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Old 01-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Hallelujah, #1,2 oh and #36

Originally Posted by charlene View Post
i think CALLOW is appropriate..
just listening to Leonard's 1984 version..


Now 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

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, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the 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 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

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

apparently he had written dozens more verses..
oh my..

I am baffled by the fact that it is taken as a "Christmas" song.. it never struck me as one before and it still doesn't..

Other than the repeat of "Hallelujah" that sounds 'church-like' I don't get it as a XMAS song. And Hallelujah is Hebrew for 'praise the lord'...
Hallelujah : the perfect Christmas song
Three versions of the same song are vying for number one, but the original is best.

By Neil McCormick
Last Updated: 9:02PM GMT 17 Dec 2008

Comments 50 | Comment on this article

Hallelujah is the song we will all be singing this Christmas, although not necessarily in praise of the Lord. For all its air of religious devotion, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is a very secular ballad of desire and rejection, failure and transcendence.

It is set to become the most philosophically complex Christmas number one in the history of the pop charts. Three versions are currently competing for that honour, Cohen's stately original (at a lowly number 34), the late Jeff Buckley's towering 1994 recording (currently at three, driven by an internet campaign to save the song from the clutches of Simon Cowell) and the firm favourite from X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

Leonard Cohen and the X Factor is not an obvious union. For one thing, if the veteran singer-songwriter had ever auditioned, he wouldn't have got past the first round. One can only imagine Cowell's withering contempt for Cohen's bassy, fragile and idiosyncratic vocal style. That he is acknowledged as one of the greatest songwriters of all time would be no defence.

Yet Cowell has probably identified Hallelujah as a perfect Christmas song for godless times. As a nation, we may no longer go to church, but we still celebrate the birth of Christ with a fervour. There remains a tangible yearning for the social unity that Christmas represents, the glue of faith, symbolism and shared stories. Hallelujah is really a kind of secular hymn, giving praise to a non-specific deity, to be interpreted however the listener wants.

Its amorphousness derives from its length and complexity. Cohen's writing process involves exploring every possible lyrical permutation, completely finishing verses before he can discard them. Hallelujah has the protean quality of a folk song, with different verses to pick and choose from, altering the narrative to reflect the needs of the moment. Hallelujah is, at least in part, about song-writing itself. Cohen invokes the Biblical story of King David (in a sense, the original songwriter) and the woman whose beauty overthrew him, Bathsheba. The protagonist offers up his "sacred chord" to a lover whose indifference to either art or faith is expressed in the deadpan put-down, "You don't really care for music, do ya?" (you can imagine Cowell relishing that line). The exchange is played out against a classic chord progression, lent playful delight by Cohen's trick of identifying the musical shifts as he makes them: "Well, it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift, the baffled king composing Hallelujah." Music and lyrics dovetail with perfect simplicity.

The second version appeared on Cohen Live in 1994, retaining only the chorus and concluding lines. It is harsher, the bitter reminiscence of someone who admits "all I've ever seemed to learn from love / Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew ya." It was this that Buckley covered. With virtuoso guitar playing and a multi-octave voice, Buckley's Hallelujah spirals from a whisper to a scream of erotic exultation.

The X Factor version takes its cue from Buckley, dispensing with Cohen's final redemptive verse. It is an unfortunate omission, because here you find key phrases that bind the song, and suggest its ultimate meaning. "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"

It is a verse that may have been deemed inappropriate for the winner of a TV talent contest, because Cohen suggests that, in music, in love and in life, it is not really the winning, but the taking part that counts. It is a song that tells us failure is human.

Cohen does, however, have a simpler theory for its universal appeal: "It's got a good chorus."
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gotta love Leonard!!

I do wish that Jennifer Warnes had done a version of it back on the Famous Blue Raincoat album..that is one amazing COHEN tribute album..
I'm going to get it on CD-I have the cassette and LP but never gotr around to the CD.. - click on bottom link "Famous Blue Raincoat" - interview with JW and LC and reviews.
Her version would give KD a run for her money I think..
The first time I ever heard the song was in the final minutes of the first Shrek movie.
Talk to me, run to me, whisper my name
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