hallelujah

it has been a day. i think i work better to music, but i’m thinking maybe for future reference, note to self: not this music. however i have pretty much managed to slake the seemingly endless thirst for this song that woke up with me this morning, out of one of those damned annoying dreams. damn them.

well, maybe there’s a god above
but all i’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it’s not a cry that you hear at night
it’s not somebody who’s seen the light
it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah

hallelujah…

~leonard cohen
(for lyrics in full, click more)


Hallelujah (L. Cohen) Tablature

i heard there was a secret chord
that david played and it pleased the lord
but you don’t really care for music, do you
well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing hallelujah

hallelujah…

well 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 her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah

hallelujah…

baby i’ve been here before
i’ve seen this room and i’ve walked this floor
i used to live alone before i knew you
i’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
but love is not a victory march
it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah

hallelujah…

well there was a time when you let me know
what’s really going on below
but now you never show that to me do you
but remember when i moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah

well, maybe there’s a god above
but all i’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it’s not a cry that you hear at night
it’s not somebody who’s seen the light
it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah

hallelujah…

15 thoughts on “hallelujah

  1. there’s another version? i thought the one i’ve been listening to all day (by Jeff Buckley) was the one in Shrek. could be wrong. guess i’ll have to watch the movie & see.

    great song. i ordered leonard cohen, jeff buckley, incubus, & lit CDs today, finally using up those “free music points” i had at bmg.

  2. Incubus. Good choice. I would also recommend Fungus Amungus, Enjoy Incubus, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., and Make Youself. Those are in order of release. All of them great. The older you get though the harder the music gets. Incubus has calmed down in the past 4 years.

  3. again, one of my favourites. the more i listen to it, the less bleak it seems. almost as if the human component of love (how we screw it up so fantastically) isn’t a bad thing at all.

  4. I love that song, but it hurts my heart. My sister was supposed to sing it at my wedding. Quite the appropriate passage you chose to quote, I might add – that’s the part that always gets me most nowadays.

  5. i can’t stop listening to that song. it just speaks to something in me, so eloquently. i’m really bugging everyone around me because i am too lazy to switch out the speakers in favour of headphones. soon, i must, because, i know i’ve got at least three or seven more listens to go, until i can hear all the words without thinking of them, till it’s imprinted & i can play it in my brain at will (i am one of those people who repetetively listens to songs until they are memorised, completely, every note, i have a great catalog of music on demand. maybe it’s why i am so forgetful of other things).

    i’m going to be going on a mission to find music. my pop addiction has me missing out on so much.

  6. tose are great lyrics but maybe you could find ssome lyrics to some of the other songs from shrek as thats waht im after!

  7. the buckley version of this song was played on the season finale of ‘the west wing.’ i first heard this song (i think) in english class a far while back (the leonard cohen original) and nearly everyone hated the song. they were too caught up in the fact the guy was singing in a monotone. sigh. so few people appreciate a good song.

  8. Leonard Cohen has the ability to reach into your heart and pull at strings you long ago thought were either so warped they were beyond repair or in a single song take you to places you never thought possible. This song definitely does that and just about the time i thought I couldn’t cry about something that wounded me to the core because bottling it up was so much safer and not nearly so messy, out comes this song on a stupid cartoon video and I’m releasing anger and hurt so deep I never knew it existed to that level. This has got to be the work of a master. I believe when I stop crying tears of rage and pain, this song will become a jubiliant triumph that i will sing to the Heavens in joy and gratitude.

  9. Leonard Cohen has the ability to reach into your heart and pull at strings you long ago thought were either so warped they were beyond repair or in a single song take you to places you never thought possible. This song definitely does that and just about the time i thought I couldn’t cry about something that wounded me to the core because bottling it up was so much safer and not nearly so messy, out comes this song on a stupid cartoon video and I’m releasing anger and hurt so deep I never knew it existed to that level. This has got to be the work of a master. I believe when I stop crying tears of rage and pain, this song will become a jubiliant triumph that i will sing to the Heavens in joy and gratitude.

  10. Hi everyone I just found this page, and I wanted to tell you about a hauntingly beautiful version of this song that I heard this year. Twas in may at the Oklahoma Renaissance Faire in Muskogee, by a gent from one of the groups there, he stopped by one of the taverns to sing it everyday, it was very beautiful and got me very interested in the song. He does not have a recording of it yet but any of you around the area can maybe catch them at the next faire they attend and I’m sure they’d love to play it for you.

  11. Yes, I know it’s been well over a year since the original blog posting, but I wanted to add this anyway.

    I found this page while searching for information about my new favorite song. I saw Shrek when it was in the theaters, but I guess I didn’t take much notice of the song at the time. But just recently I heard two different versions within a week or so of each other, which really brought the song to my attention.

    The Jeff Buckley version was used in a recent epsiode of The O.C. And then there’s a new version available on The Dead Zone Season One soundtrack, by Anthony Michael Hall. Yeah, yeah, I know that actors trying to sing can sometimes go horribly wrong, but don’t scoff until you give Hall’s version a listen–it’s quite good, I think. Hall gives the song more raw passion than any of the other versions I’ve heard so far (Buckley, Cohen, Cale, and Wainwright.)

    For anyone keeping score, Hall’s version has four verses, those being the first, second, third and fifth verses listed in kd’s original entry.

    (While we’re on the subject of Jeff Buckley, The Dead Zone soundtrack also has Buckley’s “New Years Prayer” on it, which is being used as the theme music to The Dead Zone.)

    And thanks to everyone (in the old comments archive to this post) for recommending all the different versions! I like all the ones I’ve heard so far, and I’m still looking for some of the others.

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