"In My Secret Life" as written by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson....
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life

I saw you this morning
You were moving so fast
Can't seem to loosen my grip
On the past
And I miss you so much
There's no one in sight
And we're still making love
In my secret life
In my secret life

I smile when I'm angry
I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do
To get by
But I know what is wrong
And I know what is right
And I'd die for the truth
In my secret life
In my secret life

Hold on, hold on, my brother
My sister, hold on tight
I finally got my orders
I'll be marching through the morning
Marching through the night
Moving cross the borders
Of my secret life

Looked through the paper
Makes you wanna cry
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it's either black or white
Thank God it's not that simple
In my secret life

I bite my lip
I buy what I'm told
From the latest hit
To the wisdom of old
But I'm always alone
And my heart is like ice
And it's crowded and cold
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life


Lyrics submitted by killingjuliet

"In My Secret Life" as written by Sharon Robinson Leonard Cohen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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In My Secret Life song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentI love this song - it has less overt politics than some of his others, but he goes to the very heart of apathy and hypocricy here, I think.

    Every verse contrasts his reality with his "secret life" - where she hasn't left, where he knows wrong from right, where its not that simple and he's "die for the truth" - but the reality is the opposite. And none of that means anything if he never acts on it.

    "marching past the borders of my secret life" seems to suggest hes finally going to make a change...
    tdpon June 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Commenti simply love this song.
    leonard cohen is one of the most amazing artists i ever had the pleasure to listen to. no matter whether you listen to his first cd or to "ten new songs" which came out more than 30 years later - his music is extremely touching, his voice always moves me inside...

    and i guess many people know someone they would still love to make love to in their secret life... *sigh*
    *Lady_Elvenhair*on August 14, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentLife is flawed, according to this song, and we struggle through it with our teeth clenched. One of life’s deficiencies is moral bankruptcy. The “I” in this song can’t afford to be pure and genuine, life has coaxed deceit out of him. But deep inside he longs to be a better man. This longing is a continual source of pain, because it contrasts so sharply with his actual condition.

    Dit lied gaat over de onvolkomenheid van het leven, waar je je doorheen worstelt met je kiezen op elkaar. Tot die onvolkomenheid hoort ook de morele ontluistering. De “ik” in dit lied kan zich niet permitteren om zuiver en oprecht te zijn, het leven heeft hem allerlei groot en klein bedrog afgetroggeld. Maar ondertussen is diep in hem een verlangende plek overgebleven, en die plek weet nog goed hoe het was om wèl samen te vallen met het goede en ware. Voortdurend doet die plek pijn, vanwege het verschrikkelijke contrast tussen wat je eigenlijk wilt en wat je kunt opbrengen.
    pingdjipon November 15, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThe final lines say an awful lot:

    I bite my lip.
    I buy what I'm told:
    From the latest hit,
    To the wisdom of old.
    But I'm always alone.
    And my heart is like ice.
    And it's crowded and cold
    In My Secret Life.

    So both reality and his secret life are cold...
    gandalfeon April 29, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI saw Leonard Cohen in London a couple of years ago as my aunt had a spare ticket. Obviously I'd heard some of his songs before but the show was entrancing. I couldn't believe I hadn't explored his music properly before. This song really got me, and I find myself singing it in the back of my mind when I'm smiling at some inane colleague of mine that I'd rather kick in the eye (to borrow a line from The Smiths), the days when an ex-girlfriend from a decade ago won't get out of my head. How many of us feel like this but can never speak it? At least we have songs like these as a sort of consolation.
    Liminal2on August 12, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love the way this man sings this song. Incredible!
    Adored_Pumpkinheadon June 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe's still got it. 'I cheat and I lie, I do what I have to do, to get by' The way he sings that line - absolutely amazing. Fantastic weatherbeaten vocals.
    rubyoverdiamondson May 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song isnt as overtly political as some others but I think the the fact he only touches on a political note puts emphasis on how weary and resigned to preaching he is.

    It's almost a final, futile cry of agony over our developing culture of disconnect and skewed values. "im always alone.. / ..it's crowded and cold" is almost prophetic when considering the age of social networking.

    I think this song goes hand in hand with Waiting for the Miracle because ithey both depict old, valued relationships and reflect upon the naivety of ideality; the departure of which, he arguably presents and the 'human problem'.
    10203040on November 19, 2013   Link

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