God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot

Poem: Leonard Cohen, recorded by Buffy Sainte-Marie
“Flesh itself is magic, dancing on a clock…”

Complete lyrics:

God is alive, magic is afoot

God is alive, magic is afoot

God is afoot, magic is alive

Alive is afoot, magic never died

God never sickened

Many poor men lied

Many sick men lied

Magic never weakened

Magic never hid

Magic always ruled

God is afoot God never died

God was ruler

Though his funeral lengthened

Though his mourners thickened

Magic never fled

Though his shrouds were hoisted

The naked God did live

Though his words were twisted

The naked magic thrived

Though his death was published

Round and round the world

The heart did not believe

::

Many hurt men wondered

Many struck men bled

Magic never faltered

Magic always lead

Many stones were rolled

But God would not lie down

Many wild men lied

Many fat men listened

Though they offered stones

Magic still was fed

Though they locked their coffers

God was always served

Magic is afoot

God rules

Alive is afoot

::

Alive is in command

Many weak men hungered

Many strong men thrived

Though they boasted solitude

God was at their side

Nor the dreamer in his cell

Nor the captain on the hill

Magic is alive

Though his death was pardoned

Round and round the world

The heart did not believe

::

Though laws were carved in marble

They could not shelter men

Though altars built in parliaments

They could not order men

Police arrested magic and magic went with them

Mmmmm…. for magic loves the hungry

But magic would not tarry

It moves from arm to arm

It would not stay with them

Magic is afoot

It cannot come to harm

It rests in an empty palm

It spawns in an empty mind

But magic is no instrument

Magic is the end

Many men drove magic

But magic stayed behind

Many strong men lied

They only passed through magic

And out the other side

Many weak men lied

They came to God in secret

And though they left Him nourished

They would not tell who healed

Though mountains danced before them

They said that God was dead

Though his shrouds were hoisted

The naked God did live

This I mean to whisper to my mind

This I mean to laugh with in my mind

This I mean my mind to serve

Til’ service is but magic

Moving through the world

And mind itself is magic

Coursing through the flesh

And flesh itself is magic

Dancing on a clock

And time itself

The magic length of God

source

The words Leonard Cohen recites in this 1967 performance was a passage from his 1966 novel, “Beautiful Losers.” This passage was itself later published separately as an illustrated book called “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot.” Buffy Sainte-Marie first released “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot” on her album, Illuminations, in 1969.

source: YouTube “about”

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot

I love your comments - What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s