by Leonard Cohen, Sarah Perkins & Ian Jackson

Title God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot
Author Leonard Cohen, Sarah Perkins & Ian Jackson
Country & Year UK 2000
Publisher Galileo Multimedia Ltd. Distributed by Aurum Press.
Email: Rober Hyde.
Pages 60+4
Notes ISBN: 1-85410-696-1. Paperback.
Summary "Beautiful Losers, Leonard Cohen's legendary novel was described by The New York Times, when it was first published, as "a gorgeously written...anguished, over-whelming...prose-poem."

In the middle of the novel comes a short section beginning with the words God is Alive. Magic is Afoot. The 400 or so words that follow are arguably some of the finest that Cohen ever wrote. In them he has created an inspirational mantra which explores the real meaning of Magic...and God. Until now, the only time that these words have appeared outside the novel was when Buffy St. Marie put them to music on her 1969 album Illuminations.

This book is a marriage of Leonard Cohen's text and specially commissioned art from two renowned London artists/designers, Sarah Perkins and Ian Jackson.

Sarah Perkins is one of the UK's leading graphic artists working in the fields of book and magazine design. Ian Jackson works in digitally enhanced images, particularly in the music industry." (from the introduction to the book)


God is alive, magic is afoot
God is alive, magic is afoot
God is alive, magic is afoot
God is afoot, magic is alive
Alive is afoot, magic never died
God never sickened
Many poor men lied
Many sick men lied
Magic never weakened
Magic never hid
Magic always ruled
God is afoot, God never died
God was ruler
Though his funeral lengthened
Though his mourners thickened
Magic never fled
Though his shrouds were hoisted
The naked God did live
Though his words were twisted
The naked magic thrived
Though his death was published
Round and round the world
The heart did not believe

Many hurt men wondered
Many struck men bled
Magic never faltered
Magic always lead
Many stones were rolled
But God would not lie down
Many wild men lied
Many fat men listened
Though they offered stones
Magic still was fed
Though they locked their coffers
God was always served
Magic is afoot, God is alive
Alive is afoot

Alive is in command
Many weak men hungered
Many strong men thrived
Though they boast of solitude
God was at their side
Nor the dreamer in his cell
Nor the captain on the hill
Magic is alive
Though his death was pardoned
Round and round the world
The heart would not believe

Though laws were carved in marble
They could not shelter men
Though altars built in parliaments
They could not order men
Police arrested magic and magic went with them
Mmmmm.... for magic loves the hungry
But magic would not tarry
It moves from arm to arm
It would not stay with them
Magic is afoot
It cannot come to harm
It rests in an empty palm
It spawns in an empty mind
But magic is no instrument
Magic is the end
Many men drove magic
But magic stayed behind
Many strong men lied
They only passed through magic
And out the other side
Many weak men lied
They came to God in secret
And though they left Him nourished
They would not tell who healed
Though mountains danced before them
They said that God was dead
Though his shrouds were hoisted
The naked God did live
This I mean to whisper to my mind
This I mean to laugh within my mind
This I mean my mind to serve
Til' service is but magic
Moving through the world
And mind itself is magic
Coursing through the flesh
And flesh itself is magic
Dancing on a clock
And time itself
The magic length of God

© 1966- Leonard Cohen.
Reprinted here with permission from the author.