Hallelujah

Lyrics

by

Jeff Buckley



Well 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?
Well it goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

But baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
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 ya
But remember when I moved in you
And 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 somebody who outdrew ya

And 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
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Writer/s: COHEN, LEONARD
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics Licensed and Provided By LyricFind
Jeff Buckley
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Comments (213): View More Comments and Get the Songfacts
I agree, Jeff's Buckley's version is the best, but unless I'm blind- no one has mentioned Alexandra Burke's rendition! If you haven't heard it, please do.
- Chris, Vancouver, BC
The abundance of comments and interpretations offered on Hallelujah illustrate why it is one of the most meaningful songs of modern times. its powerful, yet wonderfully simple, lyrics and melody literally strike such a fundamental, almost visceral, chord within people that it compels many to offer up their own thoughts about its meaning and attendant emotions. Since they're personal, all of these interpretations are valid, and none should be denigrated or confronted as being wrong. This song readily evokes many different levels of assessment.
For instance, I'm surprised no one has offered up an interpretation of " It goes like this, The fourth, the fifth...The minor fall, the major lift..." as also referring to the predictable up and down steps you go through in love. Clever lyrical wordsmithing that has multiple meanings.

It's clear that, like many great works of art, literature or music, Hallelujah easily supports several levels of interpretation well beyond what even Cohen meant. Similar examples include Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and many works of Hemingway, Mozart and Rembrandt: the spirit that moves the artist to create great works so often is not fully understood nor appreciated by them until much later.
Cohen's lyrical intertwining of biblical and spiritual alliteration with the elation found in when the bond of spiritual, emotional and physical love are first formed (And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah...), but then sadly and predictably lost (I know this room, I've walked this floor, I used to live alone before I knew you...), is pure musical genius. You literally feel the cold and bitter emptiness of a man who feels he sacrificed his pride and humility for the bond of trust that comes with love (she tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne, she cut your hair....) only to have it unravel because of not only tensions that inevitably develop later in a relationship ( I've seen your flag on the marble arch, Love is not a victory march...) but recognition of his own knowing contribution to the destruction of that love ( And all I ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you...). It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah, Leonard
I'm pretty sure that, when he wrote Hallelujah, Cohen would have agreed "Life's a bitch" and not "better to have loved and lost then to have not loved at all."
Indeed, Cohen might also agree that, when you've been around the relationship block several times, you can't help but feel like "been there, done that" when it all goes to s--t. Again.
Someone asked the question who movingly sang "Hallelujah" at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver?
Canadian K.D. Lang, naturellement. See it on youtube.com and you'll choke up all over again.
- Bart, Ellicott City, MD
"Grace" is one of my favorite rock albums. Nothing else before or since sounds like it. Though Jeff Buckley didn't write this song, he made it his own when he recorded this version of it.
- Hugh, Phoenix, AZ
I heard this song several times on different occassions, but never really cared for it (partly because of my poor English). But I remember how I felt when I heard Jeff Buckley's version for the first time. The moment his voice came from the radio, I started to listen carrefully and when the song ended, I felt really moved, I couldn't get that song out of my head. I immediatelly downloaded Jeff's version and couldn't stop listening to it. It was 5 years ago. I have heard many versions since then, but none of them ever touched me like that.
- Lia, Vienna, Austria
To be honest, I don´t know what is so great about this song. There are thousands of better songs. I find it monotonous no matter how well sung it is.
You need a whole choir and orchestra to make it a little more interesting.

If I were to pick the best version it would be that sung by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen.

The text is simly weird and I can´t really relate to it. I can´t imagine why anyone would choose this song for a wedding.
- yvonne, Winterbach, Chile
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