Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Cohen Lyrics

I know that Hallelujah has been mentioned. With these postings I'm focusing on the lyrics . . . of Leonard the poet, but hallelujah needs to be heard if you have not. I may place a link to its performance if I can find it. BTW, if you don't know Cohen, I certainly would not call him a "Christian performer." I have no idea what he claims as his belief system. But he is a poet and an observer of life in the way only a gifted artist can.

Hallelujah lyrics
(see the performance here:

Hallelujah lyrics
Songwriters: Cohen, Leonard;Now, 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, 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 are 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


This is one that knew from Neil Diamond many years ago. My favorite line is about only drowning men can see Jesus. Please, please . . . throw me a rope!

Suzanne lyrics

Songwriters: Cohen, Leonard;

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know, she's half crazy

It's why you want to be there
She feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China

And just when you mean to tell her
You have no love to give her
She gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
You've always been her lover

And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And know she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind

Jesus was a sailor
When He walked upon the water
And He spent a long time watching
From His lonely wooden tower

And when He knew for certain
Only drowning men could see Him
He said,"All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"

But He, Himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him
You want to travel blind
And you know he will find you
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind

Suzanne takes your hand now
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters

And the sun pours down like honey
On our, our lady of the harbor
She shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers

There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror

And you want to travel with her
You want to travel blind
And you know she'll find you
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind



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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, 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 are 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

7 comments:

NOTAL said...

I loved the song Hallelujah, but the movie Watchmen has almost ruined it for me now. Putting that song to the long and cheesy sex scene was a shame.

MJ said...

I'm glad I didn't see the movie. I've only seen Leonard singing it "live" on PBS . . . that's the memory I hope I can keep.

How have I missed out on this guy much older than me?

Brian said...

Over The Rhine does a great version of that song. Are you familiar with OtR? If not, I think you'd really like them. Here's Trumpet Child, one of their more "Christian" songs. Most of their other stuff is straight up jazz with great vocals :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBJL5rVHBuQ

lyrics

NOTAL said...

Don't avoid Watchmen because of that. That one scene was disappointing, but the movie as a whole was really good--it brought up significant philosophical/ethical questions to think about. I'm a big fan of Alan Moore's works (at least the two I've read and seen the movie adaptations of).

Jaimie said...

Use your free will how you wish, but I must say AVOID the Watchmen, not because of the Hallelujah song, but because it's just nowhere near as good as the graphic novel... which would take you 6 hours to read. Not very long at all. You should read it. It's profound.

Then watch the movie all you want.

But the movie will spoil the novel, and the novel is the far superior of the two.

Anyway, I love the Hallelujah song. Especially this verse, which wasn't in yours? More racy, but I like it.

There was a time 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

NOTAL said...

Jamie,
You are right, of course, that the graphic novel is much better than the movie. If you were going to pick one, I agree, read the book. That said, I still think the movie was a good adaptation of the book.

Does Cohen add new verses every time he sings that song? It sure seems like there is a lot of them.

shallowfrozenwater said...

k.d. lang did an entire album of songs written by Canadians called Hymns from the 49th Parallel. in it my wife says she has heard the absolute best version of Hallelujah she's ever heard. i still prefer the original but musically it's wonderful.