Wednesday, October 10, 2012



  • The Song Lyrics
  • The Jeff Buckley Music Video
  • The definition of the word
  • The definition/listener interpretation of the song lyrics
  • My personal Hallelujah

"Hallelujah" Song Lyrics 

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 in 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, 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 when 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

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken 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 Video - Jeff Buckley

I've loved this song forever, having hear numerous versions of it performed and recorded since Cohen and Buckley's recordings... Buckley is still my favorite... but many others have done it justice. Who is your favorite?

"Hallelujah" Defined:

1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) an exclamation of praise to God
2. an expression of relief or a similar emotion
1. an exclamation of "Hallelujah"
2. (Music, other) a musical composition that uses the word Hallelujah as its text

Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song) Information 

"Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his studio album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley.

*Note: Not to diminish the value in the origination, but if you listen to the Leonard Cohen version it's a little creepy.

Wikipedia says: 
"In 2004, Buckley's version was ranked number 259 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[1] The same year Time called Buckley's version "exquisitely sung," observing "Cohen murmured the original like a dirge, but ... Buckley treated the ... song like a tiny capsule of humanity, using his voice to careen between glory and sadness, beauty and pain... It's one of the great songs."[17]"

So, if you listen to Jeff Buckley you really get a better feeling for the emotion these lyrics evoke. 
More from Wiki on Jeff:  
"In September 2007, a poll of fifty songwriters conducted by the magazine Q listed "Hallelujah" among the all-time "Top 10 Greatest Tracks" with John Legend calling Buckley's version "as near perfect as you can get. The lyrics to Hallelujah are just incredible and the melody's gorgeous and then there's Jeff's interpretation of it. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of recorded music I’ve ever heard."[18] In July 2009, the Buckley track was ranked number three on the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, a listener poll held every decade by the Australian radio station Triple J."[19]"

Hallelujah Song Lyrics Meanings

Of course there are lots of meanings and interpretations of this song.  My favorite interpretation was found here:

"Most of the interpretations I have heard refer to biblical stories and of course it is impossible to ignore the analogies with King David and Bathsheba. However,I think these can obscure the meaning of the song and I would rather go beyond them. Analyzing a poem line by line sometimes misses the core of meaning which may actually be not fully realized by the poet himself. What after all was Kubla Khan, Coleridges poem about? It came out of a drug-induced reverie and the words are impossible to interpret literally.

What I see in the poem is a man who finds it hard to reconcile his own singular personal quest for truth as a spiritual seeker and as a creative artist with earthly love. He is "overthrown" by the beauty of the woman bathing on the roof and intoxicated with desire for her yet with that comes compromise. Being tied to a kitchen chair suggests being bound to domesticity and having his hair cut recalls Samson whose strength was lost when Delilah cut his hair. He feels he has sacrificed his power for ephemeral sexual desire, emotional needs and freedom from the burden of loneliness.

And inevitably the hallelujah, the ecstasy fades and with it bitterness and disillusionment since his lover has no feeling for creativity as evidenced by her lack of interest in music, his explanation of which seems to fall on deaf ears.

At the same time, the sexual magnetism, "down below" has diminished or even gone in the way that the energy of many relationships weaken into dead habit.

So there is a sense he has been left with nothing, doubting a god above and likening earthly love to a gunfight. It is as if he has betrayed his deepest yearnings and is only left with a cold and broken hallelujah, an empty exhortation, a state of inner desolation.

Yet the tone of the song is so bittersweet, so beautiful and sad that there might be a suggestion that he has reconciled those feelings and accepted the limits of the relationship, knowing that even sharing a life with someone cannot assuage his inner loneliness.

Hallelujah is a beautiful, ironic and melancholy masterpiece."

My Personal Hallelujah

My own interpretation is slightly more spiritual, although far from Biblical or religious. Today some deeper feelings arose in a conversation about spirituality and I found myself emotional and conflicted. Having been brought up religious and then later taking a different path, I have a lot of internal conflict when it comes to spirituality, religion and really the greater meaning of life. For some reason after my discussion, I found myself thinking of this song. The lyrics kept coming to mine and I found myself playing it over and over today, thinking about who I am and my own broken Hallelujah...
The lyrics in bold above represent my innermost thoughts on my relationship with God. Call it what you will, but my feelings toward my personal relationship with God can not be defined with a title or really any words. No, I am not religious. No, I do not "belong" to a church - but this doesn't mean I am not spiritual. This doesn't mean I don't believe in God. This doesn't mean I am anti religion or a non member.... not to me anyways.

I haven't "found" anything. I am not "reborn" or "saved"... I am just allowing myself to remain open and allowing myself to be okay with still relating to the teachings of what I once defined as my religion.

I don't belong to anything. But, I will not deny where I came from and I won't regret a life I didn't choose. I was born into a family deeply rooted in religion and I will never become bitter towards the people who did what they thought was right.

I am not who I used to be, and I will never be again... my Hallelujah may not sound like yours, but it's a Hallelujah just the same...