You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen

About You Want It Darker

"You Want It Darker" is a single by Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen, released on September 21, 2016. It is the title track from Cohen's album You Want It Darker. The song earned the artist a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance and features the vocals of Cantor Gideon Zelermeyer and Shaar Hashomayim Choir.


Year:
2016
1,307 
#6

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If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

There's a lover in the story
But the story's still the same
There's a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it's written in the scriptures
And it's not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They're lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

Hineni
Hineni, hineni
Hineni

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Leonard Cohen

Leonard Norman Cohen, (September 21, 1934- November 7, 2016) CC GOQ, was a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explored religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. Cohen was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011 Cohen received Prince of Asturias Award for literature. more »

30 fans

Written by: Leonard Cohen, Patrick Leonard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


11 facts about this song

Album Release
"You Want It Darker" is the title track from Leonard Cohen's 14th and final studio album, which was released in 2016.
Late-In-Life Creation
Cohen was 82 years old at the time of composing and releasing this song. Sadly, he passed away just a few weeks later.
Spirituality
The song and album explore themes of religion and spirituality, with Cohen seemingly coming to terms with his impending death.
Lyrics
Many view the lyrics of "You Want It Darker" as a farewell message from Cohen to his audience, with eerie words like "I'm ready, my Lord".
Jewish Influence
Cohen was born into a Jewish family, and he used his deep understanding of Jewish liturgy and spirituality to craft the lyrics of this song; it even features the Hebrew prayer Kaddish.
Award-Winning
"You Want It Darker" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance in 2018, a posthumous honor for Cohen.
Family Involvement
Leonard Cohen's son, Adam Cohen, was the producer of the album including this song.
Music Composition
The song carries Cohen's characteristic style of spoken word vocals with choral and orchestral arrangements.
Cultural Influence
"You Want it Darker" was featured prominently in the second season of the TV show "Peaky Blinders."
Health Issues
Cohen was suffering from severe back pain while recording this song. He had to lie on his back, using a microphone hung above him to record his vocals. His son Adam said there were certain times when Leonard’s pain was so severe he had to record the vocals one verse at a time.
Album Art
Notably, the album cover for "You Want It Darker" is a non-specifically religious symbol, which may imply a general appeal to everyone irrespective of their religious beliefs.

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