Freshly Played #17: Leonard Cohen

I played Hallelujah for a friend of mine on road trip to Durban a couple of weeks ago, and he thought it was some sort of Christian gospel song. “Can’t be,” I said, “Cohen is Jewish.”

Leonard Cohen, a Canadian, has sung a few songs with Christian religious references in them, but I don’t think he’s praising the Christ figure in any of them. He’s a poet after all, and they’re notoriously ambiguous, nay metaphorical in anything they say. I’ll leave the lyrics further below, so you can make up your own mind. At 78 years of age, he’s still touring and singing. Simply amazing.

There are far too many Cohen songs that I like, but I guess this has to be my favorite.

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

Lyrics

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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, 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 when 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

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken 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
Hallelujah

Freshly Played #14: The Guess Who

I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic this week, so here’s one all the way back from 1969. These Eyes was written by guitarist Randy Bachman who later went on to found Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and lead singer Burton Cummings who I remember best for Break It To Them Gently.

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Feel proud Canucks; they’re one of your’s…