(Let's sing another song, boys, this one has grown old and bitter)

Ah his fingernails, I see they're broken,
His ships they're all on fire.
The moneylender's lovely little daughter
Ah, she's eaten, she's eaten with desire.
She spies him through the glasses
From the pawnshops of her wicked father.
She hails him with a microphone
That some poor singer, just like me, had to leave her.
She tempts him with a clarinet,
She waves a Nazi dagger.
She finds him lying in a heap;
She wants to be his woman.
He says, "Yes, I might go to sleep
But kindly leave, leave the future,
Leave it open."

He stands where it is steep,
Oh I guess he thinks that he's the very first one,
His hand upon his leather belt now
Like it was the wheel of some big ocean liner.
And she will learn to touch herself so well
As all the sails burn down like paper.
And he has lit the chain
Of his famous cigarillo.
Ah, they'll never, they'll never ever reach the moon,
At least not the one that we're after;
It's floating broken on the open sea, look out there, my friends,
And it carries no survivors.
But lets leave these lovers wondering
Why they cannot have each other,
And let's sing another song, boys,
This one has grown old and bitter.


Lyrics submitted by Hosimosi

Sing Another Song, Boys Lyrics as written by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sing Another Song, Boys song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment

    I believe this song is about a woman wanting a hesitant man who is bittered from love. It has a lot of nazi imagery in it, and is about control and possessiveness. The man is a singer, and the woman is the daughter of an overbearing father. The male lover is selfish in bed, so she's force to please herself. Her fantasies about him are shattered, and the imagery of the boat from the earlier verses have caught on fire, as their relationship takes a downward spiral of doom. He doesn't care. He lays in bed and smokes, he's famous for his stupid power hungry selfishness. And for this reason, they'll never ever reach the moon, the moon here is an analogy for sexual fulfillment, something they never will be able to obtain. Her because of her codependency, and him because of his arrogance. After all that, neither one of them learned anything about themselves together or independently. And in the end none of this is any surprise to the narrator, who moves on with his buddies to "sing another song..." which is destined to sound quite similar.

    gelosiaon August 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's a great song, my favorite part is the end, though, where Cohen and his backup sings "ladada" for half a minute or so.

    misterbojangleson October 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In my opinion he uses the same metaphore of reaching the moon as representing sexual intercourse in the song "Death of a Ladies' Man" as he does in this one.

    Adam the First Angeon June 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I have to agree with the idea of the moon being a metaphor for sexual fulfilment although i think there is also an important reason why Cohen refers to the moon as the one "we" are after. I think he means to correct the listener's false understanding and expectation of such romantic scene. "we" have very banally and obvious expectations from a sexual scene as this one, just as the woman in the song has, and Cohen is trying to mess up our romantic and tacky dreams telling us they will never fulfil our desires. from here: "lets sing another song boys, this one has grown old and bitter"

    bshachon May 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    A relationship in which two people will perpetually keep each other at arm's length, hoping to be embraced by the other but never able to commit fully and do it themselves. They'll stay together, hurting and alienating their partner and themselves.

    "Yes, I might go to sleep, But kindly leave, leave the future, Leave it open." There is a genuine love there, where he wants to love at some point in his life, but is ignorant to the fact that he can change and have it now.

    Mugwump112on May 04, 2023   Link

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