I do not have the words to fully explain the beauty of this rendition of Hallelujah, written by Leonard Cohen. Sung by Norwegians Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, and Kurt Nilsen; the melody and the blending harmony are near perfection. A friend shared this version on Facebook and I have since listened to much of their music online… wonderfully sung as a group and individually.
The haunting melody of “Hallelujah” has been scrutinized for lyric meaning for years. It is on one hand, completely controversial. On the other hand, the song has a singular religious base. Hundreds of singers have recorded the song through the years since it was first released in 1984. Most notable, it became known again as a healing anthem after 9/11.
After reading pages and pages of explanations for the lyrics, I have reached the conclusion that the meaning of the song is truly in the eyes of the beholder. Even Leonard Cohen struggles to explain the song and is bewildered by the immense popularity it has garnered. To paraphrase various writers…In the Christian tradition “Hallelujah” is a word of praise. The word can be an expression of joy and triumph. It appears from articles about Leonard Cohen that he is saying that the song is an affirmation of faith in life, not in some formal religious way. An affirmation to life that includes enthusiasm and emotion.
Another idea is that there will always be unresolved conflicts in the world…particularly today… and we have to embrace all of life and the imperfections that exist.
I say…Hallelujah!…life moves forward with the possibilities of joy and happiness and understanding. Whatever faith you might have…your own interpretations of the song and of life have merit. For that…we should have respect.