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Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah Lyrics 12 years ago
Here is my (long) interpretation for the longer version of this wonderful song.

To begin with, I think the religious references have to do with the fact that the speaker's love was so strong that he nearly deified her. It probably also refers to the fact that many people, when they become desperate or depressed, turn to religion for hope. I am certain the religious references are not as literal as many people believe; Cohen was not a Christian. (However, he IS interested in the Bible and he believes there is a greater power judging our actions.)

"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"

The speaker used to be a "king". He was in charge and in control of himself. He knew what he wanted and how to get it. He wooed women with loving words; by singing "Hallelujah". He knew all the right "chords" and everything. But the woman this song is about is not moved; she doesn't care for such "music", even though it is enough to move the Lord. But, though confused by all of this, he continues to compose his song of Hallelujah/Love, which leads into the next verse.

"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"

This is his current Hallelujah song. It is no longer written to her, but to himself. He recalls how he fell in love with her, and how in that way he was at her mercy. She broke his throne; he was no longer the "king" he once was. She cut his hair, which is a reference to the Biblical story of Samson. (All of Samson's power was in his hair. He had romantic encounters with several women, and fell in love with one of them, Delilah. She cut off all his hair and thus destroyed his strength.) She drew "Hallelujah" from his lips, meaning he was in love with her when she kissed him; he loved her despite the fact that she toppled his power.

"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 you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah"

She doesn't believe he loved her. She believes he lied when he took the Name—in this case, "Love"—in vain. He admits that he doesn't really know what love is, but it doesn't matter, because he means it.

"Baby 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
But love is not some victory march
It's a cold and broken Hallelujah"

He's felt lonely like this before; he was lonely before they became lovers. Her flag he's seen on the arch is the happiness and pride she once felt for their love, which she now believes is gone. But he claims there is nothing about love to be happy or proud about; it is painful and lonely.

"There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
But I remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah"

They used to be closer. She would tell him all about the things she felt inside, but she doesn't do that anymore. And he remembers when they had sex; it was beautiful, and he fell more in love at every breath.

"Now maybe there's a God above
But all I ever learned from love
Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a complaint that you hear tonight
It's not someone who's seen the light
It's a cold and lonely Hallelujah"

Maybe there is hope or a point to it all, but he can't see it. All he learned from love was how to hurt one another. She moved to hurt him first—she "outdrew" him—and so he hurt her—"shot at" her. He is not meaning to complain. He is not claiming to know more. All it is is painful love.

"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"

He didn't understand her (he "couldn't feel") but he tried to be there for her (he "tried to touch"). He never meant to trick her. Now the relationship has gone all wrong, but he still loves her. I especially like the last part of this verse. It implies that he's more or less given up on trying to move on; he's standing before the Lord now, ready to be judged, and he will no longer pretend or lie; all he has left to say now is Hallelujah—he still loves her.

Baha Men – Who Let the Dogs Out Lyrics 12 years ago
There's a lot of interesting dog-related figurative language going on here. It seems that the women are calling the men dogs. At first this seems to mean (to me) that the women are saying that the men are undesirable ("flea-infested mongrels", etc.). As the song progresses, this seems to evolve into calling them horn dogs -- since the men are clearly after sex. (The panting in the song adds to this.) The narrator seems to take this namecalling not as an insult, but as a compliment, as he brags about the men's success at obtaining sexual gratification while behaving as dogs.

There are some other visuals here tied into the "dog" them. For example, a woman in front and a man behind is a good description of the sexual position called doggy style.

It may not be a very deep, meaningful song, but I'll bet a lot of thought was put into the lyrics just the same.

The Dresden Dolls – Coin-Operated Boy Lyrics 12 years ago
This song really speaks to me; I was in the same state of mind as its narrator about a year ago. This is my interpretation of the lyrics.

As has already been said, the narrator wants a simple, straightforward relationship with a dedicated boy, who will give her everything she wants in a relationship (both sexual and emotional) whenever she wants it. He, and thereby her relationship with him, must be "rugged" and "long-lasting".

The reason she is so intent upon finding this perfect boy is because she is trying hard to get over her ex. She and her ex apparently still have strong feelings for each other, and they still want each other back, but she knows that it can't work out; she has obviously been deeply hurt. Most likely, this relationship has been one of those make-up break-up relationships -- or at the very least it is in danger of becoming one, as she is quite insistent on the fact that she is "still convincible", she seems to be trying to make him become more smitten with her, and she has even kissed him again (though, granted, a goodbye kiss).

But as she realizes how strong her feelings are for her ex, she quickly tries to divert her attention from him and begins to think about her fantasy boy, whom her ex could not possibly live up to. By comparing her dream boy with her less-than-perfect ex, she is trying to force herself to fall out of love with him, in order to avoid returning to a relationship with him which would only come to hurt her again.

Perhaps she is also afraid of returning to the relationship because she does not want to hurt her ex, just as she does not want to be hurt by him. She mentions "the real [boys] that I destroy," strongly implying that she has somehow "destroyed"--or very badly hurt--her ex. For this reason, she brings up the importance of having a coin-operated boy which is "rugged"--which won't be hurt by her, even if she mistreats him (as toys are often mistreated).

I think the lines "I can even take him in the bath" and "I can even fuck him in the ass" are both very fitting to the song and support my interpretation. Both of these actions--taking a toy into a bathtub and having anal sex--can be damaging. Most mechanical toys cannot be put in water--so the fact that her dream toy CAN be taken into the bath is an example of the fact that she wants a rugged boy who can handle her mistreatment of him. Similarly, I imagine most guys would not want to be fucked up the ass by their girlfriends--but the narrator wants a boy who is rugged enough (physically, emotionally, or whatnot) to fulfill this sexual fantasy of hers.

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