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Music: Hallelujah

It might sound like this is a religious song, but I don't think that's really true, although it does have a lot of Biblical allusions. Cohen says the song is about different ways we can experience happiness. It has been covered 120 times in many different styles, some of which are pretty awful, and there are several different versions of the words, with a total of about 16 verses.

This song is all about its words. They are so provocative and full of hidden meaning. The simple piano accompaniment used in the Cale version works perfectly to enhance the words without being too distracting.

Lyrics for "Hallelujah" (John Cale version)

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
She cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Baby I've 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 real and going on below
But now you never show it to me do you?
I remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Maybe there's a god above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
And it's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and its a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu...
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

More Verses for "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen version)

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

I did my best, it wasn't much.
I couldn't feel, so I learned to touch.
I've told the truth,
I didn't come all this way to fool you.
Yeah even though it all went wrong
I'll stand right here before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my lips but Hallelujah.


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