The Partisan
Lyrics Leonard Cohen

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When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Les allemands étaient chez moi,
Ils me disent, résigne-toi,
Mais je n'ai pas peur;
J'ai repris mon arme.

J'ai changé cent fois de nom,
J'ai perdu femme et enfants
Mais j'ai tant d'amis;
J'ai la France entière.

Un vieil homme dans un grenier
Pour la nuit nous a caché,
Les allemands l'ont pris;
Il est mort sans surprise.

[Translation of the above]

The Germans were at my home
They said, resign you
But i am not afraid
I picked up my weapon again.

An old man, in an attic
Hid us for the night
The Germans captured him
He died without surprise.

I've changed names a hundred times
I have lost wife and children
But i have so many friends
I have all of France.

[End of translation]

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Song facts

"The Partisan" ("La Complainte du Partisan") is a song about the French Resistance in World War II. The song was written in 1943 in London by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie. It has been adapted (with English lyrics by Hy Zaret) and covered by diverse artists, including Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, 16 Horsepower, Red Union, Po' Girl, Branimir Štulić, Electrelane and The Swell Season. It is often confused with the Chant des Partisans, which became the unofficial anthem of the French Resistance.

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