Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

2/17/10

Hallelujah - The Song Remains the Same (and Handel Isn't There)

Hallelujah. You know the song. It was in Shrek. Moody, dark. It is Leonard Cohen's song. Everyone sings it, from American Idol to Bon Jovi. Unlike Amazing Grace (see my growing collection of YouTube versions), there seems no creativity in delivery. Same tempo, same mood, same instrumentation.

I love the song. I prefer Cohen's voice, so he gets top billing. Besides, he's the writer. That's worth bonus points! :)

Below are some of the leading versions of the song, finishing off with the Hallelujah Chorus as found in Andre Rieu's "Live From Radio City Music Hall." Which do you prefer? Do you know of any truly original versions?

Leonard Cohen


Jeff Buckley


Rufus Wainwright


Bon Jovi


Kate Voegele


Amanda Jenssen (Swedish Idol 2007)


Sheryl Crow


Handel



Hallelujah - 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?
Well, it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, 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 you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, 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.
But I've seen your flag on the marble arch,
And love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you'd 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 Ghost was moving too,
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, maybe there is a God above,
But all that I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.
It's not a cry that you hear at night,
And it is not somebody who has seen the light
It's a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah
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