I want to hear this song over and over. I hum it while I stir wet things in wide bowls and I feel my soul sit down around the relief of meeting a hallelujah I’ve hidden away. I think of it when I seem to be at war with my partner but am really at war with myself. The mixture of male voices in this song reminds me of the male quartet of my Minnesota high school. Once they sang, “Two Silhouettes on the Shade,” by The Rays. They were so fresh and on fire with the feeling of music that everyone left having met their own version of hallelujah. Maybe some were grieving the loss of an old love while others were doo-wopping along with the notes. I remember how people looked and acted as they left the auditorium. They had been invited to see something in themselves, which music often does for us. Music gives us a glimpse of what’s important to us in that particular moment, depending on how we experience it.
This song is no exception. The lyrics are from Leonard Cohen’s poem, “Hallelujah.” I’ve been hooked on it since I heard a slightly different Spanish version by Gepe in the movie, “Sugar.” The original poem and the various versions of the song all seem to connote that there is no one route to hallelujah and that it’s not limited to joy. Depending on the reader’s perceptions, union between two people or the union we experience between ourselves and our larger divinity gives us the opportunity to live every moment fully or not. Even the dark, scary moments in relationships or within yourself that you’d rather bury and forget deserve recognition. And there is no one way to go about expressing your unique moments. They are already unique because they’re yours, and you get to name what feels like hallelujah to you.