What does Hallelujah mean?

Search Login

Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah Meaning

Song Released: 1984


Covered By: Rufus Wainwright (2007), Jordan Smith (2015), Pentatonix (2016)


Get "Hallelujah" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon
Get MP3 from iTunes

Hallelujah Lyrics

Play "Hallelujah"
on Amazon Music

Lyrics removed by the request of NMPA

  1.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 24th, 2017 12:30pm report


    Hallelujah song is not a break up song.
    - Christmas is not that Merry



  2.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 22nd, 2017 12:58pm report


    I was taken aback to hear this song (more than a few times) sung in celebration of Christmas! A song so sad, about the cold and lonely feeling that persist after a breakup while beautiful is not making Christmas merry for me.



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 13th, 2017 12:42am report


    The song is about brokenness.



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 7th, 2017 12:05pm report


    What about the part being tied to the kitchen chair, broke your throne and cut your hair?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 14th, 2017 11:06pm report


    I think this is about David playing the harp for King Saul and then after he is anointed king by Samuel, it is about him and Bathsheba and Sampson and Delilah.
    I love this song it is beautiful and peaceful

    and yes, there is a God above and he loves you more than you can know. :)



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 14th, 2017 11:02pm report


    I think this is about David and Bathsheba and Sampson and Delilah.
    I love this song it is beautiful and peaceful



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 25th, 2017 10:23pm report


    If there were no words, if many of the powerful vocalizations were "humming" along, the harmonic vibration of the music is powerful enough to send a chill up my spin and bring a tear to my eye.
    The Hallelujah Chorus sung powerfully in an acoustically resonant cathedral always evokes a warm chill.
    Music soothes (or arouses) the savage beast.



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 25th, 2017 10:18pm report


    If there were no words, if many of the powerful vocalizations were "humming" along, the harmonic vibration of the music is powerful enough to send a chill up my spin and bring a tear to my eye.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 17th, 2017 10:50pm report


    To me the song speaks of the Christian who is in close and deeply satisfying communion and fellowship with God, but being human, makes choices that God has warned him about. As a child who test the limits of parental authority, he proves to himself (and learns the hard way) what God is warning against. As David and Samson each made their choices, their spiritual fervor for God, their power in Him, and their intimate knowledge of Him and what is happening under the heavens (on earth) was diminished in the process. Love could not be the beautiful and pure experience they so longed for— it was cold and broken because it could not reflect God’s principles and who He is. Where before they lived and moved and had their being in Christ, (moving in you) through the Holy Spirit (dove), now it was a cold and broken existence, Having learned a hard and bitter lesson, they could still go forward with God... only now their Hallelujah could not come from a place of greater purity, but from a place now tainted with evidence of their human-ness. Hence we all, in one way or another, cry out to God with our broken yet sincere Hallelujah. The melody resonates truth in our deepest heart, even if the meaning of the words might elude us.



  10.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 15th, 2017 10:23pm report


    I think this song is about sin and how we of place blame for our own sin elsewhere rather than take responsibilty for it and repent. When he says “she tied you to the chair” its a metaphor placing blame upon Bathsheba for His, King Davids sin. When we place blame and dont take rrsponsiblilty we lose power in our lives. When we take responsibility that power is restored.
    And in our weakness and our strength we still praise the Lord. We say Hallelujah!



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 24th, 2017 9:29pm report


    Here are my interpretations of the four most common verses, although you can explain the other verses with the same method. The song resonates around one word, Hallelujah, and in every instance it means one thing: orgasm.

    The first verse:
    ...The minor fall, the major lift,
    the baffled king composing Hallelujah...

    The king was not sure how to find a love and be sure he brought her to delight with an orgasm, so he set himself a task to learn how to 'compose' one he could be sure would work.

    The second verse:
    ... She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
    and from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah...

