Lyric discussion by woman2010 

Sorry my bad english, I´m not from english speaking country. Alexandra Leaving is song, which Cohen composed with Sharon Robinson. All their common songs are magic, soft and beautiful. I think, that AL is about feeling, that you get when you have to leave some beloved person. But it is not braking up, there is no fight, no argument, no bitterness. Of course, I was thinking of death. Especially when you read the poem, that inspired Cohen- The God abandons Antony by Constantine P. Cavafy. But it´s Alexandria, the town, that is dying.

The god forsakes Antony

When suddenly, at midnight, you hear an invisible procession going by with exquisite music, voices, don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now, work gone wrong, your plans all proving deceptive–don’t mourn them uselessly. As one long prepared, and graced with courage, say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving. Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say it was a dream, your ears deceived you: don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these. As one long prepared, and graced with courage, as is right for you who were given this kind of city, go firmly to the window and listen with deep emotion, but not with the whining, the pleas of a coward; listen–your final delectation–to the voices, to the exquisite music of that strange procession, and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

But what about the last strophe? "You, who were bewildered by a meaninig, whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed....." In this point of view it seems to me, that these two people are lovers and one of them, I suppose the man, has to get back to family, becouse of duty, becouse of illness, who knows. Once he vowed to stand by a woman-his wife, even though his heart is no more with her. He didn´t mean to be unfaithfull, but something happend (his moral code was broken). But maybe (probably) Cohen didn´t mean some particular situation, he just used the poem, turn it a little bit to some other and slightly mysterious meaning just to make us feel the way we feel, when listening to it. The inevitable lost of something beautiful, of somebody deeply beloved, that will never come back.

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