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Hallelujah performed by Rufus Wainwright

May 27, 2009

Maybe there’s a God above, and all I ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
And its not a cry you can hear at night, its not somebody who’s seen the light, its a cold and its a broken Hallelujah

To see the lyrics, peek behind the cut.

Hallelujah by Leonard Coen

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?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift, the baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu—-jah

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, she cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu—-jah

Maybe I have been here before, I know this room; I have 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 its a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu—-jah

There was a time you let me know whats really going on below, but now you never show it to me, do you? (and)
Remember when I moved in you; the holy dark was moving too, and every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu—-jah

Maybe there’s a God above, and all I ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
And its not a cry you can hear at night, its not somebody who’s seen the light, its a cold and its a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu–jah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu—u—jah

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. John Dornheim permalink
    May 27, 2009 3:34 pm

    Rufus Irish? LOL. Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen and has been sung by several although Rufus’ version was in Shrek and probably the one folks are most familiar with. Great poem/song!

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      May 27, 2009 3:41 pm

      Thanks John! I’ve edited to correct my misleading info. And, yeah..I know Rufus isn’t Irish – this is just from a performance in Ireland. 😉

      I’m familiar with the Shrek version, as there was a period of time in which that movie was watched incessantly by my daughter – we even own the sound track.

  2. May 27, 2009 4:29 pm

    This is the ultimate “Hallelujah”! I’d love to hear Rufus sing more of Leonard Cohen’s songs …

    Eileen, if you like Leonard’s music … Have you heard Anjali Thomas’ album *Blue Alert*? It’s a gem …

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      May 27, 2009 4:44 pm

      Hi Jaliya – I can’t say I’ve ever heard it, but I will check it out! Thanks for the recommendation.

      I spent some time absorbing the beauty of your thoughts at your blogs today, and wandering some of your links. I’m too emotional and on the surface to comment properly, but I got some of what I needed today there. Thank you.

  3. May 27, 2009 11:37 pm

    I have five recordings of Hallelujah. Three of them are on LC albums, although there’s only two versions. The one on “Essential Leonard Cohen” (2002) is fairly upbeat. The original, on “Leonard Cohen Live” (1994) and “Live in Concert” () was awfully dark

    The other two are Bono’s and John Cale’s. Bono sings Hallelujah on the “Tower of Song” CD. John Cale sings Hallelujah on the “I’m Your Fan” CD. Both of CDs are compilations of other artists singing Leonard Cohen songs. Bono’s version, well, let’s be kind and merely say that it’s terrible. John Cale’s recording, however, is the best version I’ve heard. (I never heard of John Cale before, and I’ve heard little since, but his other stuff seems to be pretty good, too.)

    They used Jeff Buckley’s recording on “The West Wing” and his was a good version. I’m told they also used it on “The OC”, “ER” and “Scrubs” although I never saw those shows.

    Bob Dylan has sung it live, but the only recordings are bootlegs (which I’ve not heard.).

    Everybody seems to record a different version of the song. Cohen wrote 80 verses over two years. There are only about 15 verses that have made it into recordings.

    I’ve told my wife that if she outlives me, that they should play the song at my funeral, distribute lyric sheets to all who are there, and to make a special request that everybody sing along, even if their voice is terrible. I’ve half-decided that I should plan on outliving myself so I can make sure those instructions are followed.

    If you like Cohen’s music, glom onto a copy of “Famous Blue Raincoat” by Jennifer Warnes. All but one song is written by Cohen, and Cohen sings with Jennifer on many of the tracks. Wonderful.

    And Eileen, you should listen to “Who By Fire”. A lot of Cohen’s lyrics play off biblical themes, but this one seems to be based on the liturgy for Day of Atonement. I think that, as protestants, we need to pause once a year and consider the newly deceased. We’ll soon be joining them.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      May 28, 2009 11:19 am

      Thanks for the recommendation Harl. Moving.

  4. May 28, 2009 2:13 am

    Dylan did a rather long (almost 6 minutes) version in Montreal back in ’88. Willie Nelson does a very reverent rendition on Songbird, almost a minute longer than Rufus’ and includes some of the “alternate” verses. I think it is hard to pick one favorite but when I have heard Leonard do it, it is on the darkside, more of a apoken recitation than a song. When I hear some songs, I like to collect different renditions. Ten versions of Be Still, My Soul and 13 of Londonderry Aire (aka Danny Boy). Etc.

  5. May 28, 2009 2:23 am

    ps

    Thanks for reminding me of the Merton prayer, I posted it on my facebook page today after meeting with my Bishop to begin planning my return to the ministry. It is so apropos.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      May 28, 2009 11:20 am

      I’m glad the Merton prayer was a good reminder. That’s why I keep it there, I need it more days than I remember to look at it.

  6. Paul in ABQ permalink
    May 28, 2009 10:50 am

    I love Rufus’ version of this – having listened to several others. I also really like “Famous Blue Raincoat.” Thanks for sharing this.

  7. May 31, 2009 8:46 am

    I kind of needed this today. Thanks.

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