I’ve come to the decision that there isn’t enough Leonard Cohen out in the world, with the exception of Hallelujah. It’s a marvelous song, and who doens’t love Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright, but there needs to be more Leonard Cohen out there for people to appreciate. The man is a genius, people. So…here:
First, the correct words to Hallelujah (not the song lyrics):
Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
that David played and it pleased the Lord,
but you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall, the major lift;
the baffled king composing Hallelujah!
Your faith was strong but you needed proof.
You saw her bathing on the roof;
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.
She tied you to a kitchen chair
she broke your throne, she cut your hair,
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah!
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!
I did my best; it wasn’t much.
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch.
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!
And now, four other Cohen poems:
I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.
If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips,
it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door.
–Poem (I heard of a man…)
Ah, the silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe
A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee
She says, “My body is the light, my body is the way”
I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride’s bouquet
Too early for the rainbow, too early for the dove
These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood
And there is no man or woman who can’t be touched
But you who come between them will be judged
–The Gypsy’s Wife
O come with me my little one, we will find that farm
and grow us grass and apples there and keep all the animals warm.
And if by chance I wake at night and I ask you who I am,
O take me to the slaughterhouse, I will wait there with the lamb.
With one hand on the hexagram and one hand on the girl
I balance on a wishing well that all men call the world.
We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky,
and lost among the subway crowds I try to catch your eye.
–Stories of the Street
Here is your crown
And your seal and rings;
And here is your love
For all things.
And here is the night,
The night has begun;
And here is your death
In the heart of your son.
And here you are hunted,
And here you are gone;
And here is the love,
That its all built upon.
Here is your cross,
Your nails and your hill;
And here is your love,
That lists where it will
May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, goodbye.
–Here It Is