Hallelujah, performed with new lyrics by Cloverton

I’ve always loved the melody to Leonard Cohen’s song, but never thought the lyrics were truly Christian. The Cloverton band has fixed that, coupled with a brilliant, understated performance.

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I heard about this baby boy
Who comes to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing of this song to you
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing, ”Hallelujah”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for your were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only son was born, oh Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to you
It was just as the angels
You’ll find him in a manger bed
And there you’ll meet your Savior, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A star shown bright out in the east
To bethlehem, the wise-man three
Came many miles a journey long for you
Into the place at which you were
Their frankincense, gold, and myrrh
They came to you and cried out, “Hallelujah”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I know you came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man who’d one day die for me and you
Our sins will drive the nails in you
That rugged cross, was my cross, too
And every breath you drew was “Hallelujah”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

PS — Several readers have asked where they can download his music or buy a CD. The best I can tell, Cloverton has not yet released this music other than on YouTube. It’s not even available at their own fan site.

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  1. Finally! I’ve been longing to hear this version for many months after it had been shut down for whatever reason. What a blessing!! Thanks, Cloverton!

  2. Great – Christian words at last – this will be wonderful for Christmas events.

  3. I don’t think the original was ever meant to be a specifically Christian song. It’s amazing poetry though and I hope this version points people towards it.

    “You say I took the name in vain
    I don’t even know the name
    But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
    There’s a blaze of light in every word
    It doesn’t matter which you heard
    The holy or the broken Hallelujah”

  4. It just goes to show the shallowness of christianity today. Only when you have been through the anguish of life and truly spend time on your knees in prayer for a loved one can you continue to offer the cold, the broken hallelujah and know the true depth of its meaning! As beautiful as this song is, it reflects what many christians today are, and that is shallow.

  5. Beautiful, today I was blessed by this amazing song. Is there a CD available? If yes, where can I purchase it. If not, I hope that by Christmas 2014 there will be a Christmas hallelujah CD . Merry Christmas, thank you for reminding us that Christ is the reason for the season. The Prince of Peace is the only one who can bring true peace.

  6. I would not call this shallow. I would call this a healed version of Hallelujah.The song, I believe, is about someone with a broken heart who lost faith. This version is great for those of us with broken hearts who haven’t lost faith. There is always hope for the other too.

  7. Brings the story from the Babe to the Savior. That tie is needed. I feel that when I hear this. I feel such gratitude for my Savior when I listen and feel these words.

  8. I was deeply blessed by this version. I have always loved the haunting melody, but not the words. This truly put a deep, clear message of the Saviour from the greatest story ever into this beautiful melody. I am going through a lot this Christmas as my daughter has cut herself off from the family, and my father is wasting away and dying before my eyes, in deep pain and I can’t do anything about it. This was my song with a message to hold on to what is good and true through it all. Thank you,and Merry Christmas!

  9. I feel Cohen’s verses, written in 1984, were dissapointing, self-absorbed and shallow. He had the opportunity to write something truly great but yet sank to the pitiful level of personal darknessand doubt. The history on him states that he struggled by writing nearly 80 different versions of the lyrics but apparently was overcome by his self absorption. If anything, the song could have been a worthy inspirtation to so many, yet it fell so short of the possibilities, which has inspired many others to write differnet lyrical versions. In this updated and revised version, the lyrics have taken on a whole new meaning offering praise for hope is a truly lost world. What greater gift can a writer give than to inspire and entertain without sinking to the level of darkness, sin and dispair.

  10. “I’ve always loved the melody to Leonard Cohen’s song, but never thought the lyrics were truly Christian. The Cloverton band has fixed that, coupled with a brilliant, understated performance.”

    Your original comment…and the one left by “Hall Elujah”, I think, are…well, filled with a certain kind of judgment that I find neither particularly Christian, or wise. Cohen’s original wasn’t meant to be a profession of faith, a reflection on the Gospel…whatever you may think of as “truly Christian”. They were, as many pieces of art are, a reflection on a moment, or a collection of moments, from the eyes, the heart, the mind of a real human being. The echo of a learned faith can be found in Cohen’s lyrics, but it is more about a struggle with what love is.

    Love is something everyone experiences in their own way, the form it takes in our lives being guided by those who nurture us, those who love us from the day we’re born, those we grown to love, whatever form of grace we are touched by. Some love is constant, other loves come into our lives, and eventually fade….but love in all its forms imprints the way we understand, give, and receive love.

