokowska - Concert in Alges - Portugal - 2008

Leonard Cohen - I Can't Forget

I stumbled out of bed
I got ready for the struggle
I smoked a cigarette
And I tightened up my gut
I said this can't be me
Must be my double
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what
I'm burning up the road
I'm heading down to Phoenix
I got this old address
Of someone that I knew
It was high and fine and free
Ah, you should have seen us
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember who

I'll be there today
With a big bouquet of cactus
I got this rig that runs on memories
And I promise, cross my heart,
They'll never catch us
But if they do, just tell them it was me

Yeah I loved you all my life
And that's how I want to end it
The summer's almost gone
The winter's tuning up

Music: Leonard Cohen - First we take Manhattan (Wiki data about the song) - I Can't Forget - Lyrics

Solitary Dog Sculptor I:

solitary dog sculptor: 

Photo by Magdalena Stokowska

Comments (0)

Publicar un comentario