Read Leonard Cohen’s Handwritten Notes For “I’m Your Man” – Please

I’ll Write Like A Doctor For You

The above graphic (click to enlarge) is an image of Leonard Cohen’s handwritten notes for an early version of “I’m Your Man.” My best interpretation of the lyrics follows:

If you want a heart
      that beats for you
If you want a fighter in the bargain
If you want to strike me dead in anger
     Here I stand
      I’m your man 

I invite other readings of these scribblings, especially alternative versions for the phrase I’ve guessed to be  “a fighter in the bargain.”

Update 30 December 2011:  After reviewing email responses, the consensus holds that  the second full line is not “If you want a fighter in the bargain” but instead “If you want a fighter in the hangar.” The corrected verse follows:

If you want a heart
      that beats for you
If you want a fighter in the hangar
If you want to strike me dead in anger
     Here I stand
      I’m your man

Credit Due Department: The image by James Cassimus was an illustration for Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland (Musician, July 1988). Contributed by Dominique BOILE.

3 responses to “Read Leonard Cohen’s Handwritten Notes For “I’m Your Man” – Please

  1. And by 1988 when the song arrived (and when I received my postcard from him) his style of handwriting had changed; interesting Allan.

  2. “… a fighter in the manger” (?)

  3. “…a fighter in the hanger” (?)

    ( as in a fighter pilot in waiting)