sort form Submissions:
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah Lyrics 12 years ago
Wow, everyone has such deep interpretations of these lyrics, and they're all a great read.

In a long long car trip my friend and I decided we should listen to the song and pause it, rewind, listen again, rewind, and analyze this song and here's what we came up with.

Many people have already mentioned the biblical references to the story of King David (who supposedly was a composer of God) and his struggles with lusting over a woman and King David kills her husband and thus does the dirty deed.

Possibly this Hallelujah is a corrupted Hallelujah. It's about sacrifice and love. King David sacrificed his morals and his relation with God by killing a man to obtain love, and that is why the Hallelujah is so dark.

The first verse is very very fascinating. It begins with sarcasm. "You dont really care for music do you?" Possibly the subject in this verse is the woman that David killed for, and that the sarcasm is that the woman doesn't realize how great David's sacrifice was through breaking his relation with God by displeasing him.

(Still talkin about the first verse here)
The chord structure of the piece is exactly with the lyrics. The music actually plays the 4th and 5th chord progression in the piece and Cohen plays an a minor chord when he says "minor."

After it is established that the subject doesn't care for music, Cohen goes on to explain the music anyway. This establishes that King David is more interested in composing a dark Hallelujah and he is baffled by the dark love that came from his bloodshed. Like, how can something good come out of murder and adultry.

(The chorus)
Obviously this Hallelujah isn't the typical Hallelujah that would be heard at Easter. The chords roll back and forward between F major and a minor creating a darker chorus. This being because the Hallelujah is a dark and repressed praise created by death.

(second verse)
Supposedly King David commited his adulterous crime after gazing upon a woman in the moonlight on a balcony. This second verse reinforces the biblical theory that this is about King David finding love.

"She tied you to a kitchen chair"
This part of the song could refer to King David being stripped of his morals. Symbolicaly speaking, he was tied to a kitchen chair, borke your throne and cut your hair, could be referring to a King David after he commited the murder and there was no turning back.

It could also be possible that Cohen sings "she broke your throne, and cut your heir." Throne and Heir are two words that would most likely be seen together as opposed to throne and hair. However, in the bible Solomon (King David's son) was hurt by his father's actions.

"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?"
This could be King David speaking to God denying that he didn't take his name in vain because he killed for love.

With that stand point, even the dark Hallelujah has a "blaze of light" like the holy Hallelujah.

The final Verse
The final verse is again King David talking to God basically admitting he was wrong, and he even standing behind the dark love is entirely wrong. However, by standing in front of the lord of song and only proclaiming his dark Hallelujah proves that it was worth it all to King David.

Many people see it as a sexual references, and that could be very much so correct. There is just a lot of small parallels in the verses of the song to the bible that make the bible theory of this song more concrete.

I still see this piece as a black love that comes through tragedy.

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.
Back to top