Reflections on Hallelujah

Tonight I was folding laundry in my way-too-messy-to-discuss dorm room. With music, because obviously, that’s the only way to fold laundry. I pulled out an older playlist on my Spotify, and one of the songs that came on was Allison Crowe’s cover of Hallelujah.

It’s no secret that I love this song. I adore her voice, the piano, the lyrics. I was in the middle of folding my spare sheets: and remember when I moved in you // and the Holy Ghost was moving too // and every breath we drew was Hallelujah. The sheets crumpled on the floor around my bare feet as I stood stone still. Because if any song is the story of a “never gonna give up” relationship, it’s this one. It’s not the Taylor Swift version, because the adversary isn’t the popular girl next door or parents, and it’s certainly not a fairy tale ending. It’s two people. It’s the singer and God.  And it is not a fairytale ending. 

But’s not an ending, is it? It’s not a cry that you hear at night // and it’s not somebody who’s seen the light // it’s a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah. It’s still a Hallelujah. It is still a HallelujahIt is still a Hallelujah. I want to write that a hundred thousand times just so you can draw that conclusion like a deep breath, and stand stone still hands in the air with your sheets crumpled on the floor around you.

It’s a story of a relationship – rocky, tentative, raw, and broken – there have been good times when every breath we drew was Hallelujah. But there have also been bad times – love is not a victory march, and speaking of David – she broke your throne, she cut your hair. But at the end of all the bad times and the good times, the Hallelujah is still there.

What I want to say is burning inside of me, and I can’t get it out. I can’t express how much this applies to so many relationships I’ve been in. I can’t even begin to comprehend how true it is for my own spiritual journey. A journey that’s been so rocky and back-and-forth and in every sense a long journey. And now I’m getting to the point where I can be raw about it. I can talk about it again (and I have been). Because there are and were times where I can and could say that every breath we drew was HallelujahAnd there have been and continue to be miserable times where the only thing that’s left is the cold and broken Hallelujah.

But it’s still left. And that matters. And I firmly believe that that Hallelujah is still heard – no matter how broken or raw it may be.

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful post, thank you 🙂 I have the joy and honour of serving as manager to musician Allison Crowe – and I've experienced "Hallelujah" performed many a time, and heard many a word said about it. You've articulated a sense of meaning for Leonard Cohen's song, and Allison's interpretation, that is most insightful! You've captured the essence with clarity and passion 🙂

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