Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah Meaning
Song Released: 1984
Covered By: Rufus Wainwright (2007), Jordan Smith (2015), Pentatonix (2016)
anonymous Apr 15th, 2017 4:42pm report
No doubt, this is a beautiful song. It's like a tonic and has an almost sedative like effect on me any time I listen to it. The gentle, beautiful melody and religious references make it seem almost harmless. The genius of this song is that there are so many darker elements of love hiding in plain sight right there in the lyrics.
"Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you"
Any interpretations I've read on these lines miss what's staring them straight in the face. "Your faith was strong but you needed proof" this line seems obvious enough to me. He'd noticed her and was struck by her beauty but he wanted to see more...he needed proof. "You saw her bathing on the roof" You automatically assume she was sunbathing on the roof BUT "Her beauty and the MOONLIGHT overthrew you". She can't have been sunbathing in the moonlight, can she. She was having a bath, he was on the roof, at night, spying on her.
If I wasn't so drunk I'd go through some of the other verses but when you listen/read them think of a horny young man who tries to seduce a girl who seems naive and inexperienced but on into the relationship he realises he's the one out of his depth.
anonymous Apr 12th, 2017 4:41pm report
Simple- we give praise to God even through the pain and heart ache that life deals us. We give uplifting joyful Hallelujahs when life is happy and sad broken Hallelujahs when at times we feel we can't go on. We may not even feel it at the time but by giving praise with that broken Hallelujah we show we are not giving up. We know some where deep inside that God has not forsaken us. This song is beautiful, inspirational and powerful.
anonymous Mar 23rd, 2017 3:45pm report
Praise the lord, praise god, the god of music, paradise and hell, of victory, defeat, of joy, despair, of love and hatred, of kitchens, battles, work and leisure, war and peace and youth and age, health and disease, freedom and desire, the beginning, being, ending of all and everything existing, however you feel, whatever happens and whatever you do!
anonymous Mar 21st, 2017 3:58am report
The reason the lyrics of this song are so beautiful is because of the double and triple meanings in all of the verses. As you read the reviews you start to realize that multiple interpretations are correct. It takes a lot of thought from a brilliant mind to speak to people from all walks of life in the same sentence, covering an entire gamut of beliefs and emotional states, each able to conclude a different meaning. I guess one could call it biblical in its own right.
anonymous Feb 19th, 2017 2:51pm report
This song reveals both kinds of love: spiritual and intimate. Both are equally disappointing, yet yearned for. It is a mourning cry for acceptance through both kinds of love, yet unrequited. Acceptance of this rejection is mournfully expressed. It is a fact of living after being abandoned, twice.
anonymous Jan 31st, 2017 1:14am report
Life hits you in different ways no one ever knows what can be next love hate despair fulfillment loneliness you can fall in love and tell the world is for ever next thing you know you are alone sitting in a coffee shop a book store a restaurant contaplating those happy couples that look so much in love and looking at your self and realizing oh my God I am all alone in a human way and than asking God to comfort you and help you and than too you could be one of those happy people of couples being contaplated by someone else going through those exacts thouhgts and emotions . Isn't life beautiful and at other times you are hurting too much to even want to think about those are all the different hallelujahs amen we all have to face them ...
anonymous Jan 6th, 2017 1:44am report
Someone said we needed to know Leonard's interpretation of this song. Here is Leonard said:
Leonard Cohen explained: "Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means 'Glory to the Lord.' The song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say: All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value.
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley Songfacts
anonymous Jan 4th, 2017 1:41pm report
Praise to god for the good the bad and the ugly for that is life.
anonymous Dec 24th, 2016 12:37am report
I feel the beginning is about king David from the Bible. And then maybe Samson and Delilah. The. I'm lost
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Dec 18th, 2016 12:57pm report
I agree with the first one, but by no means think it has anything to do with Christmas.
anonymous Dec 18th, 2016 12:58am report
I think it is about our imperfect lives that God will accept in the end.
anonymous Dec 6th, 2016 12:20pm report
I think we needed Mr Cohen's explanation. Why was it never sought? All I can say is the first two verses are spiritual.
anonymous Dec 4th, 2016 12:20pm report
The Lord God the Father the Son & the Holy Spirit have so loved man/woman that all should rejoice for this as well as human loves lost or kept.
anonymous Nov 25th, 2016 11:53pm report
I've read all the interpretations. I wish we had Leonard Cohen's input. I do subscribe to the idea that this is about a broken love. Haunting and melancholy...I really like Pentatonix's a cappella version. Just enjoy it...
More Leonard Cohen song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|The Other Side of Life||anonymous|
|My Heart will go on||anonymous|
|Jumped Out the Whip||Smilielol|
|Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart||anonymous|
|You Got the Right One, Baby! (Uh-Huh!)||anonymous|
|Tied My Hands||anonymous|
|Janie's Got a Gun||anonymous|