Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you dont really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor falls, the major lifts
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Well, maybe there’s a God above
As for me all I’ve ever learned from love
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
But it’s not a crime that you’re hear tonight
It’s not some pilgrim who claims to have seen the Light
No, it’s a cold and it’s a very broken Hallelujah
Well people I’ve been here before
I know this room and I’ve walked this floor
You see I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
But listen love, love is not some kind of victory march, no
It’s a cold and it’s a broken 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 I remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove she was moving too
And every single breath we drew was Hallelujah
Now I’ve done my best, I know it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didnt come here to London just to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand right here before the Lord of song
With nothing, nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Analysis of the song “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Hallelujah” is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and originally released on his album Various Positions in 1984. The song has been covered extensively and become a modern classic.
Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a renowned Canadian poet, novelist and singer-songwriter. He wrote “Hallelujah” after a long struggle with writing the lyrics. The song took him nearly 5 years to complete to his satisfaction.
The original version was performed by Leonard Cohen. However, the most famous cover is by Jeff Buckley on his album Grace in 1994. Buckley’s haunting version brought “Hallelujah” much wider recognition.
“Hallelujah” is classified as a folk rock or soft rock ballad. It has a gentle melody and instrumentation but powerful lyrical content.
The lyrics contain religious references to biblical figures like King David and Delilah mixed with dry humor and sexuality. The song is ultimately about the struggle between sacred and profane, though the lyrics are open to interpretation.
Q1. How many times was the song “Hallelujah” covered?
A1. It has been covered over 300 times by various artists in many genres.
Q2. What inspired Leonard Cohen to write the song?
A2. He was influenced by composers like Bob Dylan and musicians like Elvis Presley. The lyrics also reference his own personal relationships.
Q3. What makes the melody so memorable?
A3. It uses a simple chord progression mixing major and minor keys. The melody repeats which allows the lyrics to shine.
Q4. Why did it take so long to write?
A4. Cohen struggled to come up with verses he was satisfied with. He wrote over 80 draft verses before settling on the final lyrics.
Q5. How did Jeff Buckley’s cover impact the song’s popularity?
A5. His haunting rendition exposed “Hallelujah” to a much wider audience and it became his most famous recording.