Album: Popular Problems (2014)


  • The conflicts of the Middle East loom large over this song about truth's ability to outlast the destruction of war. "There comes a point, I think, as you get a little older, you feel that nothing represents you," Cohen told The Daily Telegraph. "You can see the value of many positions, even positions that are in savage conflict with one another. You can locate components on both sides that resonate within you."
  • The song is given an additional Middle Eastern flavor by the hand drums and former Madonna backing singer Donna DeLory's Arabic-sounding vocals. It was produced by Patrick Leonard, who helped shape the Material Girl's work in the late 1980s and co-wrote three songs on Cohen's previous album, Old Ideas. He contributed to eight of the nine cuts on Popular Problems.
  • This was originally published as a poem in 2005 on The Leonard Cohen Files website, and also in his collection of poetry, prose and drawings, Book of Longing, the following year.

Comments: 1

  • Laura from SwedenHi!
    I am an avid Leonard listener and loves listening to Nevermind I have a clear cut idea about its meaning, but as far as I can notice nobody sees it as I do...
    For me the song is about the fate of the Jewish people in exile and to some degree about the curt situation in Europe with the rise of antisemitism within the group of refugees from the Middle East.

    "You turned me in
    At least you tried
    You side with them
    Whom you despise

    This was your heart
    This swarm of flies
    This was once your mouth
    This bowl of lies

    You serve them well
    I’m not surprised
    You’re of their kin
    You’re of their kind"

    Well, he is utterly thought provoking and unfortunately not enough people listen to his songs...
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