What does Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye mean?

Leonard Cohen: Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye Meaning

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Album cover for Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye album cover

Song Released: 1967


Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye Lyrics

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it's come to distances...

  1. anonymous
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    Oct 22nd 2014 !⃝

    Poor Leonard Cohen. He seems such a troubled soul. He is so mixed up with sex and love. He falls in love almost too easily, possibly because he craves women and sex so much. But the poems and the songs he writes help him maneuver his life. It seems that each poem or song he writes reflects a biographical incident or feeling. Just as suddenly as he falls in love with a new idol (I think he loves WOMAN, the abstraction of what a woman is) he loses his love for the woman. Something begins to itch in his subconscious, He’s got to get away from this all-consuming relationship, which, after all, true love is. He’s got to be FREE. Or maybe he just has a new idea for a song or a poem and he’s got to be alone to wrestle with it, without the distraction of his love, so that he can get it down the way he wants it to be. So he is usually the one who breaks it off. And then, as time goes on, maybe he solves the writing problem, maybe he gets lonely for a woman, and for the sex it brings him. Or maybe, in his depression, he imagines that he loves her (the last one, whichever) more than any other, and forever. Why did he let it go? And yet, he never learns, ne never faces that HE my be the problem. No, he never gives up. He tends to blame the broken relationship on the woman, but perhaps he is only talking to himself, chastising himself for the way he left it. It is, unfortunately, his own inner pattern or schedule that makes so many good relationships fall apart. Basically, he is a lonely man who feels complete only with a female counterpart, but he cannot settle into some form of conventionality. He needs to be and to feel free. So he repeats the same cycle over and over again. It turns out to be a life-long struggle between his need for love and his need to create, also between his need for God and his need for Mammon.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 5th 2011 !⃝

    What do you say when it's over? You never really knew her but she has penetrated deep inside you. She will be there forever - whatever forever may be.
    She's leaving and you're watching her pack her things, not knowing quite what you should do.
    'Goodbyes' are for tomorrow but this one slipped into today. She never knew you either - and that's why she's crying; you've cheated her because she never would posses you.
    But here's the rub; that's exactly how you should say 'goodbye'.
    Goodbye.


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