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The Stranger Song Lyrics

from The Essential Leonard Cohen

"The Stranger Song" is track #25 on the album The Essential Leonard Cohen. It was written by Cohen, Leonard.
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"The Stranger Song" is track #25 on the album The Essential Leonard Cohen. It was written by Cohen, Leonard.
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It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
Who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And then leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came, I was a stranger
I told you when I came, I was a stranger

But now another stranger seems
To want you to ignore his dreams
As though they were the burden of some other
Oh you've seen that man before
His golden arm dispatching cards
But now it's rusted from the elbow to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter

Ah you hate to watch another tired man
Lay down his hand
Like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
You notice there's a highway
That is curling up like smoke above his shoulder
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder

You tell him to come in sit down
But something makes you turn around
But door is open, you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
And it's you my love, you who are the stranger

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
We'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
To get me to the heart of this or any other matter
When he talks like this, you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this, you don't know what he's after

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
Upon the shore, beneath the bridge
That they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform for the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say, "Okay the bridge or someplace later"

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came, I was a stranger
I told you when I came, I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger

Songwriters
COHEN, LEONARD

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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