Hallelujah


You may have heard this song before,
A carol to a mournful score,
But you don’t really care for Christmas, do you?
When all you hear is reveille,
The treble of the cavalry,
An old, unspoken psalm, this Hallelujah.

     Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Your soldiers round on Bethlehem;
The angels, they all say they see right through you.
How swift your brothers disappear,
Your sisters' eyes avert in fear,
And in their hearts they stifle Hallelujah.

     Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

The columns burn, the fourth, the fifth;
The major falls, the armor lifts,
And finally the foe who near outdrew you.
Your ammunition's shown its worth,
Now maybe there’ll be peace on earth,
Not just this cold and broken Hallelujah.

     Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Maybe there’s a God above,
And maybe all you've known of love
Was when a painted Death knelt down and blew you.
But Cohen sang and Lennon fell;
If there’s a heaven, there’s a hell,
Where all the damned compose their Hallelujahs.

     Hallelujah, Hallelujah.


26 comments:

  1. Short link - http://bit.ly/s4hallelujah

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    1. Sam, would you allow me to sing this rewrite in our church? Please let me know at my email address. It's brilliant, and our church is rather radical, so it would be welcome. sharplittlepencil (At) gmail dot com. Loved this version and LOVE you. Amy

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    2. I hope he says YES!

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    3. Amy, I would be honoured - although I'm not sure if your church is radical enough for my image of the painted Death. (I will email you.)

      Just please remember if you have printed copies of this, to include my authorship and copyright notice... and do remember that my words come with no melody - that latter is from the genius of Leonard Cohen.

      ...Oh, and if you do record this, I'd love a copy!

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  2. I love how this song has so many versions. This one (your own?) is good.

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  3. Thank you, yes, this is my own version - an homage to Leonard Cohen and a lyric in the tradition of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)"

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  4. Dark, but brilliant! A brave thing to do, to parody the great Leonard, but you've done it superbly and achieved something far beyond the parody.

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  5. I hear Hallelujah a lot around my house, in several versions. Yours strikes a nice note for the season and the times.

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  6. Thank you all - I should underline, it isn't a parody, it's a tribute. The structure and dark humor of the original conception is brilliant, and I wanted to build on it. I hold Leonard Cohen in the greatest esteem - someone who can bridge poetry and songwriting with the ease that he can... well, I take my hat off.

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  7. a homage to Cohen and Lennon sam..think you hit a nerve here..too much wars still going on in this world..

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  8. thank you for this. peace is what the world needs most now i believe..

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  9. dang sam....nice...its a bit somber but that fits the feel of this christmas and in light of the present events as well that sit on the season....and still there are hallejuahs....def rang with cohens song...

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  10. I keep reading pairs of poems tonight - Susan Daniels/Luke Prater, Brian Carlin and now yours, which take an original slant on a subject close to my heart. A wonderful piece of writing.

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  11. A powerful plea for peace on earth. Beautiful.

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  12. A tribute to 2 people whom I admire--makes me think their work is much needed now--

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  13. Anonymous4:14:00 PM

    beautiful! please record it!!! :)

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  14. Wonderful homage to two peerless songwriters and poets

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  15. I like your rewrite, your take on this, the points you made.

    "Your ammunition's shown its worth,
    Now maybe there’ll be peace on earth,
    Not just this cold and broken Hallelujah."

    Good food for thought for all of us. Well done, Sam.

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  16. Oh, Samuel! Your rendition provokes thought, evokes tears. Yours is a vivid kind of brilliance. I am grateful to stand in the circle of your light.

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  17. Sam, you blew my socks off. I adore Cohen and used to listen to Lennon. This poem is brilliant parody, and so much more than that. I hear the music, somewhere between the alto and base for the singer. I read it aloud several times. It begs to be done as spoken word in front of an audience.

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  18. Vivid and brilliant.

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  19. Oh brilliantly done.

    Love Cohen - love your version.

    Anna :o]

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  20. Sam I sang through your beautiful poem... thank you.

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  21. Cohen lit a fuse with this and you have carried on so brilliantly

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  22. A very topical and well observed version. Loved the sentiments so powerfully expressed here.

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