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  1. I first heard this on Shrek and then heard it performed by a number of artists, including k. d. lang. Though it is hauntingly lovely to listen to, I have to confess with Melli I don’t quite get it (or agree with it. David didn’t have a “secret chord” he played. And if Hallelujah means “Praise ye the Lord.” what is a broken hallelujah?) . I’ll spare you the rest of my ruminations.

    1. Barbara — I don’t believe the song is literal. It is the song of a broken heart crying out for love and redemption, which seems always to be for someone else — as in “secret”. I would also venture to guess that a broken hallelujah is the one you offer even when you aren’t certain there is a God to praise. Of course, I could be wrong, but that is what I hear.

    1. SN — IMO, Buckley’s version, while technically sound, lacks passion. There’s nmo angst and believe me this song is full of angst.

  2. The lyrics are gritty, broken, noir, the ‘hallelujah’ bitterly ironic. I’m surprised this song appeals to you, no matter who sings it. (I prefer the original.)

  3. I’m almost choking up thinking about it now. The games started off terribly. The young bobsledder who was killed in a practice crash. The weather, etc. Vancouver2010 ended so beautifully. K.D. Lang (who is Canadian) sings “Halleujah” from her soul. I’m glad you posted this, Q., despite Amoeba’s gloomy comment.

    1. I find the hung-over, cross-fingered resignation that Cohen brings to the song far more suited to the lyrics than lang’s histrionics. And far more authentic – but then, of course, Cohen wrote the song, presumably from his soul. What there was of it at the time.

      1. Amoeba, you are a musician. I am not. You are discussing form and function. I am simply remembering how I felt when she sang the song.

        1. Karen — actually, I think he’s talking both, but like you, I lean toward my emotional response. This song moves me. That’s why I posted it.

      2. Amoeba — I am pretty sure your comment shouldn’t have made me laugh, but it did. As I told you last night, I think of Cohen and Willie Nelson in the same vein — great song writers who really shouldn’t be allowed to sing. However, you comment served to remind me that we look at the world in different ways. I am ever the optimist and I hear hope in this song, which is why I like Lang’s version and not Cohen’s and I suspect you feel exactly the opposite.

    1. Polona — I know nothing about Cohen except that he’s written some good songs that I generally appreciate only when someone other than he sings them.

  4. Every time I hear a Cohen song it reminds me of a dear freind I lost four years ago…she was a true fan – I was missing her terribly today and along comes this post …

  5. How interesting that we both posted the same video on the same day. I like you love some of Cohen’s songs, just not sung by him. This version by KD is far and away my favorite. It works it’s magic for me.

    1. Brighid — is your blog where I found it? Wherever I was, I was so moved by the song that I followed it to youtube, checked out its history and forgot who brought it to my attention. If it was you, thank you!

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