Leonard Cohen performs "One of Us Cannot be Wrong" in a concert from San Sebastian, Spain, on May 20, 1988. The song was originally recorded in his 1967 debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen; it is the last track on side 2. Cohen was 32 when he recorded this song, and 53 when he sings it here to a Spanish audience. The song speaks about man's (con)quest for love, in this case an unsuccessful one. Even so, the song's narrator feels in his heart that he's not wrong about his emotions.
Leonard Cohen's debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen,"
recorded and released in 1967.
One of Us Cannot Be Wrong
by Leonard Cohen
I lit a thin green candle, to make you jealous of me.
But the room just filled up with mosquitos,
they heard that my body was free.
Then I took the dust of a long sleepless night
and I put it in your little shoe.
And then I confess that I tortured the dress
that you wore for the world to look through.
I showed my heart to the doctor: he said I just have to quit.
Then he wrote himself a prescription,
and your name was mentioned in it!
Then he locked himself in a library shelf
with the details of our honeymoon,
and I hear from the nurse that he's gotten much worse
and his practice is all in a ruin.
I heard of a saint who had loved you,
so I studied all night in his school.
He taught that the duty of lovers
is to tarnish the golden rule.
And just when I was sure that his teachings were pure
he drowned himself in the pool.
His body is gone but back here on the lawn
his spirit continues to drool.
An Eskimo showed me a movie
he'd recently taken of you:
the poor man could hardly stop shivering,
his lips and his fingers were blue.
I suppose that he froze when the wind took your clothes
and I guess he just never got warm.
But you stand there so nice, in your blizzard of ice,
oh please let me come into the storm.