Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen song)
|Song by Leonard Cohen from the album I'm Your Man|
|I'm Your Man track listing|
"Everybody Knows" was first released on Cohen's album I'm Your Man, February 1988.
Five minutes, thirty-seven seconds in duration, "Everybody Knows" is known for its somber tone and repetition of the title at the beginning of most verses. Featuring phrases such as "Everybody knows that the dice are loaded" and "Everybody knows that the good guys lost", "Everybody Knows" has been variously described by critics as "bitterly pessimistic" yet funny, or, more strongly, a "bleak prophecy about the end of the world as we know it." The lyrics include references to AIDS, social problems, and relationship and religion issues.
"Everybody Knows" has been widely used in television and film. Allan Moyle's 1990 film Pump Up the Volume featured the song prominently. A favorite of protagonist Mark Hunter (Christian Slater, as the operator of an underground radio station), Cohen's song is played from an on-screen phonograph several times during Mark's clandestine broadcasts. A cover by Concrete Blonde is used at the film's end, and it is this cover version that made it onto the film's soundtrack album rather than Cohen's version.
Cohen's original version was also featured prominently in Atom Egoyan's 1994 film Exotica, as the theme music of exotic dancer Christina (Mia Kirshner) when she performs at the club of the film's title. The soundtrack album for Exotica, featuring music composed by Mychael Danna, does not include Cohen's recording of this song, either.
The song is also used in the film King of Kong and as theme music for episodes of SexTV. It was used in an episode of the Quebec mystery Fortier. Though the show is entirely in French, the song is played with its original English lyrics.
American rock band Guns N' Roses also used to use the song as their introduction music just before starting some of their concerts on their two-year-long Use Your Illusion world tour at the beginning of the 1990s.
Don Henley's version is heard in episode 219 of the television series Judging Amy, which aired in 2001. Recently the Concrete Blonde version was featured in the third episode of the first season of Dirty Sexy Money entitled the "Italian Banker".
"Everybody Knows" has also been used in a June 2008 anti-smoking advertisement commissioned by the New South Wales government in Australia with the theme "everybody knows smoking causes these diseases ... yet you still do it". Cohen's version serves as bumper music for The Alex Jones Show, an American radio talk show.
The Toronto, Canada theater company Soulpepper used the song between scenes of its production of David Mamet's play Oleanna in March 2011.
"Everybody Knows" has also been used in as a soundtrack during the closing credits on "Crossfire" the ninth episode of the first season of the TV series Homeland. It originally aired on Showtime on November 27, 2011.
Like many of Cohen's songs, "Everybody Knows" has been covered by several artists
- Concrete Blonde, in the film Pump Up the Volume (1990), the TV series Dirty Sexy Money at the end of the third episode of the first season, and on their compilation album Still in Hollywood (1994)
- As "Alle vet jo det", by Kari Bremnes, on Cohen på norsk (Cohen in Norwegian, 1993)
- Don Henley, on Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits (1995) and the tribute album Tower of Song (1995), and even sang a duet with Bryan Adams at Live at Honors 1996.
- Washington Squares, on From Greenwich Village: The Complete Washington Squares (1997)
- Dayna Kurtz, on her album Beautiful Yesterday (2004)
- Rufus Wainwright, in Lian Lunson's documentary film Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2005)
- The Duhks, on their self-titled debut album The Duhks (2005)
- Jean-Claude Toran, on the album A Monster Poet Jean-Claude Toran with Ron Richardson (2004)
- The Unseen Guest on their album Checkpoint (2007)
- Holly Figueroa, on her album Gifts and Burdens (2007) NOTE: This is the version that was featured on the season finale of the third season of Damages, air date April 19, 2010, episode name - "The Next One's Gonna Go In Your Throat"
- David Ford covered this song live on each date of his January tour (2008) and recorded it as the B-side to the single "I'm Alright Now"
- Claus Hempler, on the Danish compilation På Danske Læber (on Danish lips), including 15 other Danish covers of Cohen's songs
- The Cosa Nostra Klub on their official MySpace page (2008)
- Sharon Robinson herself, on her debut CD of the same title (2008)
- Elizabeth & The Catapult on their album Taller Children
- In Innu language as "Tshissenitenanu", by Florent Vollant, on Katak (2003)
- Garou on his album Gentleman cambrioleur (2009)
- Eric Berman covered this song in several of his live performances since 2006 (or earlier)
- Canadian singer Patricia O'Callaghan on her album Matador: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (2011)
- Cadena Perpetua, an Argentinian punk band covered this song with Spanish lyrics on "Armas y Opio" EP (2012)
- Peter Mulvey on his album The Good Stuff (2012)
- Browne, David (June 16, 1988). Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man : Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Accessed July 14, 2006.
- Holden, Stephen (June 21, 2006). 'Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man': A Documentary Song of Praise. New York Times. Accessed July 14, 2006.
- Stephen Scobie, Intricate preparations: writing Leonard Cohen, ECW Press, 2000, ISBN 1-55022-433-6, p. 123.
- Maurice Ratcliff, The complete guide to the music of Leonard Cohen, Omnibus Press, 1999, ISBN 0-7119-7508-6, p. 81.
- Barry Alan Farber, Rock 'n' roll wisdom: what psychologically astute lyrics teach about life and love, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, ISBN 0-275-99164-4, p. 25.