What this blog is and how to use it

This blog contains poems that have caught my attention over the years. Many of the poems I've discussed and explored with 16 -19 year old students in my capacity as lecturer in English.

Browse the list of poems by scrolling down the page or read the titles of poems or names of poets in the sidebar 'Poem Titles and Poets'. Then click on the title or poet.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen edited by John Cale

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, she cut your hair.
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Maybe I've 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.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

There was a time you'd let me know
What's real and going on below.
But now you never show it to me, do you?
Remember when I moved in you?
The Holy Dove was moving too.
And every breath we drew was hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,

Maybe there's a God above.
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
It's not a cry you can hear at night.
It's not somebody who's seen the light.
It's a cold and its a broken hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelu...

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Here is John Cale's performance of Hallelujah

and Jeff Buckley's version

and Leonard Cohen himself from a live performance

Click here for a recording of a programme about the song from Radio 4's Soul Music broadcast in 2015

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