"A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" as written by and Leonard Cohen....
A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes
Were smoking out along the open road;
The night was very dark and thick between them,
Each man beneath his ordinary load.

"I'd like to tell my story,"
Said one of them so young and bold,
"I'd like to tell my story,
Before I turn into gold."

But no one really could hear him,
The night so dark and thick and green;
Well I guess that these heroes must always live there
Where you and I have only been.

Put out your cigarette, my love,
You've been alone too long;
And some of us are very hungry now
To hear what it is you've done that was so wrong.

I sing this for the crickets,
I sing this for the army,
I sing this for your children
And for all who do not need me.

"I'd like to tell my story,"
Said one of them so bold,
"Oh yes, I'd like to tell my story
'Cause you know I feel I'm turning into gold."


Lyrics submitted by Hosimosi

"A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" as written by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is clearly about the Vietnam Solier's experience.
    The first verses describe the soldier's desire to survive in the jungle and live to share their story before their life is cut down, and also addresses the pain and sens of failure to their country of the soldiers when they did come home, to a country that failed to recognize their effort and blamed them for the war.
    But the song resolves itself in the last verse in saying "I sing this for"... meaning, I did this for your freedom and my country and whether the listener feels they needed the sacrifice they made, they accept it.

    Thank you to all of you who fought and died for our freedom.
    BAD KITTYon November 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs always there could be many levels of interpretation, known or unkown to the author.
    The author may write with an idea of meaning in mind, but he also may be an instrument
    of something happening in his unconscious. Or even the same words could have different
    meanings for different people, since texts are made of symbols that are interpreted through
    the glass of experience.

    For me these could be all ourselves for example, the part of ourselves (these heroes must always live there where you and I have only been) unrealized which feels the sacrifice of being but cannot exploit our full potential and be recognized.

    I like the idea of idols when talking about turning into gold.
    The jewish influence of Cohen may come with its rejection
    of idols in this song.
    When you turn into gold you are not you anymore. You may be recognized, for something you don't
    really feel you are.

    "And some of us are very hungry now to hear what it is you've done that was so wrong":
    And no one of us knows the real reason why we cannot be what we want to be. Which could be the original sin.

    This talks about everyone, every creature on earth: "I sing this for the crickets, I sing this for the army, I sing this for your children and for all who do not need me."
    trackon November 13, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General Commentto me the song speaks to the tendency to first idolize then demonize our heroes
    neither of which would necessarily be close to the truth, thus the frustration/want to be able to tell ones own story
    then as cohen loves to do, he takes his grand philosophy and cooks it down to a pedestrian relationship
    here the woman has been idolized by the man, even though (or b/c) she had been aloof, and she is telling him "there's more/less to me than your idolized version of me"
    and why? maybe there is too much burden (and dehumanization) to be revered in such a way (i wouldn't knowbut that's my guess)
    tygersdadon January 02, 2009   Link

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