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Permanent Dust

Death of a Ladies' Man

by Karl Ward

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Jason Sigal if The Boss was a dj / chopped and screwed Television Favorite track: Iodine.
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1.
You say there’s nothing between you and the street Just the air, and a window, then forty little feet And you turn and you laugh the way that I like Wild and crazy and free And just at that moment I would never betray you And you would never betray me Down below in the streets the shadows are stealing Every sad thing they can see And I want so badly, just one more time, For the shadows to take you and take me And just at that moment, I would never tell you What a fool I turned out to be Let’s stand at the window Naked as when we were born Turn out the lights And wait for the night to come We’ll let the shadows erase Every name, every face When the Devil comes looking for us In this place Well let’s just hope that true love, True love leaves no traces Your eyes they light up like streetlights In the better part of town But I hold a brick in my hand I can only look down at the ground A ground that’s shattered and covered in pieces Of the sky falling all around Let’s stand at the window Naked as when we were born Turn out the lights And wait for the night to come We’ll let the shadows erase Every name, every face When the Devil comes looking for us In this place Well let’s just hope that true love, True love leaves no traces
2.
Iodine 02:25
Begin on a day of mourning When the shops are all closed And there’s no one on the street And the people are all standing in line For the false miracles I never thought I’d see you Standing there Waiting for the body And the blood to sublime There’s Jesus in the corner Turning blood into wine But me I’m lucky If I can turn it into iodine Everybody out there Is looking for some way To live through their mistakes When every girl wants to be Norma Jean Without the pills And every boy wants to be James Dean With the crash on the highway Well I guess you went your way And I’m going mine But I’m looking for my big mistakes While there’s still time There’s Jesus in the corner Turning blood into wine But me I’m lucky If I can turn it into iodine
3.
I was only pretending to be faithful While you were playing hard-to-get But faith is only found by the lucky And luck has not come around here yet I’m not offering any promises Anyway there’s no one left for us to betray The clock’s running out on the night now Faster than it ran away from the day Your eyes light the walls of this paper thin hotel And you could burn down this city as well Let’s burn down this paper thin hotel. I came here to listen to your story But not the one you would tell me in words I’m listening for the real conversation The one between my eyes and yours You lay out your cards to tell my fortune You know damn well it was stolen by thieves I’m not interested in being your Magician But call me your Fool, that’s alright with me Your eyes light the walls of this paper thin hotel And you could burn down this city as well Let’s burn down this paper thin hotel.
4.
Memories 03:29
When you said “Take this string and know It will lead you back to me, If you don’t remember the way As you’re carried away from me.” Then I held it lightly, just like I’d hold Something young and fragile and new, And I knew it was your hand Pulling me back to you. The ground here is hot to the touch And when night falls, it doesn’t fall on much All around these city streets The monsters have learned to speak and sing And their old songs about young love Flow through my memories like blood: “Sweet Thing,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Good times never felt so good,” never felt so good. You don’t have to tell me which way to go Don’t tell me how it ends, because I already know I follow the string though I know where it leads I know the future feels just like memories. I don’t need a guide, I remember the way, But I hold on to the string just in case, And the taxi cabs dodge me, they crash and collide And the thousands of people all step aside And this thread that leads me back to you Takes me all around this town And the sound it makes on my fingers Could tear any man down. You don’t have to tell me which way to go Don’t tell me how it ends, because I already know I follow the string though I know where it leads I know the future feels just like memories. I felt like a criminal then, I couldn’t even stand Next to the window without drawing the curtains. Then back in bed, and you sleeping, I close my eyes for a while. I pretend to remember all the other nights We slept here side by side. I pretend to remember all the years I woke up to your smile. But memories like these, they’re just dreams That only make sense in the night, Then they disappear into the night. You don’t have to tell me which way to go Don’t tell me how it ends, because I already know.
5.
Standing there looking too bored to live You gonna stand around all night until it ends? Or you gonna dance with me and ditch your friend? Tell me what you gonna do? I left a woman waiting as well Tomorrow morning she’s gonna give me hell But baby I can’t find heaven by myself Can you? I can feel your heart and mine Beating in time Every time the lights go out You know what’s on my mind But right now I just want to do Anything you want me to Whenever the music stops– You know the music never stops
6.
The night is all possibility One more line, just one more drink She says "Dance with me! To whatever they're playing now!" We push through the crowd, into the street Crash through her door, into her sheets And the night is full So we follow desire down. She wakes soft as I make to leave Saying “Love can’t live in sunlight it seems.” I say “Love can live until Its name is spoken out loud.” Now I’m staring at the wall, Not thinking, not at all, And the night is empty now She said – The next girl she smiles, says to me, “Don’t think too hard about what this means, It don’t have to mean Anything at all.” Her eyes meet mine and never leave. The dress it falls down to her feet And then it’s done and I’m standing in the hall. She says “stay a little while.” But I can’t return her smile, When the words have all run out. She said –
7.
Fingerprints 02:39
I saw that place Where you stayed at the end of the day And I couldn’t help seeing Your fingerprints on everything I looked into your mirror And I stared until I thought it might break When I put back the pieces I could almost see your face It’s been so long since I held you I can still feel your fingerprints I don’t know why I was ever untrue Here where you slept Here where you walked Here where you could have Called on me With my eyes closed I can feel your hands I feel you standing next to me It’s been so long since I held you I can still feel your fingerprints But I’ll never tell you now ‘Cause you got away
8.
She said “I will walk you down, I will walk you down, All the way down, All the way down” But it was one of those days When I said goodbye to everyone When each person I met Was walking away When turning on my heel Just came naturally Oh all the instruments agree It was a dark cold day

about

These are all new songs written by Karl Ward using only the song titles from the original Leonard Cohen record and the sounds of New York City 1973-1978.

www.deathofaladiesman.com

Music video for "True Love Leaves No Traces" at youtu.be/pOU0Odh3jgk

credits

released November 20, 2017

—For Leonard Cohen, le meilleur forgeron

This project was realized while Karl Ward was a student and a musician in residence at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. So much gratitude is due to the ITP family. itp.nyu.edu

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