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It's coming through a hole in the air
]from those nights in tiananmen square
It's coming from the feel
That it ain't exactly real
Or it's real, but it ain't exactly there
]from the wars against disorder
]from the sirens night and day
]from the fires of the homeless
]from the ashes of the gay
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.

It's coming through a crack in the wall
On a visionary flood of alcohol
]from the staggering account
Of the sermon on the mount
Which I don't pretend to understand at all
It's coming from the silence
On the dock of the bay
]from the brave, the bold, the battered
Heart of chevrolet
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.

It's coming from the sorrow on the street
The holy places where the races meet
]from the homicidal bitchin'
That goes down in every kitchen
To determine who will serve and who will eat
]from the wells of disappointment
Where the women kneel to pray
For the grace of God in the desert here
And the desert far away
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.

Chorus
Sail on, sail on
O mighty ship of state!
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on...

It's coming to america first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
It's here the family's broken
And it's here the lonely say
That the heart has got to open
In a fundamental way
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.

It's coming from the women and the men
O baby, we'll be making love again
We'll be going down so deep
That the river's going to weep
And the mountain's going to shout amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
Beneath the lunar sway
Imperial, mysterious
In amorous array
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.

Chorus

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
That time cannot decay
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
This little wild bouquet
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/leonard_cohen/democracy.html

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    DarKLoganSep 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm
    The lyrics to "Democracy is Coming to the USA" sound hopeful for the future--which is a great irony given the USA is already supposed to be the country of democracy. So it's actually quite negative with an image like the "crack in the wall" allowing democracy to enter. The negative aspects of stated reality are stark: "ashes of the gay," "sorrow on the street," etc. Never sure how the ship of state will stay afloat, managing to survive the many "reefs of greed" and "squalls of hate." However, with the music, the lyrics seem to be transformed into something so very positive. I am always amazed when I listen to the song vs. read the lyrics. Cohen is wonderful!

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