Leonard Cohen's

The Butcher

©Leonard Cohen, released on Songs from a Room (1969)


I came upon a butcher,

he was slaughtering a lamb,

I accused him there

with his tortured lamb.

He said, "Listen to me, child,

I am what I am

and you, you are my only son."


Well, I found a silver needle,

I put it into my arm.

It did some good,

did some harm.

But the nights were cold

and it almost kept me warm,

how come the night is long?


I saw some flowers growing up

where that lamb fell down;

was I supposed to praise my Lord,

make some kind of joyful sound?

He said, "Listen, listen to me now,

I go round and round

and you, you are my only child."


Do not leave me now,

do not leave me now,

I'm broken down

from a recent fall.

Blood upon my body

and ice upon my soul,

lead on, my son, it is your world.