Maybe there’s a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
There are a couple of revisions of Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah floating around, one with a Christmas theme and one with an Easter theme. I like them, and I guess if one must use the tune at Mass, it is better to revise the lyrics so they are appropriate for Mass. But this is not a Mass song, this is a meditation on searching for God in darkness and suffering. So I rather like the original. I hear groping for meaning and love, I hear a yearning for Him, in our darkness, and I hear of outright failing Him; yet even so one continues to grope for God, imperfectly and with great need for each of us in the Body to provide what guidance we can. These broken Hallelujahs are uttered from dark and painful places, where our spirit cries out "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?
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
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
Triduum Blessings to all,
Update: Some of they lyrics quoted are not in the Rufus Wainwright version, but are in the Leonard Cohen original.