Famous Blue Raincoat chords by Leonard Cohen


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Famous Blue Raincoat | Chords + Lyrics (tune down 1 tone)


Intro

||: Bm7 | G | Em | F#m :||

Verse 1

| Bm7 | G |
It’s four in the morning, the end of December.
| Em | F#m |
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better.
| Bm7 | G |
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living.
| Em | F#m |
There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

Bridge 1

| Bm7 | C#m7 | Bm7 | C#m7 |
I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert.
| Bm7 | A | Bm7 | A |
You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.

Chorus 1

| D | D |
Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair.
| Asus2 (A) | Asus2 (A) |
She said that you gave it to her.
| Bm7 | Bm7 |
That night that you planned to go clear.
| C#m7 | A A/E | G G/D | F#m |
Did you ever go clear?

Verse 2

| Bm7 | G |
Ah, the last time we saw you, you looked so much older.
| Em | F#m |
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder.
| Bm7 | G |
You’d been to the station to meet every train, and.
| Em | F#m |
You came home without Lili Marlene.

Bridge 2

| Bm7 | C#m7 | Bm7 | C#m7 |
And you treated my woman to a flake of your life.
| Bm7 | A | Bm7 | A |
And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.

Chorus 2

| D | D |
Well, I see you there with the rose in your teeth.
| Asus2 (A) | Asus2 (A) |
One more thin gypsy thief.
| Bm7 | Bm7 |
Well, I see Jane’s awake.
| C#m7 | A A/E | G G/D | F#m |
She sends her regards.

Instrumental

| Bm7 | G | Em | F#m |

Verse 3

| Bm7 | G |
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer.
| Em | F#m |
What can I possibly say?
| Bm7 | G |
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you.
| Em | F#m |
I’m glad you stood in my way.

Bridge 3

| Bm7 | C#m7 | Bm7 | C#m7 |
If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me.
| Bm7 | A | Bm7 | A |
Well, your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Chorus 3

| D | D |
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes.
| Asus2 (A) | Asus2 (A) |
I thought it was there for good.
| Bm7 | Bm7 | C#m7 | A A/E |
So I never tried.

Chorus 4

| D | D |
And Jane came by with a lock of your hair.
| Asus2 (A) | Asus2 (A) |
She said that you gave it to her.
| Bm7 | Bm7 |
That night that you planned to go clear.
| C#m7 | A A/E | G G/D | F#m |
Sincerely, L Cohen.

Outro

| Bm7 | G | Em | F#m |


Famous Blue Raincoat | Chords + Lyrics (standard tuning)


Intro

||: Am7 | F | Dm | Em :||

Verse 1

| Am7 | F |
It’s four in the morning, the end of December.
| Dm | Em |
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better.
| Am7 | F |
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living.
| Dm | Em |
There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

Bridge 1

| Am7 | Bm7 | Am7 | Bm7 |
I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert.
| Am7 | G | Am7 | G |
You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.

Chorus 1

| C | C |
Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair.
| Gadd9 (G) | Gadd9 (G) |
She said that you gave it to her.
| Am7 | Am7 |
That night that you planned to go clear.
| Bm7 | G G/D | F F/C | Em |
Did you ever go clear?

Verse 2

| Am7 | F |
Ah, the last time we saw you, you looked so much older.
| Dm | Em |
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder.
| Am7 | F |
You’d been to the station to meet every train, and.
| Dm | Em |
You came home without Lili Marlene.

Bridge 2

| Am7 | Bm7 | Am7 | Bm7 |
And you treated my woman to a flake of your life.
| Am7 | G | Am7 | G |
And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.

Chorus 2

| C | C |
Well, I see you there with the rose in your teeth.
| Gadd9 (G) | Gadd9 (G) |
One more thin gypsy thief.
| Am7 | Am7 |
Well, I see Jane’s awake.
| Bm7 | G G/D | F F/C | Em |
She sends her regards.

Instrumental

| Am7 | F | Dm | Em |

Verse 3

| Am7 | F |
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer.
| Dm | Em |
What can I possibly say?
| Am7 | F |
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you.
| Dm | Em |
I’m glad you stood in my way.

Bridge 3

| Am7 | Bm7 | Am7 | Bm7 |
If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me.
| Am7 | G | Am7 | G |
Well, your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Chorus 3

| C | C | Gadd9 (G) | Gadd9 (G) |
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes.
| Am7 | Am7 |
I thought it was there for good.
| Bm7 | G G/D |
So I never tried.

Chorus 4

| C | C |
And Jane came by with a lock of your hair.
| Gadd9 (G) | Gadd9 (G) |
She said that you gave it to her.
| Am7 | Am7 |
That night that you planned to go clear.
| Bm7 | G G/D | F F/C | Em |
Sincerely, L Cohen.

Outro

| Am7 | F | Dm | Em |


Famous Blue Raincoat chords and progressions (lesson preview)

Lesson link to Famous Blue Raincoat with TAB in two keys.

The incredibly beautiful Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen can only be played like the man himself if you tune down a tone, use my online guitar tuner to achieve this.

If you want to play along with the original this is a must, if you don’t, you could just sing it in the key of D as it says above, without playing along to the original.

Speaking of changing things, do check out Jennifer Warnes‘s version as well, she used to sing with Cohen live and ended up releasing an entire album of his tunes.

As a member, you get TAB for exactly how Leonard himself “plays it in D”, followed by a modified version in C (no need to tune down). I’ve included chords and lyrics for playing in C above as well.

Try both ways as this will teach you more about the song and how big of a difference these things in general affect a song when played on the guitar.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): Famous Blue Raincoat, guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Famous Blue Raincoat is an example of Amphibrach!

Released only as an album track from the 1971 album, Songs of Love and Hate, Famous Blue Raincoat is a true lyrical masterpiece.

Written as a letter, using a technique called Amphibrach, Cohen used this romantic style of poetry writing where you put two short syllables around a long one, for example:

There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

The style was often used in Russian and Polish poetry but the word itself is Greek meaning; short on both sides. In American literature, you can find it in Dr Seuss.

The style drives the lyrics forward in a great way and is yet another example of how seriously Cohen took his lyric writing, after all, he was a poet before he became a songwriter.

I find it difficult to think of a better artist to study if you are interested in writing better lyrics, he’s up there with Bob Dylan, maybe even ahead of him!


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