Halleluja Music By Leonard Cohen Lyric Re-Write For Worship Service

Here are Leonard Cohen’s original 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

 

What My Thoughts Were…

Well, it’s a lovely song. Super-moving.

But am I going to sing any of these lines at church?

  • You saw her bathing on the roof
  • She tied you to a kitchen chair
    She broke your throne, she cut your hair
  • But all that I’ve ever learned from love
    Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

OK, well, no.

So what’s left to do, but write alternate lyrics for Cohen’s Hallelujah that would be appropriate for worship services?

Nothing, so here goes!

ADDRESSING LEONARD
You wrote some words that resonate
and on my path of rejecting pain
i make some changes to suit
Now I offer all my strengths and gifts
and fearlessly step forth and lift
my heart to the Lord
Halleluia

DO WHAT’S RIGHT VERSE
Regardless of your stage in life
you have a sense of what’s wrong and right
despite what you’re commanded to do
Your orders are to kill or harm
But we refuse to play along
We claim the strength to refuse
Hallelujah

ANY NAME VERSE
regardless of the names we choose
the statues clothes or books we use
we’re shoulder to shoulder in truth
Now remember that it moves in you
And the Holy Ghost, you feel it too
The spirit the nameless that frees us
Hallelujah

TESTAMENT VERSE
Well maybe there’s no God above,
and the only Spirit lives in us,
But we’ve learned the lesson of love
We sing our songs day and night
Our harmony brings love and light
and our world is whole, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Here’s a rough cut, right after drafting the lyrical re-write…

 

 

Coming Soon…

Please feel free to make comments & suggestions. I plan to make a professional recording soon.

Gratitude to Leonard Cohen’s Soul R.I.P.

I can literally feel Leonard Cohen’s soul with me, next to me, and smiling at me and with me — for doing this re-write. It’s like his soul is cheering me on and offering a kind of warm support.

Enjoy!

 

 

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