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
“He said, ‘I like this song you wrote called Hallelujah.’ In fact, he started doing it in concert. He said, ‘How long did that take you to write?’ And I said, ‘Oh, the best part of two years.’ He said, ‘Two years?’ Kinda shocked. And then we started talking about a song of his called I And I from Infidels. I said, ‘How long did you take to write that.’ He said, ‘Ohh, 15 minutes.’ I almost fell off my chair. Bob just laughed.”
~Leonard Cohen (quoted in Telegraph 41, p. 30)
This is one of my fav Leonard Cohen songs.
“Hallelujah” is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions(1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that “Cohen spent years struggling with his song ‘Hallelujah.’ . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down.” Many cover versions have been performed by many and various singers, both in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known. The song has been used in film and television soundtracks, and televised talent contests. It is often called one of the greatest songs of all time.
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
Other notable versions:
Leonard Cohen – album version:
Leonard Cohen – live at the Montreal Jazz Festival 2008:
K.D. Lang – Live Olympic Games 2010 Opening Ceremony
|Bob Dylan first performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ on July 8, 1988 at the Forum de
Montréal in Canada. Montréal is Cohen’s home town and it is possible that he attended the show.
Dylan’s second and final performance, on his “Interstate 88” tour, was on August 4, 1988, at the
final night of a three show residency at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood.
Dylan and Leonard Cohen first met sometime in the late ’60s and have remained friends ever
since, meeting whenever the opportunity arises. One such occasion was after a concert in Paris,
probably Dylan’s October 7, 1987 show at P.O.P.B. Bercy. The two songwriters spent some
considerable time talking shop, over coffee, in a café somewhere in the 14th Arrondissment of
Paris. Dylan told Cohen that he especially liked the ending to his then new song ‘Hallelujah’.
“And even though it all went wrong / I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on
~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t write)
..And here they are in all their glory….
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
- Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
- G. E. Smith (guitar)
- Kenny Aaronson (bass)
- Christopher Parker (drums)
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Canada – 8 July 1988:
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
Greek Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles – 4 August 1988:
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
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
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
- Bob Dylan: Accidentally Like A Martyr (Warren Zevon)
- Bob Dylan – Old Five And Dimers (Like Me) (Billy Joe Shaver) – audio & video
- Bob Dylan – Across The Borderline (Cooder/Hiatt/Dickinson) – Audio & Video
- Bob Dylan: House of Gold (Hank Williams) Audio & Video
- Bob Dylan: Peace In The Valley (Thomas A. Dorsey)
- Karl Erik’s expectingrain.com
- Olof’s “Still On The Road“