Released in 1984, Hallelujah has become one of Leonard Cohen’s best known songs. Sung by many wonderful artists such as K.D. Lang, Rufus Wainwright and of course Jeff Buckley, no one can sing it like Leonard himself.
The song mixes Leonard’s thoughts about love, sex, religion, depression, and the music itself, with Biblical references to King David as well as Samson and Delilah.
Here’s the first two verses:
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 in 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
I ask you to endure the painful 30 seconds of advertisement on the front of the video. This clip from Cohen’s 2009 London Concert is such a masterpiece, it’s worth the awful intrusion of the ad.