Everybody Know – Unveiling the Veiled Truths of Our Times


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Leonard Cohen's Everybody Know at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. An Anthem of Resignation and Resilience
  5. Decoding the Enigmatic Boat and the Captain
  6. The Song’s Hidden Meaning: Unmasking Societal Illusions
  7. Memorable Lines That Cut to the Core
  8. The Prophetic Edge of Leonard Cohen

Lyrics

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long-stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah, when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Full Lyrics

Leonard Cohen’s gravelly timbre and profound lyricism have long been a beacon for those seeking solace in music that not only entertains but also enlightens. ‘Everybody Knows’ is a testament to Cohen’s uncanny ability to distill complex social and personal commentaries into a series of poetic observations that remain chillingly relevant. It’s a tune that echoes the collective consciousness, stringing together unspoken truths with an almost prophetic clarity.

Many consider ‘Everybody Knows’ to be one of Cohen’s most potent concoctions of disillusionment and candid social critique. Through his lyrics, he navigates the landscapes of human experience, exploring themes of corruption, deception, and the inequities that thread through the fabric of society. This exploration aims to delve into the layers of meaning behind this hauntingly prophetic anthem.

An Anthem of Resignation and Resilience

On the surface, ‘Everybody Knows’ paints a tapestry of resignation. Cohen’s lyrics evoke a world where the scales of justice are known to be imbalanced, the game rigged from the start. The recurring phrase ‘everybody knows’ is not just a refrain, it’s a collective sigh, a resigned acknowledgment of the state of the world.

But beneath this resignation bubbles a resilient acknowledgment. While laying out the world’s dysfunctions, Cohen isn’t just wallowing; he’s also pointing to our awareness of these issues. Each line serves as a call to arms, with the song’s resigned tone serving as a mask over the true undercurrent of the message: we all know, and so, we all hold the power to demand change.

Decoding the Enigmatic Boat and the Captain

Cohen’s lament about the ‘boat’ and ‘captain’ transcends literal interpretation. The ‘leaking boat’ is representative of societal structures — governments, corporations, institutions — that are meant to keep us afloat but are failing. ‘The captain lied’ underscores the betrayal felt by citizens, uncovering recurring themes of misinformation and false leadership.

This metaphor resonates on a deeper level, touching the nerve of public sentiment and the collective trust we place in authority. The feeling of betrayal is universal, made even more poignant by Cohen’s somber delivery. It’s a reminder of what happens when those at the helm are steering with deceit rather than integrity.

The Song’s Hidden Meaning: Unmasking Societal Illusions

Cohen’s gift was to create songs that sounded deeply personal while reflecting broader social realities. ‘Everybody Knows’ removes the veil from societal illusions, pointing to the calculated inequalities and the charade of the status quo. His lyrics urge listeners to look beyond the surface, to recognize the manipulations and machinations that govern much of our lives.

In this way, the song becomes an existential mirror. Cohen does not just lament on the world’s obvious maladies but also alludes to the facade of modern life and the superficial bandaids we use to cover deeper wounds. Unmasking these societal illusions challenges us to confront uncomfortable truths about the world and ourselves.

Memorable Lines That Cut to the Core

‘The poor stay poor, the rich get rich,’ is a line delivered with the matter-of-factness of someone who understands the world’s game too well. It encapsulates the economic and social stratification endemic to modern society. ‘Everybody got this broken feeling like their father or their dog just died,’ is another gut punch that universalizes the sense of loss and disillusionment.

Cohen’s verses are tattooed with truth that vibrates through time, as relevant in today’s world as they were at the song’s release. With each memorable line, Cohen peels back layers of collective discomfort, revealing raw hurt, forgotten dreams, and the ceaseless struggle between what is and what should be.

The Prophetic Edge of Leonard Cohen

Today, ‘Everybody Knows’ carries a prophetic edge, reflecting the inescapable realities that define contemporary life. His foreboding articulations about ‘the Plague’ or ‘the scene is dead’ can shockingly be mapped onto current headlines, heralding societal and environmental collapses that once seemed like distant threats but have now become our quotidien.

Cohen’s words simmer with the ongoing tension between past and present, often oscillating between Biblical references and modern-day afflictions, weaving a narrative that is at once timeless and unmistakably prescient—prophetic not only in foresight but in the perpetual resonance of its message.

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