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“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley

One of the most popular TV shows in the U.S. right now is American Idol. It’s a singing competition, where unknown people from all over the country compete to be the best singer. The winner receives a record deal, so that he or she can record and sell their music. An idol is a person who is greatly admired, someone who others want to be like. This show started in the U.K. (called “Pop Idol”) and this is the seventh season of this show in the U.S. Now, there are many versions of this show all over the world.

A few weeks ago, one of the contestants sang a beautiful song called, “Hallelujah.” Hallelujah is a word used in the Christian religion that means “God be praised,” and you will hear it a lot during a religious service. We also use “hallelujah” as an everyday expression, without the religious meaning, to mean “that’s great,” “I’m relieved,” or “I’m very glad or happy.”

This song was first recorded by Leonard Cohen, but the version that most people know is by Jeff Buckley. You can hear the song below, but to see the official video, you will need to see it on YouTube because the record company does not allow other websites, like ours, to have it on their websites.

I find this song haunting (difficult to ignore or forget), both because of Jeff Buckley’s voice and the beautiful melody (main notes in a song).

~ Lucy

“Hallelujah”
by Jeff Buckley

Well I heard there was a secret chord (a group of musical notes played together)
that David played and it pleased the Lord (God)
But you don’t really care for music, do ya (you)?
Well it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift (all musical terms)
The baffled (confused) king composing (writing) Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

Well your faith (belief) was strong but you needed proof (evidence)
You saw her bathing (taking a bath) on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew (removed one’s power) ya
And she tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne (chair that a king or queen sits on) and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

(Yeah but) Baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
(You know) I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble (a type of hard stone) arch (a large, curved structure, usually over a door)
and love is not a victory march (soldiers walking in a row together to celebrate after winning)
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

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 ya?
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove (bird representing peace) was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew (someone taking out a gun to shoot you before you could take out your gun to shoot them) ya
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light (made an important discovery or realization)
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah…

14 Responses to ““Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley”

  1. mohamed alaoudi Says:

    my name is mohamed i am from united arab emirates and really this website is the best i have seen . it is help me to improve my english to be came much better than before . it is more easily to understand .
    thank you and your crew

  2. Tomasz Says:

    Now all I can say it’s …. Hallelujah :)

    Lucy – thanks :))))

    Tomasz,
    Poland.

  3. Fred Says:

    Thank you for your post.

    Fred,
    France

  4. Ali Shekofteh Rad Says:

    Hi there,

    It is a amazing learning web site!
    Thank you so much for this important and very useful cultural site.

    Dr.Ali Shekofteh Rad (Iranian dentist)
    Canada

  5. Eugene Says:

    The first time I heard this song was when I watched the movie “Shrek”. It probably was a very interesting picture of her “bathing on the roof” :-)

  6. emiliano Says:

    Marvellous song, I like it since many years ago I saw Leonard Cohen singing it, and then I fell in love with his voice and all his songs. I think he is one of the greats, also a very good poet.
    I like also this version of Jeff Buckley that sings quite well, I like his voice and how he did.
    ¿Are you sure that it is not our Jeff who is singing?.
    The lyric is difficult to understand, you need a lot of imagination…….but more o less I can imagine what he is singing about.
    If you see on google about “hallelujah”, you can also listen the Leonard Cohen version on youTube, and read about the Lyric in Wikipedia.
    Thanks a million Lucy, you are one of the greats also.

  7. learner Says:

    I can say proudly this web sit is not only the best web sit for learning English. Lately, it is being the best entertainment web sit too. I really enjoy it all the time.

    Dr. Lucy, Thank you so much.for entertaining us.

  8. jerry Says:

    Thank you Lucy for your great podcasts and this web site.
    All podcasts produced by you show us you are a creative person. I like you.

  9. Maíra Says:

    Dr. Lucy

    thanks for the great website!!
    I really appreciate your job!!!

    Maíra

    Brazil (now in Sweden)

  10. ESLPodcast Google Group Says:

    Nice song!

  11. nancy 77 Says:

    I’ve heard that the most effective way in learning a new language is finding something interesting to listen and read, that what I found in your website. Every time I listen to something new, I admire you more and more. You have done a lot of podcasts on this website and until now you can find new enjoyable materials to share with us.
    Jeff and Lucy, thanks a lot for these amazing efforts.
    Nancy 77
    From Syria- now in USA

  12. Arnold Says:

    Though I don’t believe in Christian religion, I’m so overwhelmed by the sacred power of this song that tears almost rush to my eyes.
    I think it the best song ever.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Arnold
    From Taiwan

  13. jerry Says:

    I prefer version in movie Shrek I. Please view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlJeS8GDTcI
    Song by Leonard Cohen.

    By the way, I like movie Shrek ver very much.

  14. mrou?ínka Says:

    Thanks for the nice song.
    Markéta, Czech