What does Bird on the Wire mean?

Search Login

Leonard Cohen: Bird on the Wire Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

Song Released: 1969


Download "Bird on the Wire" on MP3:

Download MP3 from Amazon

Bird on the Wire Lyrics

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can...

  1.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 26th, 2015 5:08am report


    Leonard Cohen – Bird On The Wire Lyrics

    Like a bird on the wire,
    Like a drunk in a midnight choir
    I have tried in my way to be free.

    Like a worm on a hook,
    Like a knight from some old fashioned book
    I have saved all my ribbons for thee.

    If I, if I have been unkind,
    I hope that you can just let it go by.
    If I, if I have been untrue
    I hope you know it was never to you.

    Like a baby, stillborn,
    Like a beast with his horn
    I have torn everyone who reached out for me.

    But I swear by this song
    And by all that I have done wrong
    I will make it all up to thee.

    I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
    He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
    And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
    She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

    Oh like a bird on the wire, etc.


    LC here is describing the human condition.
    We all have felt the vulnerability of the bird on a wire,
    the drunken expression of singing out our joy and sorrow, our eternal pursuit and sometimes vain striving to be free.

    Then he describes how one is when one is in love. A worm on a hook, wanting to give everything he has to the beloved.However, he lacks the ability to love fully, and always ends up hurting those he loves, so he spend the rest of the song apologizing and promising to do better.

    In the last verse, he describes the difficulty of figuring out right from wrong for oneself with all the shades of gray in between.

    Songwriters: COHEN, LEONARD




More Leonard Cohen song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

Amaranth anonymous
Landing in London anonymous
All I Know anonymous
Fascination Street anonymous
Car Radio anonymous
Outside anonymous
25 Minutes anonymous
Full of Grace anonymous
Heretic anonymous
Let Em In anonymous
Tag You're It anonymous
Mirror anonymous
Wrong Side of Heaven anonymous
25 Minutes anonymous
Invisible anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Hated
Beartooth
Beauty And The Beast
Ariana Grande
Scared To Be Lonely
Martin Garrix
Keep Your Eyes On Me
Tim McGraw
Stuck In Your Head
I Prevail
Middle Fingers
MISSIO
Sing It Now
Reba McEntire
Blame
Bastille