God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot

Album: Illuminations (1969)
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  • 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 led.
    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,
    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 say 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. Writer/s: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leonard Cohen
    Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 3

  • Kaylaine from IndianaI just found a recording of this song by Chris Thile on his new Laysongs album. Now I'm going to look for Buffy's version and listen to it as well.
  • André from Ottawa Ontario CanadaDearest Buffy
    I have always loved you and will always continue...
    Thank you for being you and for everything that you give us...
  • Steve W from San DiegoThank you so much for the insight into how this great song evolved.
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