"Lady Midnight" as written by and Leonard Cohen....
I came by myself to a very crowded place;
I was looking for someone who had lines in her face.
I found her there but she was past all concern;
I asked her to hold me, I said, "Lady, unfold me,"
But she scorned me and she told me
I was dead and I could never return.

Well, I argued all night like so many have before,
Saying, "Whatever you give me, I seem to need so much more."
Then she pointed at me where I kneeled on her floor,
She said, "Don't try to use me or slyly refuse me,
Just win me or lose me,
It is this that the darkness is for."

I cried, "Oh, Lady Midnight, I fear that you grow old,
The stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold."
"If we cry now," she said, "it will just be ignored."
So I walked through the morning, sweet early morning,
I could hear my lady calling,
"You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
Yes, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,

Ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
Ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord."


Lyrics submitted by Hosimosi

"Lady Midnight" as written by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Lady Midnight song meanings
Add your thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    My InterpretationI came by myself to a very crowded place;
    I was looking for someone who had lines in her face.
    I found her there but she was past all concern;
    I asked her to hold me, I said, "Lady, unfold me,"
    But she scorned me and she told me
    I was dead and I could never return.

    (I really love this song, and have been there. She's middle aged. She's drunk. She is only involved in the present moment, what's happening right here, right now. It's all about immediate gratification and the last desperate attempt of a broken man to find some kind of solace in the sexual arms of a woman. He asks her to see him, to hold him like she's someone who knows him, who loves him "like you would do for one that you loved," but in this sense he is dead, and she says, "by the way don't bother returning with that shit, that's not me, that's not why I'm here, that's not what I'm about.")

    Well, I argued all night like so many have before,
    Saying, "Whatever you give me, I seem to need so much more."
    Then she pointed at me where I kneeled on her floor,
    She said, "Don't try to use me or slyly refuse me,
    Just win me or lose me,
    It is this that the darkness is for."

    (So awesome! Many more have come, and will come, to Lady Midnight. But she can't offer what you need, intimacy, connection, love. She is who she is, and nothing can fill the lonely desperation that her suitors need. He begs her. She warns him, don't you dare use me, but don't you dare believe I'm anything, or this is anything, other than what it is, a one night stand, and in this regard, it is a black and white win/lose proposal. A night of sexual bliss distraction, e.g. darkness, and nothing more).

    I cried, "Oh, Lady Midnight, I fear that you grow old,
    The stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold."
    "If we cry now," she said, "it will just be ignored."
    So I walked through the morning, sweet early morning,
    I could hear my lady calling,
    "You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
    You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
    Yes, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,

    Ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
    Ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord."

    (Cohen can't help but to throw in a few lines about religion, which is a running theme through many of his songs. But first he is concerned about his dear lady, who is growing old. Stars, symbolic of divine quality conferred from above, passion, hope and an emblem of God's goodness, in direct contrast to the animal passions of the human body/condition, trumps. In the overall context he seeks spiritual meaning, even in the meaninglessness of a one night stand. Though if we dare share our vulnerability, and cry, it'll be insignificant anyway, so why bother? The final verses confound, even vex me, because they feel as though they originate from a muse, someone else, someone perhaps Leonard liked at the moment, and spontaneously put into his song. But I hope this part indicates, like many Cohen songs that on surface appear destitute and hopeless, is overall about the magic and loss and wonderment of it all).

    I think all straight men are aware of the Lady Midnight archetype. Not a whore, but a damaged sister of mercy, a beautiful lady who will give you some comfort, though you are not conventionally attractive, but because you are honest in your desperation, in your vulnerability, and that is what is attractive to her, for that very vulnerability is why she is here in this smokey, crowed place.
    solaris2013on October 03, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's the cougar anthem.
    werechickon June 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful! It seems like a fantasy of someday being able to subjugate the female force -- the White Goddess, the feminine spirit of the night. "You've won me, you've won me, my lord." Or maybe it's a history of early religion, going from terrifying earth venuses to a semi-dominated chivalric maiden.

    Damn, too much Golden Bough for me. but it's still beautiful.
    Radio Saturdayon August 27, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain