My favorite Leonard Cohen song, for obvious reasons: an apocalyptic tour-de-force, complete with a cameo from St Paul and Christ presented as mankind’s only hope. Like many of Cohen’s songs, I much prefer it when covered by another artist – if you can get past the uncensored first verse, Teddy Thompson’s version from the I’m Your Man soundtrack is particularly fine. But here’s the man himself performing the song just after it came out, with the obscene lyrics thankfully modified for public consumption. I’ve included the most Mbird-friendly portions below.

Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It’s lonely here,
There’s no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
That’s an order!

Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I’ve seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned the order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant (x3)

You don’t know me from the wind
You never will, you never did
I’m the little Jew who wrote the Bible
I’ve seen the nations rise and fall
I’ve heard their stories, heard them all
But love’s the only engine of survival

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima