Hallelujah

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McCulloch
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Post #11

Post by McCulloch »

I like Patricia O'Callaghan's rendition.
[youtube][/youtube]
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
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The Antichrist
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #12

Post by The Antichrist »

Furrowed Brow wrote:There are now many cover versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. This one is my favourite by a country mile. If you have not heard these guys sing before you are in for a treat. Nilsen, Holm, Lind and Fuentes Nilsen sings last and it gives me the shivers.

Is Hallelujah a religious song, or does it just use religious narrative for different purposes. Do people of faith find something in the song to support their faith or are they challenged by it? I think the song is dark and weary and not a call to faith, more the opposite. How do you respond to what is I think a brilliant piece of music.

Also: what is your favourite version of Hallelujah and which version is the worst?
This is an amazing version! Thanks for sharing!

Not sure if it's a religious song or not, but this version puts me on the verge of tears every time I hear it:

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Maybe it's because he died at such a young age.

stevevw
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hallelujah

Post #13

Post by stevevw »

i think you have to be a little careful about injecting to many or misguided meanings to the song. for me i never really looked closely into what the song was about, but the word itself hallelujah made me think of god or at the least a spiritual sense of god more than anything else. for that matter i think kd langs version is quiet stiring and for the quality of voice as an instrument i haven't heard much better imho. music is emotive and every person will have a different feeling towards a song and different singers will give off different feelings for the song. Christians may find the song uplifting and relate to it in a spiritual way in parts and others may find sad meaning or feelings of something in their own lives. the words are just as important, they tell the story and create the image. at least bob Dylan had something to say, his voice wasn't the greatest but he made people think. music can carry the words and the words can tell the story.

centralredpine
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #14

Post by centralredpine »

No, I do not think Cohen wrote it as a religious song, but is it religious for me, absolutely. I am a Christian and find the song to be an excellent object lesson that demonstrates many great ideas very elequently, but in a very dark way.

Most cover songs use just the first five verses of the original seven. Without looking at the last two verses, the first five are about sex. (in my opinion) I still can't believe they used this song for Shrek. The first verse sets us up for the use of the word Hallelujah (H). It gives us the pained joy of the word. It draws on our pained existance in this sinful world that is so perverted from its orignal intent. We live in a world where every good thing from God can be a stumbling block to the connection with that God that so longs to be with each of us personnally. This pain is expressed in the "but you don't care about music do you" when it is clearly very important to Cohen.

The rest of the verses are explcitely about sex, arguably the closes we, as humans, come to experiencing the intensity of what God wants us to feel for him. I mean this constructively, but how many have intoned modern version of H during intimacy with, "Oh my God?" People don't like to think about the idea that God created sex. He likes it, He gave it to us to be closer to Him, like all other good things. But our sin perverts it. It becomes a god itself. Our sinful world uses it to draw us away from God by taking it out of committed marriages where its intimacy can be understood and helpful.

In the second verse, Cohen draws on David's lust for a situation any man can imagine. David stumbled and lusted, then acted on that lust for another women, not committed to him through marriage. As all sin will do, it "tied him to a kitchen chair, broke his throne and cut his hair." Our throne is supose to be the throne of God, but David put this women ahead of that throne, breaking it. But it felt so good, and in that excrutiating conflict between two thrones where only one can be, he cried out Hallelujah in his perverse confusion.

In the third verse, he is familiar with her and her floor. He has seen her flag on the marble arch. (I believe a referrence to when the prostitutes in Rome were in rooms below the arches of the aquaducts and but flags out when they were in) Further, "love is not a victory march." No, not the sex based love the world knows. But the commitment based, marriage based love God prescribes is a huge victory lap for both partners. They joy and jubilation in that level of bonding in a relationship blessed by the Father is truly worth a victory lap. But when we sinfully throw ourselves into the physical intimacy without the spiritual intimacy God intended, it can be nothing more and it is certainly a "cold and broken hallelujan."

The fourth verse is certainly the most explicite, drawing on the culminating act of sex. I won't go further. But again, we are slapped in teh face with the sex we most often witness outside of God's intent. Where one partner is denied the gift of the other and the relationship is tarnished. All that Cohen can do is draw on when it was almost right with a memory of how every breath, for both of them, was a hellelujah. I don't want to lesson this with an analogy, but how excrutiating is it to come so close to what we are suppose to feel like in Gods presence but know that someone something is still missing? Sex may be the closest we can ever feel to God. But as this world loves to do under Satans directing, like a sickly child, a withered rose, room temperature food...when something pure is soiled, the pain is worse then not even coming close.

The fifth verse asks the obveous question after all this miserable joy, is there a God? This verse is only about sex because of the previous 4, but Cohen begs for a justification of this confusion presented us through what sex is supose to be and what we have made it. We are given a glimpse of what it could be an yet we know we have fallen short. We are left with nothing but a cold and broken hallelujah.

Dark and sad. But a great point for Christians, as they know they are spared this anguish as they do have the relationship with the Father as He intended. Only by God's own perfect sacrifice of His perfect Son. We can feel the joy of connected actions, spiritual and real. This song is only sad for the non-Christian who may never know. But it serves as a great object lesson to the saved Christian as what they have been freed from.

Did Cohen mean any of this, I have no idea, but it is what I get out of the song.

My favorite version though is "A Christmas Hallelujah" by Cloverton. He re-wrote the lyrics to the Christmas story. This song demonstrates a true Hallelujah and what it can be. It is on Utube, I encourage you to look it up.

Thanks for listening.
Furrowed Brow wrote: There are now many cover versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. This one is my favourite by a country mile. If you have not heard these guys sing before you are in for a treat. Nilsen, Holm, Lind and Fuentes Nilsen sings last and it gives me the shivers.

Is Hallelujah a religious song, or does it just use religious narrative for different purposes. Do people of faith find something in the song to support their faith or are they challenged by it? I think the song is dark and weary and not a call to faith, more the opposite. How do you respond to what is I think a brilliant piece of music.

Also: what is your favourite version of Hallelujah and which version is the worst?

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Post #15

Post by KCKID »

I would highly recommend the following Christian version of Hallelujah by Kelley Mooney. I get goose bumps from this ...especially when the choir lifts the song on the two last choruses. Please listen and give your comments ...


tiscarenchris
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #16

Post by tiscarenchris »

[Replying to post 1 by Furrowed Brow]

I may not be the most spiritual of people, but I am a Christian, and when I heard this song it didn't sound Christian to me and it didn't feel like it. And after I heard the song I looked around on youtube for it and all I could find were worldly artists, so if this song has people of faith, questioning, if it is Christian, and if there are people of this world singing, enjoying, and accepting this song, is it really Christian? The Christ saved us, by his death on the cross, for the forgiveness of our sins and since we have that we are no longer of this world but of heaven, we are not to conform with the world but be apart from it. that's what I have to say and that's what I believe..... that's what I know

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pixelero
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #17

Post by pixelero »

[Replying to post 1 by Furrowed Brow]

I used to like Cohen a lot. I actually, as a student, read his poetry before I heard his songs. I've even seen a modern ballet, by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, called Shining People, based on his collection of poems of that name, set to electronic music.

Cohen's songs are rich with religious and sexual symbolism. Hallelujah is a good example of this, containing references to David's adulterous seduction of Bathsheba, and Delilah's seduction and betrayal of Sampson. It is indeed a very complex song, quite befitting the ambiguous spirituality of Cohen. Although he's a Jew, he has admitted to an attraction to Buddhism. I remember hearing a radio interview with him in Canada, back in the 70's. The interviewer said, "I understand you've recently spent some time in retreat at a Buddhist monastery. What were you looking for?" Cohen replied laconically, "Good company."

As for cover versions, the version you first posted was a bit sweet for my taste, with all the pretty harmonies. Cohen's original version is quite raw and gritty. The emotion is much more appropriate to the sentiments expressed in the lyrics, I feel. John Cale's version was the only one to bring tears to my eyes, but that's probably just because I am a great admirer of John Cale, (his cover of Elvis's "Heartbreak Hotel" is one of the most brilliant covers of all time, in my opinion,) and I'm aware of the curious connection between Cale and Cohen, via Nico, (who sang on one album of the Velvet Underground.) Nico is a veritable goddess to me. Well, at least three consecutive albums of hers, produced by John Cale, The Marble Index, Desert Shore, and The End are almost like holy scripture to me. Leonard Cohen was madly in love, (or lust,) with Nico. He made many attempts, all rebuffed, to win her affections. (I had a French friend who lived in the same apartment building as Nico and her then husband Phillipe Garrel, and he told me quite a few tales about that.) But I digress. When it comes to song covers, no song has really been covered, I reckon, until it's been covered by the Cowboy Junkies. :)

Anyway, thanks for bringing that up: Cohen's song, the covers, the complex/ambiguous religious symbolism: a most enjoyable thread!

