13 votes

Explanation of the line 'But you don't really care for music, do you' in "Hallelujah"

The song has many verses, some of which varied in different performances. Even sticking to the "canonical" verses used in the Jeff Buckley version, however, there's demonstrably no one consistent "you"...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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10 votes

How does the line 'your faith was strong but you needed proof' match the rest of the verse in "Hallelujah"?

The second verse is primarily an allusion to the story of David and Bathsheba (with the odd clause about Samson and Delilah thrown in). The "you" addressed by the speaker is David himself. "Your faith ...
DLosc's user avatar
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9 votes

Why is the king 'baffled' in "Hallelujah"?

Now, I've heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don't really care for music, do you? It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth The minor fall, the ...
auden's user avatar
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7 votes

The meaning of the line "and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah" in "Hallelujah"

It's yet another context switch. It doesn't directly continue on from the Samson story. It doesn't seem to connect to any specific Biblical story; there are non-biblical images in the stanza ("she ...
Joshua Engel's user avatar
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7 votes

Explanation of the line 'But you don't really care for music, do you' in "Hallelujah"

Strictly speaking, this answer duplicates one that @Chris Sunami has already given: the "you" is a woman the singer addresses. But when I came and read his answer, I felt there was still ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 604
5 votes
Accepted

Who is the speaker in Leonard Cohen's song, "Avalanche"?

I'll try tackle this one, though I should preface that Cohen's lyrics are often impressionistic, combining different motifs without one specific meaning. For example, "Hallelujah" - perhaps his most ...
Josh Friedlander's user avatar
5 votes

What are the 'holy' and 'broken' Hallelujahs?

The holy "Hallelujah" (literally "God be praised") would be then calling God in prayer, the broken one - calling him in vain. In one of the version of the songs, there is this part: And remember ...
Yasskier's user avatar
  • 2,070
4 votes

What are the 'holy' and 'broken' Hallelujahs?

Addressing your question from a somewhat literal perspective, the "holy" Hallelujah is likely that of the first verse, "The baffled king composing hallelujah" where as the "...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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4 votes

How does the line 'your faith was strong but you needed proof' match the rest of the verse in "Hallelujah"?

To expand a bit on DLosc's answer, the first line appears to be a reference to a rabbinic tradition recorded in the Talmud. Tractate Sanhedrin, folio 107a Rab Judah said in Rab's name: One should ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
4 votes

"I've seen your flag on the marble arch"

In an article in Haaretz, Elon Gilad and Ruth Schuster write: The “marble arch” may allude to Titus’ Victory Arch in Rome, a monument celebrating the Roman final victory over the Jews. If so, ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
3 votes

"I've seen your flag on the marble arch"

Possibly the reference to seeing her flag on the marble arch refers to seeing her conquered, or taken, by another? Since the following line is "Our love is not a victory march" - A victory march for ...
Fair to Middlin''s user avatar
3 votes

"I've seen your flag on the marble arch"

I don't think Cohen has ever made this clear, so we can only speculate. While I agree that the Arch of Titus makes the most sense, three other candidates jump out at me: Washington Square Arch in ...
Gaurav's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is the king 'baffled' in "Hallelujah"?

The concept of divine inspiration, where the artist is not the creator of the art, but rather a conduit for something originating with God, is an ancient one, perhaps most cogently formulated in Plato'...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 2,346
2 votes

Who is the speaker in Leonard Cohen's song, "Avalanche"?

The song can be interpreted as coming from a personification of Earth itself. In a regular avalanche, a human is buried under earth. Cohen flips this around to describe how the Earth has been buried ...
calmcc's user avatar
  • 313
1 vote

What does "I struggle with some demons, they were middle class and tame" have to do with the rest of the verse?

I think that @petershor had it almost right, but not exactly: "Having demons" usually means "struggling with something" - fear, anguish, guilt etc. In my opinion, the narrator is ...
Yasskier's user avatar
  • 2,070
1 vote

What does "I struggle with some demons, they were middle class and tame" have to do with the rest of the verse?

What does "I struggled with some demons; they were middle-class and tame" actually mean? It could mean a lot of things, but one thing that it could mean is that the narrator struggled with ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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1 vote

What are the 'holy' and 'broken' Hallelujahs?

My understanding of this has always been that the "holy" Halleluy-ah is the Jewish (Old Testament/Old Covenant) one and the "broken" Halleluy-ah is the Christian one. Leonard Cohen had a lot of ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 255
1 vote

How does the line 'your faith was strong but you needed proof' match the rest of the verse in "Hallelujah"?

This is an initial attempt at answering, and the answer may evolve. - The verse itself is a synthesis of romantic and transcendental love Joe Campbell would likely have talked about the Amor/Roma ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,188

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