"A Box for Black Paul" as written by and Leonard Cohen....
Who'll build a box for Black Paul?
Ah'm enquirin on behalf of his soul
Ah'd be beholdin to ya all
For a lil' information, just a little indication

Just who'll dig the hole?
When ya done ransackin' his room
Grabbin any damn thing that shines,
Throw the scraps down on the street

Like all his books and his notes.
All his books and his notes and
All the junk that he wrote
The whole fuckin' lot right up in smoke

Ain't there nuthin sacred anymore
Won't someone will build a box for Black Paul?
And their shootin off his guns
And their shootin off their mouths

Saying 'Fuck with us ... and die!'
'Fuck with us ... and die!'
(Let's see that rat of fear go scuttle in their skulls)
'Cover that eye! Cover that frozen eye!'

Black-puppet, in a heap up against the stoning-wall
Black-puppet, go to sleep, ma-ma won't scold ya anymore

Armies of ants, wade up the lil red streams
They're headin for the mother-pool
O lord, it's cruel! O man it's hot! O man it's hot and
And some of them ants they just climb to the spot
Who threw the first stone at Black Paul?

'Don't ask us', say the critics and the hacks
The pen-pushers and the quacks
'We jes cum to git dah facks!'
'We jes cum to git dah facks!'
Hey, hey, hey, hey...

Here is the hammer, that built the scaffold,
And built the box...
Here is the shovel, that dug the hole,
In this ground of rocks...

And here is the pile of stones!
And for each one planted, God only knows,
A blood-rose grown...

These are the true Demon-Flowers!
These are the true Demon-Flowers!
Stand back everyone! Blood-black everyone!

Who'll build a box for Black Paul?
Who'll carry it up the hill?

'Not I', said the widow, adjusting her veil
'Ah will not drive the nail
Or cart his puppet-body home,
For ah done that one hundred times before,

Yeah! ah done that one hundred times or more,
And why should ah dress his wounds?
When he has wounded my dress, nightly,
Right across the floor'

Who'll build a box for Black Paul?
Who'll carry it up the hill?
Who'll bury it in the black-soil?
And from the woods and the thickets

Come the ghosts of his victims
'We love you!'
'Ah love you!'
'and this will not hurt a bit,

Outta my eyes was your rise to full glory Spring up from the corp(??) of life we'll go up, up, up, up, up into Death
Up, up, up, up, inhale its breath
O yes, Death favours those that favor Death'

Here is the stone, and this is the inscription it bare:
'Below Lies Black Paul, Under The Upper...
But Above and Beyond The Surface-Flat-Fall There.'

And all the angels come on down,
And all you men and women crowd around
And all the old widows weeping into their skirts
And all the lil gals and the lil Boys

And the scribes with their pens poised
All the hullaballoo, all the norse
All the hullaballoo, all the noise
All the hullaballoo, all of the noise

Clears his throat of black blood
Singin Black Paul like a lonely boy...

We-e-e-ll, ah have cried one thousand tears
Ah've cried a thousand tears, its true
And the next stormy night you know,
That ah'm still cryin them for you

Well, ah had a gal she was so sweet,
Red dress, and long red hair hangin down
And heaven yes ain't heaven
Without that lil girl hangin around

Well, ya know ah've beenn a bad-man
And Lord knows ah done some good things too
But ah confess, my soul will never rest
Until you've, until you've build
Until you've built a box for my gal, too.
My gal, too
My gal, too

Lyrics submitted by Songmeaningsuser, edited by Mellow_Harsher, Odia

"A Box for Black Paul" as written by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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A Box for Black Paul song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI am really interested about the meaning behind this song, since I'm not a native english speaker.

    I think it's basically about a guy who died (Paul) and all the funeral ceremony around him. but it seems that he was not such a respected person because nobody wants to build the box, carry it up the hill nor throw the first stone.
    in the end we find out that he wants his girl dead too.

    I am confused by the part "Not I", said the widow, adjusting HIS veil... shouldn't it be HER veil ?
    Scrabble_Lifeon January 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNow I'm not sure if it's correct or not but it seems to be quite correct. However, I read and heard that this song is about Nick Cave's old band The Birthday Party. Black Paul is The Birthday Party. Their initials correspond too. Maybe makes some more sense :)

    // Arne
    Arne_the_greaton January 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes Arne is right, it's about the Birthday Party. It was on the first Bad Seeds albumn after the BP broke up. Lots of vitriol for the music press - critics and the hacks - who he blambed for not understanding the BP and whipping up a frenzy around the band as he struggled to accept new found fame.

    and yes I think he sings "her Veil" rather than his
    davo111on April 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCompletely destroys some of his former bandmates, the media, and some fans, regarding the death of his previous band, The Birthday Party (Black Paul)
    justburningon December 25, 2017   Link

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