Come over to the window, my little darling,
I’d like to try to read your palm.
I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy
before I let you take me home.
Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began
to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.

Well you know that I love to live with you,
but you make me forget so very much.
I forget to pray for the angels
and then the angels forget to pray for us.

Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

We met when we were almost young
deep in the green lilac park.
You held on to me like I was a crucifix,
as we went kneeling through the dark.

Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

Your letters they all say that you’re beside me now.
Then why do I feel alone?
I’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
is fastening my ankle to a stone.

Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

For now I need your hidden love.
I’m cold as a new razor blade.
You left when I told you I was curious,
I never said that I was brave.

Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

Oh, you are really such a pretty one.
I see you’ve gone and changed your name again.
And just when I climbed this whole mountainside,
to wash my eyelids in the rain!

Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

——————————————————

Marianne is Marianne Ihlen, ex-wife of the Norwegian author Axel Jensen, who was a friend of Leonard. Leonard lived with Marianne in Greece together, in the 1960s, after Axel separated from her.

To quote Leonard (backcover of “Greatest Hits”, 1976):

I began this on Aylmer Street in Montreal and finished it a year or so later at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. I didn’t think I was saying goodbye but I guess I was. She gave me many songs, and she has given songs to others too. She is a Muse. A lot of people I know think that there is nothing more important than making a song. Fortunately, this belief arises infrequently in their conversation.

Tahsin Ünlü

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