    Seeing how he was bound and subject to the woman's whims, and as she seems to be playing the role of a dominatrix, she would not hesitate to reach sexual release from him. She has him helpless, and cooperative. She reaches an orgasm as he performs cunnilingus, an oral sexual act where the lips and tongue are used to bring about the desired orgasm.

    The third verse:
    …the holy dove was moving too,
    and every breath we drew was Hallelujah…

    They had a wonderful sex life at one time; they shared everything about themselves with each other. Each time they made love and reached an orgasm, it was a celebration. However, for some reason, after a while things started going badly.

    The fourth verse:
    …I’ll stand before the Lord of song,
    with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…

    Not a difficult verse at all. He’ll be positioned in front of the “Lord“ of song, the only thing on his mind and tongue is an orgasm waiting to happen, as this is a common position for fellatio. The “Lord” is not God, so don’t be outraged.

    In an interview Leonard Cohen said there were many Hallelujahs, as sex has countless situations and forms. Here we see but a few.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  12.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 1st, 2017 9:44am report


    It inspired a poem of my own, if I may share.
    Broken Hallelujah

    I was writing a love story
    When I listened to a lie
    That all I’ve known are broken loves
    So I let my story die
    Attacked I was with unbelief
    Did I really know His name?
    And with every ugly thing I’ve done
    To bring upon me shame

    I came to doubt my own esteem
    And what I knew of love.
    But then God led me to a song
    That struck a chord in me
    By one of His own chosen people
    Who spoke deeply into me
    A broken hallelujah
    Set my spirit free

    I listened to it over and over
    Every singer and arrangement
    And how people lit up when they sang it
    It left me in amazement
    Amazing Grace came to me
    King David in an old covenant understood
    The grace of a forgiving God
    Can draw a song out of man

    Now I feel I can go on
    In my sanctified imagination
    And finish my love story
    I don’t have to be perfect
    Or know love perfectly
    Just let the blaze that lights in every word
    Draw the broken hallelujah out of me

    Hallelujah, Hallelujah
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah

    Copyright August 31, 2017
    Judy Pendell



  13.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 30th, 2017 8:57pm report


    Incredible faith that a person can be broken and still praise the Lord. I believe that the Jewish people survive because of the broken hallelujah!



  14.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 23rd, 2017 8:08pm report


    I honestly think the most beautiful part of this song isn't found in its interpretation. Instead, we're treated to the words of a poet whose words speak to us, and we find different meanings and interpretations. This piece speaks on literal, religious, sexual, and social levels simultaneously. And while Cohen owns the iconic version, I'd recommend listening to k.d. lang too. Amazing.



  15.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 23rd, 2017 8:47am report


    I'm curious about an unnoted verse here, below-
    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

    Here the singer seems to be noting his lover is criticizing him trivially about his use of Hallelujah, which suggests an active role for the lover regards the writing of the song.

    And some Cohen sites don't list some of the Jeff Buckley version verses so does anyone know if Cohen did write these?

    Baby I've been here before
    I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
    I used to live alone before I knew ya
    I've seen your flag on the marble arch
    But love is not a victory march
    It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

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

    Well, maybe there's a god above
    But all I've ever learned from love
    Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
    It's not a cry that you hear at night
    It's not somebody who's seen the light
    It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

    I'm curious as these verses definitely move the song in a different direction, to a more failed romance mood whereas without then the song seems a more general musing.






More Leonard Cohen song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad anonymous
Linger anonymous
You're the Reason anonymous
I Need You anonymous
I Need You anonymous
Two Ghosts anonymous
Be Alright anonymous
Personal Jesus anonymous
I Don't Even Know Your Name anonymous
One of Those Nights anonymous
Home anonymous
Plateau anonymous
Hells Bells anonymous
Run anonymous
Waiting on the World to Change anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Sweet But Psycho
Ava Max
MiAMi
Tory Lanez
Close To Me
Ellie Goulding
Dear Drunk Me
Chad Brownlee
Topanga
Trippie Redd
Arms Around You
XXXTENTACION
Dip
Tyga
Waste It On Me
Steve Aoki