Earthy as well as 'Spiritual' | Reviewer: Franklin | 12/12/11
The Bible, particularly the Hebrew/Aramaic writings, are not just religious in the pious sense of that word. The spiritual and the physical interpenetrate each other. The song beautifully captures that vitality, as is made clear by its power to evoke so many different throughts and experiences. Thank you all for sharing, you have enriched my own fascination with this powerful piece.
she cut his hair.. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/7/11
I believe that "she broke your throne, she cut your hair" is an allusion to Sampson and Delilah.
In the old testament Delilah was asked by the Philistines to figure out the secret behind Sampson's power...He didn't cut his hair as a vow to God and she had the men cut his hair so he lost his power and thereby his throne of power.
Much of the song references the bible so it would be fitting that that is what is being referenced here.
the song Hallelujah | Reviewer: Kathleen
This is truly a rare and amazing song. I am not familiar with the writer of this song, but have been reading about the lyrics and the possible interpretation of them.
I think this musical treasure (the melody) is unfortunately paired with the lyrics, interesting as they may be to speculate about. I've heard a child sing this, and as beautiful as it is, with those lyrics it is not a song I want to see a child sing. It is misleading, the melody and the word Hallelujah leads one to feel it is praise to God, and it is fitting and sublime in that respect, but, the lyrics belie it's spiritual beauty, and instead of enabling the soul to soar, leads it to "thump" at the dichotomy between perfect melody, spiritually loaded word, and then, disheartening lyrics. There is nothing holy about tying someone to a kitchen chair.
I love this song. But it would be far, far better to pair truly spiritual lyrics with that beautiful word and melody.
Love is patient | Reviewer: Erin | 7/1/11
I agree with Firedance in that I see this song as a journey someone goes through when they discover love. Love humbles and changes a person (broke your throne, cut your hair).
The man in this has always told himself he will never fall in love, hence someone asking "You dont care much for music, do ya?". And so they try explaining what its like, love's ups and down's (minor fall and major lift) and how it changes even the wise's perception (baffled king). He believes in love (your faith was strong but you needed proof) because everyone told him it exists and what it was like, but he has never personally experienced it.
Later in the song, the subject finds love. And even though it baffles him and it is nothing like he was expecting, it saves him, hence the hallelujah. He didnt know he needed to be saved until this person came along and did just that.
He tells his lover he's afraid of being hurt because all he's ever known is being alone (I used to live alone before I knew you). The couple hits a rough patch "Well there was a time when you let me know what's really going on below but now you never show that to me do you? And remember when I moved in you?" and the subject loses faith in love. Maybe its all a hoax, and he once again says hallelujah just because he's happy he has at least loved, for however short a time.
The last two stanzas examine ultimately what the subject has learned about love. It only happens when you truly let yourself become vulnerable (someone who outdrew you). And its not something you brag about or this overwhelming epiphany (cry in night, someone whos seen the light) but rather a silent, introverted realization that one single person has saved you (cold and broken hallelujah) and how you dont feel that you can ever again live without this person.
Rather than looking at all the religious allusions literally, I like to seem them as accessories to the song. That the speaker finds true love as so powerful, it can move one like religion does.
JUST BEAUTIFUL - HEAVENLY | Reviewer: deb in GA | 6/17/11
In my top 10 all time favorites. Does not matter who wrote it or how it was changed or interpreted - Buckley's version is simply heartstoppingly haunting - you can feel his soul weep, his anguish cry out, the sexual passion, tension and release is less than subtle and is simply enhanced by the religious innuendos and Buckley makes you FEEL that passion as he sings and plays. He would have been so great - so famous, timeless had he not been taken in his prime like so many of our GREAT GREAT musicians. May his soul find peace.
heartless woman/disappointed man | Reviewer: linda | 4/26/11
This song compares the songwriter's disappointment in his lover to the emotional turmoil that King David went through when he saw Bathsheba, a married woman,bathing on the roof of another building and became obsessed with her and arranged to have her husband,one of his best warriors, put at the front of the battlefield and to be left exposed so that he was killed. David married her.
First off, Cohen is Jewish....there are 2 verses in this song (both versions) that are stories from the old testament....the genius of Cohen is that he is so mystical in his writing that everyone will have a different opinion or interpratation....this song is beautiful to me and I actually cried when I saw him preform it on St. Pete (FLA) a couple years ago...his poetry is unrivaled...and EVERY great musician agrees that he has a place among the music gods...
Music | Reviewer: Hermione Bolland | 4/24/11
I was 9 when I first heard this song and I was absolutely devastated to hear Jeff Buckley was dead. I cried for about a week afterwards. I love this song. Personally, if I had to choose between a short life and listening to this song once more I'd choose the song.
You may think I'm strange or weird but I have love for this song, Jeff and his father Tim.
Also for his brothers.
