October 12, 2012
Leonard Cohen is a famous musician whose song “Hallelujah” raised him from obscurity to inductee of the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Hallelujah” has experienced success throughout many countries and decades due to its emotional appeal. Cohen has a very strong Jewish background; this explains his multiple references in the song to the Old Testament.
“I’ve heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord”. A strong biblical reference in “Hallelujah” is the story about King David, a musician, and his affair with Bathsheba. David was in love Bathsheba but she was married to Uriah. David fathers a child with Bathsheba, but is consumed by guilt because what he has done has displeased the lord. He had committed adultery. “Your faith was strong but you needed proof. You saw her bathing on the roof; her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.” This line refers to David being tempted by Bathsheba. The theme of this biblical story is David's struggle between his lust for Bathsheba and his desire to please God. He knew that by committing adultery with Bathsheba that he was displeasing God, but he gave in to his dark impulses. This darkness is referred to in the first verse of the song: "It's not a cry that you can hear at night. It's not somebody who's seen the light. It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah." King David lost his faith in God as a result of his unholy lust for a married woman.
Another biblical reference in Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is about Samson and Delilah. In the Old Testament, Samson lost all his hair because the deceitful Delilah seduced him. "And she tied you to a kitchen chair. She broke your throne and she cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah." The story of Samson and Delilah refers to Delilah betraying Samson’s trust. The Israelite’s enemy, the Philistines, demanded Delilah find Samson's weakness. Delilah...