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: Learn the progressions


Guitar 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 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.

As a preview, this is the intro/verse in TAB, thinking in the key of D.

Famous Blue Raincoat chords and TAB, intro and verse tuned down.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson: Famous Blue Raincoat – Guitar Lesson with TAB.



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!



Famous Blue Raincoat Chords | Related Pages


Intermediate Acoustic

There are many more Intermediate Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Famous Blue Raincoat.

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Famous Blue Raincoat's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Leonard Cohen tunes

Leonard Cohen wrote Famous Blue Raincoat.

Following a career as a novelist and poet for over a decade, Leonard Cohen released his debut album in 1967.

His best tunes include Suzanne, Bird on the Wire, Famous Blue Raincoat, Chelsea Hotel #2, Hallelujah, Dance Me To The End Of Love, and So Long, Marianne.


Leonard Cohen on the web

Listen to Leonard Cohen on Spotify.


Jennifer Warnes tunes

Jennifer Warnes covered Famous Blue Raincoat.

Jennifer Warnes was in the cast for the musical Hair, sang BV’s for Leonard Cohen, and duets with Joe Cocker and Bill Medley.

Her best tunes include Famous Blue Raincoat, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, Up Where We Belong, and First We Take Manhattan.


Jennifer Warnes on the web

Listen to Jennifer Warnes on Spotify.


Country & Folk

When you can play Famous Blue Raincoat, check out these Country and Folk tunes as well.

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Famous Blue Raincoat's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Famous Blue Raincoat chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.



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