“The whole idea is funny, even though it’s very true” Leonard Cohen On The Surface Meaning Of, The Joke In, & What Jesus Knew About “Ain’t No Cure For Love”

In ‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’ … the whole idea is funny, even though it’s very true. There’s a surface to the song. You don’t have to go beneath the surface. You’re not invited to penetrate the song and analyze it but if you should be so foolish as to want to penetrate the song and analyze it you’d find that it is correct even theologically. Jesus appears in the last verse and whispers to me that you can’t get away from this; even the angelic host understands. Well, Christ who gave himself a lot, who knew that the only way to love was to sacrifice, he knows that if you love, your love will take a wound, so those parts of the world that are inhabited are still there, but nobody’s invited to look at them if they don’t want to. So the song just exists as a song that reaches your ear, but if there’s something else going on all the better. But it’s better to say those things as a joke than to rub somebody’s nose in it.


Leonard Cohen


The verse to which Leonard Cohen refers follows:

I walked into this empty church, I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard whispered to my soul
I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much
It’s written in the scriptures
It’s written there in blood
And I even heard the angels declare it from above
There ain’t no cure, there ain’t no cure, there ain’t no cure for love

From I’m Your Man, by Alberto Manzano. Rockdelux (Spain): May 1988. Photo by Herminia Sirvent.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Sept 24, 2016.

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