Cocker, Joe - Bird On The Wire Lyrics

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

Like a baby, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

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Cocker, Joe Bird On The Wire Comments
  1. gillan5

    When Cocker was good, later he sold his soul to the mainstream pop mainstream money making pop crap. like Tina Turner did, like Phil Collins did, like Rod Stewart did, like the Who did playing in Las Vegas,

  2. מנדי חמו

    Before 23 years was to my father friend good friend
    He was very sick so before he die he call to my father and say please hire this song

  3. Kenneth Russell

    Joe was one of the few that could reach into your heart and make you feel the song.

    Andreas Hoppe

    And he did so without the need of highly complex arrangements.

  4. Boyce Hopkins

    Damn I miss this guy and his funky dance , that made him so unique .

  5. BaMbY

    (( ◡_◡))\-Pássaro em um fio...(( ◡_◡))\-

  6. Gisselle S

    the Greats always leave us first. RIP Joe. your voice and music were Pure magic and Poetry.

  7. ann hodgkins

    my all time favorite

  8. omeletpants

    Check out this great version by Tedeschi Trucks

  9. Peron Rodrigues

    .♥.♥.♥ THE BEST. .♥.♥.♥.

  10. Ralph

    Moves the mind and soul to tears. Memories we hold dear

  11. Derek Beauchamp

    Beautifully sang ! RIP Joe 👍 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  12. Bud Myers

    Good version but he changed some of the lyric's

  13. Marko Dardanis

    If she could only hear me.

  14. Fred Stein

    A tender side of Joe. Thanks Leonard for giving us and Joe this song.

  15. Alvin Jensen

    yes amigo. Joe made justice by swearing to this song.he answered leanards soul.

  16. ladymidnight80

    The best version in my opinion

  17. KbcBerlin

    You can bury this Sheffield´s son to this,, Says all it really , Put the title on my tombstone too..

  18. only1utdanditsleeds

    Had this on a MFP label back in the 80s. Loved it didn't know why. Now I know.....because it's pure class.

  19. ralph lee

    This song written by Canadian Song Writer and Poet Leonard Cohn has been sung by many different Performers, but this Joe Cocker rendition is maybe the best.

  20. Esther Gavillet

    Shared on Google+, May 20, 2018

  21. Jose Granados

    Joe c. Fue y es un gran músico .y entraba fa civilmente en éxtasis para concentración

  22. Dennis Rockell

    I first really listened to this album in 1977. I then played it every night for about three months. Completely changed the way I appreciated music.

  23. J F

    Was always my favorite. Joe was one of the greatest.

  24. Alvin Jensen

    always wanted to here a duet by Joe and Willie. if only. so different but so close.

  25. C Beck

    The Neville Brothers is the best version of this song.

    C Beck

    This is a close second. Just my opinion.

  26. Michael Cary

    Joe bonamassa or joe cocker

  27. Ethel Maribondo

    Très jolie!

  28. kenny marino


  29. atalivar noble olivera

    De los mejores temas que he escuchado

  30. Gavin Toohey

    This makes me think of Charles Salvador. Thank you.

  31. Andy Davies

    JOE COCKER . . . . . A MASTER AT WORK . . . . . RIP

  32. •BirD on A wiRe•

    Te amo joe

  33. sheri solomon

    exquisite .... exquisite

  34. Jane Kopp

    He does this song the most justice, the most soul felt.............Cohen must have loved it.

    Steve Carr

    It can be argued that this was his best album. Bird on a wire is a prime example. Loved you Joe.

  35. David Cooley

    Is it just me? Or is it that any song Joe covers he puts so much into it that he makes it his own . I always hated this song with Leonard Cohen's dreary maudlin voice making me feel down here comes Joe and totally reimagines it into to a tour Deforce . happy boy now thanks mate

  36. Michel Bilodeau

    From the Pen of a Canadian.  -  R.I.P.  Leonard and Joe.

  37. Joseph N. Pollaro

    I've heard that touching song many times.. but never like that. untouchable.

    David Flores

    Joseph N. Pollaro .. you should check out the live version by him on "mad dogs and English men"

  38. Cheryl Maroz

    First heard this great song, on the album Cocker Happy loved it then, love it still

  39. Cora Visser

    thank you Joe Cocker for all the beautifull albums and bluessongs love so much of you.(rip)

  40. Don Hornsby

    Absolutely amazing...

  41. Donald Wilson

    Thank you to my art teacher who introduced me to Leonard Cohen's music and my history teacher who loaned me this Joe Cocker album at secondary school way back in 1970/71.

  42. Bernhard Kolb

    ultimate song, ultimate band, ultimate voice: THANKS!

  43. melissa fischer

    Leonard, the best

  44. melissa fischer

    another Irish master

  45. Dean Shapiro

    Very few singers could cover other people's songs as well as Joe Cocker. No matter what song it was, he always put his own touch, his own emotional style into it and, ultimately, made it his own. And using an autoharp in the background was a unique way to bring out the best in this great song.

