Saturday, February 21, 2009

Leonard Cohen's Alleluia

from w
Some people are asking about the words of the song sung at the National Day of Mourning Service. Leonard Cohen wrote this some time ago but it has been popularized more recently by the Choir of Hard Knocks. I first heard it at a little funeral for a baby and it was certainly a lamentation that day. The words are rather strange though as it starts off with David and Saul (from the Bible) and it moves somehow to a modern-day tragedy...I think. Maybe I'm dumb. I don't know what it is about. Anyway here are the words:

"Hallelujah"

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

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3 Comments:

OpenID janabouc said...

I absolutely love this song and one day I downloaded every version of it from i-tunes (and there were many) and spent the whole day listening to just that song over and over. It moves me in a very deep way, even though the words still don't make much sense to me. I'm a huge fan of Leonard Cohen.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

The most beautiful fireworks were done to this song by AM Fireworks of Missouri, August 12 at PGI, a week of fabulous fireworks. It won best display. If I could have fireworks at my funeral, just the chorus and those particular effects would be best. I've been singing it since.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Jana and Lisa,
It is a mesmerising melody that is singable by ordinary people. I played it at church last Sunday and I could see people nodding in agreement. But the words are strange - starting off about David comforting Saul, then goes off somewhere else.
w.

3:15 AM  

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