I'm your man (1988-1993)

I'm ready to do anything to deserve a woman's caress.
All I want to say to the one I love is "I'm your man"

L. Cohen (Reijkavik concert June 24th, 1988)

I don't know about you, but all these years I've been wondering what a woman wants. What does a woman want ? And now the women have begun to wonder, what does a man want ? So it's clear that there's no point in escalating this battle to any further pitch of panic. We're all in the same leaking boat together, and we all pay for our lives in the highest coin. Therefore my position today to the one I love is merely to say, "I'm your man".

I don't know if you know this song, but it's a new song. It's a song that is a response to a question that has been perplexing men for 5 or 6,000 years. That is the question:"What does a woman want?". I really was taken by this question,and I devoted twenty years of research to discovering what a woman wants and finally I didn't find out what a woman wants and I abandoned the question. It is with a certain sense of vindication now that I see that women are asking the question "What does a woman want?". I feel now we are truly in the same boat. None of us knows what a woman wants. I myself have decided to abandon the inquiry. I have decided to surrender. I'm ready to be whatever I must be in order to deserve her voluntary caress. That is why I say without shame and unconditionnaly: I'm your man.

Over the last five or ten thousand years, men have been asking the question "What does a woman want?" And for the last few hundred years even women have been asking the question "What does a woman want?" And now men are asking the question "What does a man want?" And I just want to notify you that if these thoughts interest you for even a moment, you are lost. I have abandoned this type of question and I stand ready to signify my intention to do anything at all that she wants in order to deserve her caress. And therefore I declare I am your man

Oh thank you sons and daughters of Iceland. It is a great honour for us to play before you this evening. Even at the begining of your country men were asking the question:"What does a woman want?". The only change through millenium has been that now women are asking "What does a woman want?" And now even men are asking "What does a man want?" Nobody knows what they want. If these thoughts interest you, even for a moment, You are lost. I myself am ready to surrender to the obvious.....I'm ready to do anything to deserve a woman's caress. All I want to say to the one I love is "I'm your man".

There are many candidates promoting themselves today. I would like to get in mind to promote myself for something rather, I don't know what it is. I think there's some office out there, challenging me, challenging my best efforts. I think I can do something for somebody, I can't quite figure out what it is but I want you all to know that I do my best I don't know exactly what exactly that entails and exactly how far to go with it. I don't want anybody to kill anybody when I've got my back turned. I think what I'm really trying to get is a woman's caress and I don't want anybody else to feel that I'm trying to eat them out of this high office, and there's plenty to go round but I want to state unconditionally right now that I'm your man.

The air is singing with the self-praises of candidates. I do not wish to be left out. I am a candidate. I don't want to find myself driving through the Eyrie-Lincoln tunnel with my manager, saying to him 'Marty, I could have been a candidate'. But I am a candidate for the very highest office in the land, a woman's caress.

I sweated over that one. I really sweated over it. I can show you the notebook for that. It started off as a song called "I Cried Enough For You." It was related to a version of "Waiting For The Miracle" that I recorded. The rhyme scheme was developed by toeing the line with that musical version that I put down. But it didn't work.

(*) Read the complete interview

This image comes from the animation by Roslyn Schwartz, "I'm your man". It is based on the song by Leonard Cohen, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. It's included as a bonus item in the DVD edition of "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen" (Quantum Leap editor).

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