Sisters of Mercy (1968-1976)
When I was in Edmonton, about a year and a half ago, I was greeted at the airport by two young girls, who were wearing mini-skirts, and they said to me that they had introduced the mini-skirt to Edmonton. And they took very, very good care of me. And I wrote this song for them. It's called the "Sisters Of Mercy."

Curious feeling tonight but when we first read those headlines, I felt all day you know, I don't get into politics but this kind of headlines.. man.. I  know it's not mean but.. .Today with those headlines I really felt that somehow a war was begun. And it's against that kind of people that I'm gonna sing this next song. Few years ago I was in Edmonton, Alberta, a Northern Canadian city. There I first begun to encounter a different look in people's eye something much more profund than a difference of dress, but a different kind of expression and a different kind of greeting. And I met in a Cafe two young girls, and we spent the day together, they showed me through the snowstorm in Edmonton - they have 6 months of winter - and  we slept together in the evening the three of us. And during the night, although the sleep was gentle, I woke up and I wrote this song very very quickly and I actually had it ready for them once they woke up and as soon as they woke up -These are one of the few bonuses of being a poet, believe me.. .When they woke up I was ready with this song, I'll do anything you know.

I'd like you to come back tomorrow when you've sobered up, you know. Apparently, you believe that it is a mark of intoxication to want to make love to people you find attractive.
Murmurs in the audience
Pardon ?
Audience member, "We came here to see you sing, not to watch you make love."
I came here to make love. No really I want to ask you seriously. Would you rather hear me sing, or make love ?Audience, "Make love !"Okay, make love then. I'm not the mad one you know. And I've taken nothing, you know. Just a little Mandrax and a little wine. And a little acid. I mean I know where I am. I know that when I come into a place like this, I come here to make love, I come here to feel other people; the possibility of them making love. I'm sorry, that's the way it is with me. I started to sing with an idea that my songs could bring people into that. We live in cities, we pass thousands of strangers every day. The only way that cities will ever be redeemed, is if people can approach each other on the street with the sole and singular purpose of making love. I would say another thing : all the programs of ecology, all the programs of slum clearance, all the programs of aid to the poor and the correction of poverty will not take place, will fail, until we understand the purpose why we have gathered in these vast numbers, in places on this planet. The reason we have gathered together in these dense masse and city after city in sort that we can explode all notion of what love is, and forget the singing! Forget the concert! Forget the structure! Forget the whole thing ! (interrupted by the audience) If you listen to me sing and you can't listen to me talk, what you are hearing is a lie.

I always remember to dedicate this song to the girls for whom I wrote it. And like a lot of my material it's just completely documentary. It doesn't concern high metaphysical questions but an accurate reportage as authentic and precise as I can make it, a description of exactly what happened on the interior landscape. And I was in Edmonton during a tour by myself of Canada, I guess this was around 67. I was walking along one of the main streets of Edmonton, it was bitter cold ; and I knew no-one and I passed these two girls on a doorway. They invited me to stand in the doorway with them. Of course I did. Andsome time later, we found ourselvesin my little Hotel room in Edmonton and the three of us were gonna go to sleep together. Of course I had all kinds of erotic fantasies of what the evening might bring. Interviewer: How old were you ? Oh I was an adult. I guess I was around my early 30's. And we went to bed together and I think weall jammed into this one small couch in thislittle Hotel and it became clear that it wasn't the purpose of the evening at all. And at one point, in the night, I found myself unable to sleep, I got up, and by the moonlight - It was very very bright, the moon was being reflected off the snow, and my windows were very bright - I wrote that poem by the ice-reflected moonlight while these women were sleeping and it was one of the few songs that I ever wrote from top to bottom without a line of revision . The words flowed and the melody flowed and by the time they woke up the next morning, it was dawn. I had this completed song to sing to them.

This song is for Barbara and Lorraine.They took me out of a snowstorm in Edmonton,Alberta,1966.

Long time ago, two girls named Barbara and lorraine took me out of a snowstorm in Edmonton, Alberta. Anyhow, it doesn't matter but if I don't mention their names, they visit me withhumiliationevery time I sing this song for them.

This was written in a few hours one winter night in a Hotel room in Edmonton, Alberta. Barbara and Lorraine were sleeping on the couch. The room was filled with moonlight reflected off the ice of the North Saskatchewan River. I had it ready for them when they woke up.

The Sisters Of Mercy were actually two young women that I met during a snow storm in Edmonton, Alberta. And they came to my Hotel Room and there was something oh, very agreeable about their company. And they had no place to stay and they fell asleep on my bed, and I stayed up and I remember there was a full moon. And I felt like having something to say to them when they woke up, and that was one of those rare and graceful occasions when I was able to write a song from beginning to end in the space of a few hours. And while they slept I worked on this song. And when they woke up I sang it to them. It was compleetely full and finished, and they liked it. Barbara and Lorraine were their names.

It was very nice of the Russians to build this Hall for me. My mother came from Russia, she spoke very highly of those people. It is a beautiful Hall, and I thank the Authorities for allowing me to play here. I wish we had a Hall like this where I come from. I would throw a huge party here, I would invite everyone. Maybe Id just live here alone by myself. I need a lot of space.


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