Is the song anti-Christian? Not any more than it's anti-Jewish. I think it simply recognizes that religious belief/worship is, like sex, an attempt to overcome individual mortality. As long as we're stuck in an ego-centric, selfish-lustful mindset, it's all futile. However, the overcoming of that mindset is a painful challenge. (At least that's would I'd tell a professor who assigned me a review of the song. ;))

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Re: Hallelujah

Post #18

Post by KCKID »

tiscarenchris wrote: [Replying to post 1 by Furrowed Brow]

I may not be the most spiritual of people, but I am a Christian, and when I heard this song it didn't sound Christian to me and it didn't feel like it. And after I heard the song I looked around on youtube for it and all I could find were worldly artists, so if this song has people of faith, questioning, if it is Christian, and if there are people of this world singing, enjoying, and accepting this song, is it really Christian? The Christ saved us, by his death on the cross, for the forgiveness of our sins and since we have that we are no longer of this world but of heaven, we are not to conform with the world but be apart from it. that's what I have to say and that's what I believe..... that's what I know
Strange that you totally ignored the Christian version of this song that I gave a link to in the very post above yours. ?????

pleepy
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #19

Post by pleepy »

Matthew 15:18
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

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This song was written by Leonard Cohen. Lets look at who this guy is.

Cohen is Jewish, and he has drawn from Jewish religious and cultural imagery throughout his career.
Cohen is described as an observant Jew.

Mr. Cohen keeps the Sabbath even while on tour and performed for Israeli troops during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. So how does he square that faith with his continued practice of Zen? "Allen Ginsberg asked me the same question many years ago," he said. "Well, for one thing, in the tradition of Zen that I've practiced, there is no prayerful worship and there is no affirmation of a deity. So theologically there is no challenge to any Jewish belief."

Cohen has been involved with Buddhism since the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996; however, he still considers himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism.

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This man is Anti Christ.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Now lets actually read the song.


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?

So the Chord would of been the one that pleased King Saul.
Let us say it was music for Jesus Chrst, Cohen then says but you do not care for it do ya.
That means you care not for pleasing Christ, that means you care not for Christ.

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

The King has to be Soul, baffled, praising the Lord. The Lord is not the God of confusion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 King James Version

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.


Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof

Matthew 16:4King James Version (KJV)
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;

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

This is talking on David and Samson. How women had power over them through lust.
Is this offering Teaching, correction or instruction, no. It is just some random events with a praise the Lord at the end.

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

This sounds like someone is fornicating and the know they should not. THis is quite demeaning.

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

There is few ways you can look at this and it is sick.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
So this is an unbeliever.

But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

This means to shoot someone who shot you.
This goes against what Jesus said, love your neighbour as yourself.

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

more demoralizing words.

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
The name? Christ. Christs name in vain.

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

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags

------------------------------------------------

This song is as hollow as they come I do not think Leonard wrote it.

lamar1234
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Re: Hallelujah

Post #20

Post by lamar1234 »

[Replying to post 1 by Furrowed Brow]

You can actually find those four performing on some stage outdoors somewhere. That version is not as good as the one where they are in 4 chairs on some stage in what appears to be an indoor studio.

The worst would have to be the singing competition auditions. It's a staple and botched far more often than being sublime.

A comment following this post, I'm going from memory, is "it's an aid to lose your faith."

I don't get that, at all, from it.

The singing Roman Catholic priest does a very pretty version in which he changes the lyrics to discuss a couple getting married. It's actually easier to find that version than the Cohen lyrics version from him, I believe.

I once saw Ray Comfort post about how sad it is that atheists can't appreciate the architecture in a gothic cathedral or can't appreciate religious music.

This notion is just bizarre to me.

Do yourself a favor and look for Vince Gill performing 'Go Rest High.....' with Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss singing backup.

Then, if you'd like your heart wrenched, watch Gill struggle through it at George Jones' remembrance concert.

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