"Hallelujah" as written by and Nicholas Edward Cave Warren Ellis....
On the first day of May I took to the road
I'd been staring out the window most of the morning
I'd watched the rain claw at the glass
And a vicious wind blew hard and fast
I should have taken it as a warning
As a warning As a warning
As a warning

I'd given my nurse the weekend off
My meals were ill prepared
My typewriter had turned mute as a tomb
And my piano crouched in the corner of my room
With all its teeth bared
All its teeth bared All its teeth bared
All its teeth bared.

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

I left my house without my coat
Something my nurse would not have allowed
And I took the small roads out of town
And I passed a cow and the cow was brown
And my pyjamas clung to me like a shroud
Like a shroud Like a shroud
Like a shroud

There rose before me a little house
With all hope and dreams kept within
A woman's voice close to my ear
Said, "Why don't you come in here?"
"You looked soaked to the skin"
Soaked to the skin Soaked to the skin
Soaked to the skin

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

I turned to the woman and the woman was young
I extended a hearty salutation
But I knew if my nurse had been here
She would never in a thousand years
Permit me to accept that invitation
Invitation That invitation
That invitation

Now, you might think it wise to risk it all
Throw caution to the reckless wind
But with her hot cocoa and her medication
My nurse had been my one salvation
So I turned back home
I turned back home I turned back home
Singing my song

Hallelujah
The tears are welling in my eyes again
Hallelujah
I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
Hallelujah
And twenty pretty girls to carry
Them down
Hallelujah
And twenty deep holes to bury them in
Hallelujah
The tears are welling in my eyes again
Hallelujah
I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
Hallelujah
And twenty pretty girls to carry them down
Hallelujah
And twenty deep holes to bury them in


Lyrics submitted by PiKuelo

"Hallelujah" as written by Warren Ellis Nicholas Edward Cave

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Hallelujah song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think when he wrote it he was having serious problems overcoming drug addiction.

    Various people have various reactions to various drugs, but I'm also pretty sure before No More Shall We Part came out he was suffering either a lack of creative inspiration or just a form of writers block as a result of either withdrawl from the drugs or a direct result of the drugs themselves (im a bit hazy about it, but there's something to do with drugs).

    To me,
    "My typewriter had turned mute as a tomb
    And my piano crouched in the corner of my room
    With all its teeth bared"
    furthers this idea - he is unable to write or play due to craving, so he leaves the saftey of his home in order to find a drug dealer to help him write again.

    "There rose before me a little house
    With all hope and dreams kept within
    A woman`s voice close to my ear
    Said, "Why don`t you come in here?""

    He reaches the threshhold of his dealer, and is tempted to accept their offer of whatever drug.
    "All hope and dreams lay within" surely hinting at the potential highs achievable.

    However, he is aware that the "nurse" - presumably the side of his consciousness which wants him to overcome his addiction, or perhaps just the expectations of society - has helped him with the bad side of the drugs;

    "But with her hot cocoa and her medication
    My nurse had been my one salvation"

    and so decides to return to the safe and secure confines of what is social normality (journeying back from a place remote in the countryside to the town: i'm guessing going to see a drug dealer isnt a highstreet affair).

    The tears he cries on the way back are perhaps instilled by a sense of loss - although he is relieved to have made the choice he did ("hallelujah"), he did quite like drugs, and decides to bury the tears associated with them deep underground where they cant affect him, in a symbolic gesture.



    I dont know. I'm only 16. I cant begin to scratch the surface of the depth of nick cave's lyrics.
    starfighter23on August 17, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYou've pretty much got it Starfighter. It's just about leaving safety, being drawn towards temptation and eventually escaping it. Probably to do with drugs, but that's not necessary for an accurate interpretation. The 'Hallelujah' in the chorus is incredibly intriguing since it sounds so mournful, yet is a joyous word. I get the feeling that's the whole point.
    mackkaon August 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe is said to believe in a Christian God. However, there are certain aspects of religion that he dislikes, and he has also said that his position on the subject changes on a daily basis.
    Songmeaningsuseron February 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSomehow I always see the nurse as a psychiatric nurse, keeping her patient doped up with (anti-psychotic?)medications; he escapes, but doesn't have the courage to break away so he has to go back. And I wonder about that "little house" - Cave has used this phrase before (in 'Papa Won't Leave You, Henry') to mean a brothel. Maybe the friendly young woman represents the temptations of the flesh?
    morbid moragon May 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about leaving behind your bad habits, like drugs or alcohol abuse. First, the narrator - alone for the first time in a long time - sees what he has done: 'My typewriter had turned mute as a tomb / And my piano crouched in the corner of my room / With all its teeth bared'.

    Then he went for a walk, where he meets old temptations, the 'house' and the 'woman' - which are maybe a pub or something, where he met his old 'friends'. They are very tempting ('Now, you might think it wise to risk it all / Throw caution to the reckless wind'), but he thinks of someone he loves, the nurse, who had saved him ('But with her hot cocoa and her medication / My nurse had been my one salvation'). He knows he would dissapoint her when he falls back into his old habbits, so he turned home.

    Then he cries because he knows he has vanquished his habits, which had to 'buried' with a lot of trouble.
    UUTRon October 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really love these lines:
    "And my piano crouched in the corner of my room
    With all its teeth bared"

    And the ending is so moving:

    "The tears are welling in my eyes again
    Hallelujah
    I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
    Hallelujah
    And twenty pretty girls to carry
    them down
    Hallelujah
    And twenty deep holes to bury them in"

    It seems to be about trying to escape from a repressing comfort zone. He's trying to venture out in the world and live life, and he sees the house "with all hope and dreams kept within". But in the end he is too scared to enter. So he turns back home to his protected life and continues to suppress all his emotions. The image of his tears that as to be carried in twenty big buckets and buried in twenty deep holes is so strong.
    I think it could be interpreted as religion being the "nurse" protecting people from reality, and keeping them from truly living life.
    In dream analysis a house is usually seen as a symbol of a persons identity, so it could be that the narrator is actually tempted, but afraid of looking inwards.
    singmylifeon August 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, consider the fact that Nick Cave, himself, is a Christian. It's hard to believe, but he's admitted it himself.
    Killjoy192000on October 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe isn't Christian, just religious.
    eineidloffon December 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have to agree with the song being about the desire to leave the only comfort you've known, and apparently not being able to do so. just... admire it while you drive by.
    suavisvinumon August 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust recently, it came to me that a nurse might be his wife who went away. So he, being alone and sad, wanted to cheat on her, but he couldn't. That would fit the idea of "a little house" being a brothel anyway:)
    aszamaon July 14, 2008   Link

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