I heard this song for the first time in the early nineties as it played over the opening credits of Pump Up the Volume.
Dark, brooding lyrics dripping with depression, anger, and subdued outrage, all wrapped up in poetical honesty and a heavy synth intro; it had it all. As soon as the first lines were sung the tune became an essential part of my teen angst bullshit. I ran out a bought the soundtrack the next day and was slightly disappointed that the cassette1 only included the Concrete Blonde2 version that was used towards the end of the movie.
For some reason I never got a hold of a copy of this track until I found Leonard Cohen’s, I’m Your Man in a used CD store a few years later. After hearing that entire album I became more than a little bit obsessed with Cohen’s music, the man is an amazing poet who has proven himself capable of many style changes over the years. “Everybody Knows” still remains to this day one of my favorite songs of all time. Sadly the truth of the lyrics are still relevant and also sadly I understand that truth on an adult level now. In all this song and many of Cohen’s other works have shown me that sadness and pain, are not inseparable from truth and beauty, but do help us appreciate the latter having gained proper perspective.
I hope you took the time to give it a listen. If you haven’t heard much oh his work I highly recommend getting on Spotify, or YouTube, or however you get your music and check out more of his catalogue; I promise that even if this track isn’t your cup of tea there is something there that will speak to you. If you are familiar with Mr. Cohen’s songs and poems I would love to hear what your favorite ones are.
Also if you can you should check out the movie Pump Up the Volume, it’s not half bad3.