4.09.2015

Hallelujah (what is this song about anyway?)

If you pay attention to music at all, you're probably familiar with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  It's a beautiful, majestic score that many artists have recorded in the past few years.

Recently, I found a YouTube video of the song and checked the lyrics, because they were never clear in any recording I heard.

I have to say, they're a bit goofy.  They start out with David writing a song for the Lord, then flip to his peeping on Bathsheba.  She ties him to a chair and cuts his hair.  Wasn't it Sampson who had his hair chopped off?

Then, suddenly there's a love story gone bad (I think.)  There's a provocative reference to sex (I think) and then we're back to wondering if God exists.  Love is described as a broken Hallelujah. Which makes no sense, because traditionally, hallelujah is a word of praise.

Maybe it's just me, but I think I'll just stick with the melody.

What do you think?  Here's the link: HALLELUJAH


9 comments:

Christine said...

Huh. I don't know if I've ever heard this full song before. Perhaps now we know why. :)

Maria Dunn said...

Hi Mare,

Thanks for stopping by for the A to Z challenge. I'm back and finally catching up with my letters after falling a bit behind. Thanks for the encouragement.
I was just reading how Hallelujah actually means "Praise God". And he does deserve our praise. As I sing the word, I think more of the traditional sense you mention and it never fails to lift me up. God bless, Maria Delight Directed living

Karen Mortensen said...

Weirdest song I have heard in a while.

Mari said...

I really dislike the words to the original. WE sing the new version.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love the song, and the John Cale version is by far the best. I've tried to figure out what this song means so many times. It has a lingering quality that not many songs have these days.

Carolyn van Poppel said...

You are right, the words don't make any sense. But you can't beat the k.d.lang version of this beautiful tune.

Rita said...

It's a provocative song that I always thought was Leonard wondering about God and love and sex/intimacy. The closest he'd ever come was being in love, but it never lasted and broke his heart...as it had ruined other men he mentioned. Kind of the pull between spiritual love and physical love maybe? We are all searching for love and, to me, the song sounds like a sad and lonely man wondering if there is a God or why are we here--that kind of thing. Just my take on it. As confusing as the lyrics are, it always touches me when I hear it. Other than Leonard singing it, I love k d lang's version.

Diane Weidenbenner said...

I love the melody and the word "Hallelujah" and that's about all I remember, which is probably a good thing. Why would they muck up two good things with lyrics that don't make sense in the middle? I'll never hear this song the same again. Perhaps I'll just hum it?!

Elle G said...

So many good versions of this song. My personal favorite is Jeff Buckley. It's just beautiful. Yes...weird wording...I will admit to that. The melody is completely haunting though.