A Lenten Hallelujah

A Lenten Hallelujah

By Leonard Cohen, edited by John McAteer


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 Hallelujahs.


Christ, I have been here before.

I know this room, I’ve walked this floor.

I used to live alone before I knew You.

And I’ve seen Your cross on the marble arch,

But love is not a victory march,

It’s a cold and it’s a lonely Hallelujah.


Maybe there’s a God above,

But all I’ve ever learned from love

Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew ya.

It’s not a complaint that you hear tonight,

It’s not a claim to have seen the light,

It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.


You say I took the Name in vain,

But I don’t even know the Name.

And 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.


Well I did my best, but it wasn’t much.

I couldn’t feel, so I learned to touch.

I’m here to tell the truth, not just to fool you.

And even though it all went wrong,

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my lips but Hallelujah.


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