Meaning of: Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"?

There's an amazing song by Leonard Cohen called "Hallelujah" but I'm confused about the meaning it.

Specifically:

" I 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..."

Any ideas?

3 Answers

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  • raysny
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I wrote Zelda's answer, I see the links didn't come through.

    Here's something I wrote more recently:

    Questions get asked quite a bit about this song; it is one of my favorites.

    Cohen weaves religious/Biblical references throughout his works. Here he's merging his own love life with that of King David and Bathsheba. Pure, sacred love being lost by the body's physical needs.

    The best explanation I've found of that song is "One Haunting Ballad Has Been the Soundtrack to Many Lives Recently. But Why?" by Bryan Appleyard, which can be found at:

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_an...

    This comes from an interview with Leonard Cohen by John McKenna

    " In the song Hallelujah, he draws on a wonderfully and subversively passionate passage in the second book of Samuel. It happened towards evening when David had risen from his couch and was strolling on the palace roof that he saw from the roof a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful. David made enquiries about this woman and was told 'why that is Bethsheba, Allion's daughter, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.' Then David sent messengers and had her brought. She came to him and he slept with her. Now she had just purified herself from her courses. She then went home again. The woman conceived and sent word to David - 'I am with child'.

    In the song there's the baffled king, David, and there's the baffled singer, Leonard Cohen, in search of the lost chord that certainly pleased the lord and might possibly please the woman. And there's the original story too, reduced now to the domestic and physical situation that it was and always is. Bethsheba may have broken the throne, but she also tied David to a kitchen chair. Delilah did something similar. There's more to be learned from the bible than God's dealing with the human race. There's also the dealings of women with men. There's the hard fact that nothing can be reconciled - at least not here.

    LC: Finally there's no conflict between things, finally everything is reconciled but not where we live. This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled but there are moments when we can transcend the dualistic system and reconcile and embrace the whole mess and that's what I mean by Hallelujah. That regardless of what the impossibility of the situation is, there is a moment when you open your mouth and you throw open your arms and you embrace the thing and you just say 'Hallelujah! Blessed is the name.' And you can't reconcile it in any other way except in that position of total surrender, total affirmation.

    http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/rte.html

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AhA0n...

  • 4 years ago

    I think that i like Jeff Buckley's version a bit better. However, i do love Leonard Cohen's. I love his voice and i love that he thought to write such a song! bq: Waiting For The Miracle bq2: Grace bq3: It was pretty good :) I got out of work early and i'm off tomorrow.

  • 1 decade ago

    I found this in another question forum. Hope it helps.

    Cohen wrote at least two versions.

    This question gets asked quite a bit; the song one of my favorites.

    Cohen weaves religious/Biblical references throughout his works.

    Here he's merging his own love life with that of King David and Bathsheba. Pure, sacred love being lost by the body's physical needs.

    The best explanation I've found of that song is "One Haunting Ballad Has Been the Soundtrack to Many Lives Recently. But Why?" by Bryan Appleyard, which can be found at:

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/t…

    More at:

    http://www.webheights.net/speakingcohen/…

    Source(s): Yahoo Answers UK
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