LEONARD COHEN: Hallelujah

LEONARD COHEN: Hallelujah

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Hallgassuk meg Leonard Cohen híres számát ... természetesen egy kis feladattal. 

LEONARD COHEN: Hallelujah

What’s behind a song?

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

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

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, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, 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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Did you like the song? It’s one of the most popular songs of all times. But it’s not easy to understand. Do you know for example what ’Hallelujah’ means?

The word hallelujah has slightly different implications in the Old and New Testaments. In the Hebrew Bible, it is a compound word, from hallelu, meaning "to praise joyously," and ’yah’, a shortened form of the unspoken name of God. So this "hallelujah" is an active imperative, an instruction to the listener or congregation to sing tribute to the Lord.

In the Christian tradition, "hallelujah" is a word of praise rather than a direction to offer praise – which became the more common use of the word as an expression of joy or relief, a synonym for "Praise the Lord," rather than a prompting to action.

Who was David in the Bible and what biblical events does Leonard Cohen refer to in the song?

King David of Israel was known as both a warrior and a writer of psalms. In his 40 years as ruler, between approximately 1010 and 970 B.C. he united the people of Israel, led them to victory in battle, conquered land and paved the way for his son, Solomon, to build the HolyTemple.

Cohen's song begins with an image of King David, recounting the heroic harpist's "secret chord," with its special spiritual power ("And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him" – 1 Samuel 16:23).

The second verse invokes another incident in the David story, when the king discovers and is tempted by Bathsheba. ("And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon" – 2 Samuel 11:2.)

Following the David and Bathsheba reference the lyrics is drawn further forward to an image of torture and lust taken from the story of Samson and Delilah – "She tied you to a kitchen chair / she broke your throne, she cut your hair and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah!" The story of Samson in Judges 13-16 portrays a man who was given great strength by God but who ultimately loses his strength when Delilah allows the Philistines to shave his hair during his slumber (Judges 16:19)

In the third verse Cohen sings: "You say I took the Name in vain," "I don't even know the name." The Name obviously refers to God whose name people shouldn’t take in vain. He then arrives at the song's central premise – the value, even the necessity of the song of praise in the face of confusion, doubt, or dread. "There's a blaze of light in every word; / it doesn't matter which you heard, / the holy, or the broken Hallelujah!"

"A blaze of light in every word." Like the Bible heroes who formed the foundation of Western ethics and principles, we will be hurt, tested, and challenged. Love will break our hearts, music will offer solace that we may or may not hear, we will be faced with joy and with pain. This is Cohen’s offering of hope and perseverance in the face of a cruel world. Holy or broken, there is still hallelujah.

As Leonard Cohen states it in the last verse of the song:

 'And even though it all went wrong, / I'll stand before the Lord of Song / with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah!' "

Let’s sing it with him.

Vocabulary

chord

akkord

you don't really care formusic

téged nem igazán érdekel a zene

baffled

összezavarodott

proof

bizonyíték

roof

tető

moonlight

holdfény

to overthrow

legyőzni, megbuktatni

to take the name in vain

hiába venni a szájára Isten nevét

blaze of light

fénysugár

holy

szent

broken

megtört

to fool

becsapni

to go wrong

elromlani

tongue

nyelv

implication

következtetés

compound word

összetett szó

to praise

dicsérni, dicsőíteni

unspoken name

ki nem mondott név

imperative

felszólítás

congregation

gyülekezet

tribute

tiszteletadás, elismerés

to prompt

ösztökélni

warrior

harcos

psalm

zsoltár

ruler

uralkodó

victory

győzelem

battle

csata

to conquer

legyőzni

to pave the way

előkészíteni/kikövezni az utat valakinek

temple

templom

to recount

újra megemlít, felhoz

heroic

hősies

evil spirit

gonosz szellem, démon

harp

hárfa

to depart

eltávozni

to invoke

felidézni

to tempt

kísérteni

torture

kínzás

lust

bujaság, erős nemi vágy

Judges

Bírák könyve

slumber

szendergés

premise

fő gondolata valaminek

confusion

összezavarodottság

doubt

kétség

dread

rettegés, félelem

foundation

alap

principle

elv

solace

vigasztalás

perseverance

kitartás, állhatatosság

cruel

kegyetlen

nothing……but

semmi más, csak

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