Enjoy this while you can

Leonard Cohen’s sublime Hallelujah was never better interpreted than by Jeff Buckley before his untimely death.

This is it live and it is near perfect.

Now for the bad news.

The winner of X factor is singing it as the “winner’s song” and will therefore be the Christmas number one.

Anyway the lyrics are fantastically anti-Christmas (and it seems to me aetheistic) so we have the last laugh…

I heard there was a secret chord
that david played and it pleased the lord
but you don’t really care for music, do you
well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing hallelujah


well 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 her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the hallelujah


baby i’ve been here before
i’ve seen this room and i’ve walked this floor
i used to live alone before i knew you
i’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
but love is not a victory march
it’s a cold and it’s a broken 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 you
but remember when i moved in you
and the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was hallelujah

well, maybe there’s a god above
but all i’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
it’s not a cry that you hear at night
it’s not somebody who’s seen the light
it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah


7 thoughts on “Enjoy this while you can

  1. One of only two songs that fairly regularly make me well up (not that it’s that difficult to do generally). The other is Fairy Tale of New York. I know that make me either a miserablist or a sentimentalist.

    Either way, I’d like to say that it’s a good example of as close as it’s possible to get to perfection in music. There. Said it.


  2. 30th August. 1994. Edinburgh. Two gigs in one night. First was American Music Club in big tent on Calton Hill. Not bad. But left early. Pelted across town. Joined a bunch of sweaty souls in the cramped smoky wee venue that was La Belle Angele. Saw Buckley playing Grace live. Song for song. Note for note. In order. Highlight was Hallelujah. Astonishing. Had never ever heard such hushed reverence at a gig. And never will again. Best gig of anyone’s life. Truly a privilege to have been there.


  3. Mr Montgomery, (AMC and Jeff Buckley!) it’s true what you say. Best gig I’ve ever seen or would hope to see. Even the 10 minute version of Kangaroo didn’t spoil it.

    Can you remember who the support was? I seem to remember it was a local band.

    Should make Mr Cohen a pretty penny though. Hope he has a less crooked manager nowadays.


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