  46. edmund hamill

    oh yeh, Joe .yeh ,you have nailed it there man ,mighty

  47. Valentin

    Guess who is at the keyboard ? If i'm not wrong, Mr Leon Russel. they must be playing this song together now from above, Joe, Leonard and Leon. Have a good one rulers !!!


    Valentin Lepagnez - Do they have musical instruments in heaven? Where do they plug them in?

    Scott Shore

    Not Chris Stanton on organ

  48. Bill Craig

    Thanks. A Leonard Cohen work. RIP, Mr. Cohen. You will be missed.

    Carolyn Henwood

    Leonard Cohen was a genius. His music reaches into my soul and seeing him live in NZ was one of the joys of my life. I know he has gone, but his music lives on..

  49. James Haner

    Leonard Cohen passed today.
    RIP Leonard AND Joe Cocker.

    James Haner

    That I am. As well as a real Leonard Cohen fan. Both put their whole into their crafts. Leonard wrote with emotion, Joe sang with emotion.

    bruno venturino

    Everyday I'm more convinced that there was nobody else who felt the music and sang with such passion as Joe did, and I'm glad that all the Joe's fans thinks the same way. Rip Joe and all the musicians that played with him who sadly lot of them passed away pretty soon.

    B Adams

    bruno venturino

    "SOUL" on Wikipedia has his picture & name. ...just sayin'

    Moon Dancer

    Leonard Cohen had passion..... He simply COULD NOT put down the cigarettes! I love hearing Joe Cocker sing this but most of Leonard's songs I ONLY want to hear from Leonard. Most people who cover his music have no clue where it came from. Why he wrote it, you know what I mean? I have ALL of Leonard's novels and poetry books. BEAUTIFUL.♥️

    Susan Mary

    @Moon Dancer I am 100% with you... all the way.
    Only one Leonard Cohen 😍😍xx

  50. Deno Blankenship

    RIP Joe! You were my favorite, going to miss you.

  51. nae bell

    dedicated 2 kenny snyder..may u rest in peace 10/05/16

  52. Syl M

    RIP Joe Cocker.... you were one of the best.....

  53. Antonio Dias


  54. Rich Mann

    It's Only You Joe it's been you straight down the line

  55. Ethan Dashley

    great man thanks for the post

  56. robert allen

    keep your hat on of my fav.s

    mary hershelman

    robert allen a Randy Newman song...that he will willingly admit Joe did better than him.

  57. robert allen

    i use to sit on the bayou and get high and listen to joe for hours

    Michel Bilodeau

    @robert;   You're busted.

    Noreen Faruga

    joe came from sheffield yorkshire united kingdom where i live .my brother in law met him at party years before he was so famous , joe was an apprentice gas fitter before he became a singer. I met huey lewis at great chefs and wineries in san francisco in 2015 my son accompanied me and i had great pleasure telling huey that joe was a true working class lad. huey toured with joe in 2012 but joe was the bigger star!

  58. brianofoz

    Great cover (the best) of another great song written by Leonard Cohen. Like so much great art this song speaks of the anguish of the Artist. Leonard is no stranger to "the black dog" and it really shows through in songs like this one and Hallelujah.

    Giacomo Bergonzi

    +brianofoz Listen to Joe Bonamassa's cover of this, I personally think it's even better...

  59. David Franklyn

    Manchmal kann man am besten ihre Gefühle auszudrücken in einem Lied, wenn, wenn es nicht dort besitzen. Eine fantastische Arbeit von Joe.

    st r

    Google Translator?

  60. Sophie Duvall

    No one can hit the heartstrings like Joe could . So soulful in this one .


    Sophie Duvall you said it perfectly ......... soulful,hitting the heartstrings .

  61. Antonio Dias

    so beautiful!!You were great Joe!!!

  62. like a rock

    was and always will be only one joe cocker! rest in piece my brother and thank you ,thank you ,thank you for all your music

  63. Susanne Rydvald

    The only one who able to sing this song is Leonard himself


    Not true! You just heard Joe sing it....recognize that. The song isn't etched in stone...everyone uses their own emotion to convey the lyrics...

  64. Derek Beauchamp

    Love this song, beautiful song

  65. RAMLIA1


  66. talister106

    One of my favorite covers of this song. Thanks Joe.

    joanne douglas

    me too. I've loved this since the 70s when I bought the record and have loved it ever since.

  67. Laurylie Polito

    "Bird On The Wire"

    Like a bird on the wire, 
    like a drunk in a midnight choir 
    I have tried in my way to be free. 
    Like a worm on a hook, 
    like a knight from some old fashioned book 
    I have saved all my ribbons for thee. 
    If I, if I have been unkind, 
    I hope that you can just let it go by. 
    If I, if I have been untrue 
    I hope you know it was never to you. 
    Like a baby, stillborn, 
    like a beast with his horn 
    I have torn everyone who reached out for me. 
    But I swear by this song 
    and by all that I have done wrong 
    I will make it all up to thee. 
    I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, 
    he said to me, "You must not ask for so much." 
    And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, 
    she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?" 

    Oh like a bird on the wire, 
    like a drunk in a midnight choir 
    I have tried in my way to be free.