Response to Kimmie1 | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/18/11
Everything that is beautiful in Buckley's version is incompatible with your argument. We don't think that he is a genius for writing this song, but for how he arranged it and played it. When comparing his version with Cohen's, its obvious that they barely resemble each other. Musicians do this all of the time because it is one of the most creative aspects of creating original music. Also, there might be religious meaning in Cohen's version, and maybe even in Buckley's, but because there is religious meaning in one does not necessarily mean there is in the other. Despite Buckley's slight alterations of the lyrics, his musical choices and performance of this song are based on his own musical interpretations. Also, I don't believe he was religious (I might be wrong). Either way artists make the art of others their own all of the time, and it doesn't make it less meaningful or make it something of lower quality. In fact, there are artists of all kinds that appreciate and sometimes prefer the different version(s) other artists create of their original work. In my own opinion I think Buckley's version is the superior, it really doesn't matter who made it first, music isn't a race or something you call dibs on.
Hallelujah | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/15/11
About a year ago our family friend killed her self after her husband told her that he wanted a divorce.
That really hit her hard, but she played that she will push it through.
She didn't, and i still think everything we talked about her situation.
I still think was there anything that i could have said or done to make things better.
For those questions i'll never have answer, but the day after she died i heard this beautiful song from different radio stations several times.
It still brings me sad but also beautiful memories every time i hear it.
Growth through love | Reviewer: Firedance | 2/26/11
WOW, i am so surprised to read some of these interpretations. i see this as the story of the EGO surrendered by love...The Ego being the IDEA we have of ourselves and the IDEA we have of what love is...We think we are so in control..and in our innocent way we expect love to always feel good..and it is not always just romantic love, either...At first we are puzzled(baffled king)...he is so sure he KNEW..but.... it is not what he thought it would or should be..the minor fall the major lift...these are analogies not a literal meaning of the ups and downs of learning loving...growing.. As he writes about his feelings of idealism...she anchored his feelings to her (HER kitchen chair)she broke his throne(he was so sure of himself,and his control) and cut his hair(forced him to grow up, took something from him that changed him and his VIEW of himself)...and brought him to his proverbial knees...as he LEARNED more of who he was...he thinks he has visited these feelings before...he has been seduced by love before...perhaps she did 'play' him...but he played along....but in learning more of himself he sees that it is a broken road we travel alone as we learn about ourselves and what love means to each of us...many types of love, and (perceived)loss deepens our ability to feel.....He realizes that while for a time they were in sync, or he thought, it was not to be a long lasting experience..There is saddness as he realizes he has been put on the defensive(shoot at someone who outdrew you)...perhaps once again...He further realizes that there are imbalances in many relationships and again..perhaps he has loved more,been more open, given more, again...than he was loved in return...They grew apart..It looks to me that it is the eternal struggle to reconcile these types of ends in what turns out to be... temporary relationships and to grow without making the same mistakes..again and again...She was available to him fully for a time..but growing changed them both...he struggles to find meaning in the growth....hey people we all have our views..but i do not see anything biblical...just the holiness sought in any relationship...where we lay ourselves open fully to another..and sometimes ...get hurt...but still grow. Hence the HALLELUJAH! Growing through loss enables us to feel more deeply...and nothing is ever lost....Hallelujah.
Royal Abdication | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/30/11
I always thought the song was about the abdication of King Edward when he went off with Wallis Simpson. It starts off with how she tempted him with her sexual prowess (aparently she had an extremely strong pelvic muscles!) but then once they settled into the humdrum of married life in exile the initial excitement faded. The bit where it says "she tied you to her kitchen chair, she broke your throne and cut your hair" would tie in with my theory. And the bit about the 'flag on the marble arch' is a royal thing too, as if she had set her sights on him because he was royal. And the 'cold and broken halelluja' indicates their life once the excitement of the abdication wore off.
Jeff gave this song his heart | Reviewer: grist | 2/3/11
To those trying to claim that Jeff Buckley did nothing more than cover Leonard Cohen's song.
There are a number of lines in this version that are unique to Jeff's rendition. No he didn't write the whole thing, but he certainly added his own tone, flavour and experience to it.
Leonard's version is a dirge. Jeff brings it to life.
The world lost a very talanted musician and lyricist when Jeff decided to go swimming that fateful night. RIP.
burned! | Reviewer: Renee
This song is the song of players. Their "I love you" is true to them when they say it but... there is no commitment in it. Even when they get all caught up in a woman, they will ultimately destroy it because, well... they are players. That is how I interpret the song.
This is my brother-in-laws life!, and it is hard to watch.
While there is some Biblical language, (which is best explained in the final verse, not listed here) its intent is to focus on the concept that "God is love" and so is an inherent part of any love relationship.
Hallelujah - Love is a beautiful thing even if it hurts like hell.
Not his song. | Reviewer: Kimmie1 | 12/30/10
Jeff Buckley DID NOT write this song! He wasn't even the first person to sing it! Leonard Cohen wrote this song for one of his albums. Leonard Cohen sang it first. Heck, Jeff Buckley wasn't even the first person to cover it! His cover wasn't the one used in Shrek either. A genius doesn't cover someone else's song, they write their own!
There IS religious meaning in this song, as there is in many of Cohen's songs! There are also references to love, relationships, and sex. Leonard Cohen is the real genius here!