Many different hallelujahs existLeonard Cohen (1934-2016)
It was a cold, early December day walking the streets of the Strasbourg Christmas Markets when my friends and I stumbled upon the 2,000 year old St. Thomas Church and decided to take a look inside.  The interior was stunningly beautiful, welcoming and warm, and stagehands were busy setting up while a small choir began rehearsing.  We decided to take a seat in the pews and watch.  Then, a lovely performance of Hallelujah filled the church and touched us all with its powerful message.

Written by Canadian singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen, after years of torturous writing sessions and 80 draft versions, Hallelujah has been covered and performed by over 300 singers since its first release in 1984 on Cohen’s album Various Positions, using a mix of different lyrics and a variety of interpretations and tones ranging from the melancholic, inspirational to joyous. [Recommended reading: The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”]*  Here are just two of the 300+ versions, both with the power to inspire and move you to tears.

 

Information/Resources:

St. Thomas Church Strasbourg  Église Saint-Thomas (nicknamed the ‘Protestant Cathedral’ and ‘Die Late Dame’ (the Old Lady) is a historical building in Strasbourg, France, and has been the city’s primary Lutheran church since the Strasbourg Cathedral became Catholic after annexation of the city by France in 1681.  St. Thomas today is an impressive example of Alsatian Gothic architecture, and contains the Maréchal de Saxe, a masterpiece of 18th-century baroque funerary art.

Hallelujah – BBC Radio Soul Music – Series 20, a music and lyrical analysis (April 14, 2015), artists tell their personal stories of the song’s affect on their lives

The word ‘hallelujah’ is used in both Jewish and Christian prayer, and often spoken in modern English to express happiness that a thing hoped or waited for has happened.

 

Christmas music for singing and dancingThe Holiday Music Mix  is an On2In2™ collection of contemporary holiday music for singing and dancing– Free to listen and enjoy

 

 

 

*Zeester Media LLC may receive a small commission for a book or music purchase you make via the links within this page. This in no way affects the price you pay for the purchase.

Feature photo is courtesy of Zac Durant/Unsplash CC0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.

6 Comments

  1. A very beautiful church in an amazing town in France during Christmas time. Recommend it to all.

  2. Dear Zeester, please post more on the Pentatonix – never heard of them before and they are great. Very much enjoyed their version.

  3. Hi @robbi, Glad to hear you enjoyed ‘Hallelujah’ by Pentatonix. It’s a beautiful song, and it brought back the memory of that sweet little choir at St. Thomas. Your song request has been granted (check out the music video at Zola Zeester’s “Engage” posting [To view —Go to top/left of screen, hover on ‘Engage’ to view drop down & click on ‘Site-Wide Activity’. You might have to click on Zola’s profile to see it.) Pentatonix is from Arlington, Texas. They won a TV singing contest in 2011, and now known for Christmas music and covers. You can check out and purchase their 2016 Christmas Album by clicking on the ‘A Pentatonix Christmas’ link in the Hallelujah article. The group also has a popular subscription YouTube channel. Thanks for visiting On2In2™, and please keep those requests coming! Z

  4. Zeester and @robbi, goosebumps from Hallelujah. Can only imagine the experience in the Church.

    1. It was very special, and will always be in my many memories of Strasbourg. Simply beautiful.

  5. Beautiful story and song. Thank you for sharing

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