  68. jewel gem

    full of soul,, I wish I had a chance to see his concert,, even just one!!! But his music will live foreve in my heart !!!! thank You Joe


    My husband & I did get to see him only twice, but once you have, you realize he's changed you. We saw him when he was young & then again later in life...

  69. blondedbythelight703

    R.I.P. Joe

  70. John S


    You have been my # 1 for so many years, I have seen your show about 14 times, I thought 20 years ago you would not survive, not only did you, so had so much more to give us, and I expected it again this year or next. Me and another Cocker friend will listen to your music till the day we are with you again. RIP to one of the greatest!!!

    Li Lise

    Great cover! One of the best...

  71. Joyce Blake

    Such soul, surely will be missed.

  72. jay1beaux

    RIP Joe Cocker

  73. drskull9

    Rest in Peace.

  74. xmotobill

    RIP Joe Cocker, original rocker and a class act.....memories of a wonderful youth listening to you.

  75. Ed Jordens

    RIP Joe, gonna miss you.

    john gledson

    this fella passes in my thoughts at least once every week. a true inspiration. gifted with a voice people believe in. sadly sadly missed. cant be long for me to meet up with you in the far beyond joe.. looking forward to it.

  76. Isabel Archer

    Una bellissima interpretazione di uno dei brani più belli di Leonard Cohen, per ricordare Joe Cocker

    Li Lise

    ...e Leonard. Adesso, sfortunatamente.

  77. Don Hornsby

    Sorry to hear that Joe Cocker died today at the age of 70. This is one of his best recordings.....loved the passion he could bring to his singing!  

    #joecocker   #rip   #sadness

  78. snoopy onderstijn

    prachtig.. maar het nummer is van Tim Hardin.. en sorry ook de mooiste.

  79. misslantana52

    Brilliant! ✿♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤

  80. Rosita Van Herreweghe

    beautiful and wonderful .. i like it  

  81. YourAnjl

    I've always loved this gentle song.

  82. HERY pascal

    j'aime j'adore que dire de plus de cet atriste

  83. Hercules Filho

    You are right the whole cd is wonderful............a masterpíece..

  84. Courtney Ann

    Maybe Jesus couldn't compose a song either :/

  85. rtas47

    Joe Cocker is alive and well in Colorado. I saw him in concert during the 1970's and again in 2008 where he put on a wonderful show at the Delta County Fairgrounds, Colorado to raise money for the Cocker Kids Foundation. Delta County, Colorado is one of the poorest counties in the United States. Cocker raises hundreds of thousands each year to help the kids there. Bird on a Wire was one of the numbers... he closed with the best all time cover of the Beatles, "A Little Help from My Friends".

  86. Gary Updyke

    Been listening to Cocker's cover of Bird on a Wire for 40+ years and it still reaches deep into my soul. This song seems to come from his blood and marrow, as if he wrote it himself. Best ever.

    Boyce Hopkins

    I agree wholeheartedly

  87. Diane Drummond

    As usual, this is a great version of "Bird on the Wire." Joe Cocker also does THE BEST version of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" - listen to it on YouTube!

  88. QueerAndUnplugged

    Joe Cocker has more soul in the tip of his....finger (admit it, you dirty minded thought I was going to say something else) than all of the so-called artists churning out autotuned crap. I hate the music of my generation. I was born too late.

  89. Pedro

    I think Joe is sooooo underrated... his covers are so emotive and intense...

  90. Pedro

    If Jesus compose a song Joe Cocker will make a better cover...

    To me, almost all Joe COcker's covers are better than the original versions

  91. cecil baird

    That's just how I would picture this wonderful man! Taking out time to share a few beers and some stories with his fans! He truly is one of the greatest of our time!! Thanks for sharing your story!

  92. Tim Scott

    I met Joe Cocker at a show near Philly in the summed of '80. He was such a nice, humble regular guy, He let us backstage after the show and hung out for an hour or so. He gave us some beers,and chatted for awhile about a lawsuit over copyright shit getting him down. He put on a great show, and I got pics from the front row!! A memorable night I'll never forget!!!

  93. deanslist101

    One of his best and probably THE best non-cover song he ever did. I had this album at one time but like an idiot I left it in the car on a hot day and it warped. Thank you for posting it. Brings back the memories of seeing him live at the Atlantic City Pop Festival in the summer of '69, two weeks before Woodstock, and featuring many of the same artists. He should DEFINITELY be in the R&R Hall of Fame. Shame on those who continue to snub him!

  94. tonycapt1

    One of the great rock albums ever. Joe never gets the recognition he deserves as an artist. The guy is still making music and touring to rave review at 68 years old.. He is a rock icon, who is continuously snubbed by the RRHOF. He can't even get a nomination. They should be ashamed, if they took the time to look at his career resume. They can start by listening to this album and his debut "With a Little Help From My friends" Hit records 5 consecutive decades, Maddogs & Woodstock! Geez!

  95. mikefmaine73

    Love this song. I danced at my wedding with my mother to this song. Joe was my dad's favorite. We sure do miss him, but Joe always helps me to happily remember my father.

  96. cdwalte

    thanks tahoe legend I listen to this song a lot I agree it is the best!!