    Cohen’s Hallelujah is a reflection of his truth about love, and his thanks and acceptance for love’s existence in his life as he knew it when the song was written, frustration, and all. Despair is real, but he celebrates all of love’s realities…the song IS called Hallelujah, after all. No one has “fixed” his lyrics, because they needed no fixing. Cohen’s version is beautiful, and is simply a different reflection, a different context, and represents something beautiful about love, and about music, really…it’s something we all share, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what shapes our hearts and creates our “container” for love. Cohen has taken a beautiful melody, and used it as inspiration. What is more beautiful and human than shared inspiration, and individual expression?

    Cohen’s struggle with the lyrics does not represent his folly, but rather the monumental difficulty of expressing something so powerful and complex concisely…it represents his struggle, and the struggles of many. Self absorption is something we’re all given to. It’s something unique to self consciousness, which is both the gift and the curse of behind human…the struggle with ego, and purpose, among many other things. To say that Cohen somehow “fell short” is judgmental and intolerant in a way that, well, represents exactly what Hall Elujah is talking about, ironically. Only self absorption, the lack of ability to see another’s struggle, and another’s point of reference due to the subjective place of judgement could produce a comment like that. And that’s ok…because it’s human. It’s something to be learned from.

    If this world is lost, the we are ALL lost, for who are we to say who is not and who is enlightened among us? To be Christian, in part, is to turn away from judgment toward forgiveness, and to submit to the Creator as the one true judge…”and forgive us our trespasses, and we forgive those who trespass against us”. How can something that inspired so many, be somehow inherently wrong? Please ponder that for a moment. Cohen’s version of this song, and Cloverton’s are both beautiful…and honestly, they are for the same reason. They show us, among many other things, that love is universal in its shared inspiration.

  11. I can’t stop playing this! It’s what this song was meant to be. It needs no explanation when shared on social media. I’ve been weeping and inspired these past few days by this version, and suddenly find myself researching the history of a song I’ve heard but didn’t know. My only question of Cloverton is this: If you’re going to beautifully and completely re-write the lyrics, why keep the musicians’ verse? “It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, The minor fall, the major lift…”

  12. I get the feeling that a couple of writers here are bashing Christians and Christanity. Its the writer of the song who fell into darkness and gloom, and became depressingly introversial in his view of his loss. The fact that he did not develop the song into something of lasting significance is a testiment to his lack of skill rather than a tribute to his inward self view.

    Christianity is about turning from darkness into the light. Expressing views dissimilar to those of Cohen is neither intolerant nor judgemental, its merely expressing an opinion about his state of gloomy existence. That existence is neither healthy nor praiseworthy.

    However, Christanity is clearly intolerant of sin, that is clear. That Cohen is jewish and probably not tolerant of Christianity does not really fit into this discussion. The fact though that jewish people in general have demonstrated intolerance and disavowance of Christ and of his followers seems particluarly insensitive and inhumane, and appropo to this discussion.

    The fact that these new lyrics reflect a more popular view of the song probably goes down hard with those of jewish descent and writers here of that vein.

  13. THIS BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES AND TOUCHED MY HEART WITH GREAT LOVE TO KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST CAME AND DIED FOR ME, A WRETCHED WORM. HE LED ME FROM THE PATH THAT WAS LITERALLY LEADING ME TO HELL, TO THE PATH THAT IS NOW LEADING ME TO HEAVEN BECAUSE HE BECOME MY RANSOM AND PAID THE PRICE FOR ME REQUIRED BY GOD. THANK YOU JESUS, THANK YOU GOD, AND THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT FOR WOOING ME AND DRAWING ME TO CHIRST AND REGENERATING ME. THANK YOU GOD FOR GRANTING ME REPENTANCE AND FAITH. JESUS CHRIST, MY LORD AND SAVIOUR, GREATLY BELOVED SON OF GOD. IF THIS SONG DOES NOT STIR YOUR HEART TO TURN FROM SINFUL LIVING AND TRUST CHRIST AS YOUR SIN BEARER, THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE A HEART. HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Leonard Cohen’s lyrics are not Christian, they’re universal and express love for every heart’s spirituality.

  15. Cohen’s version is beautiful and poetic, and universal – however, this version is more beautiful to me, something I can sing around my kids, and my son can learn the music on the piano and have THESE lyrics to go along with it. Neato.

  16. Harford’s comment is perplexing, unless it is meant as sarcasm. Cohen’s version is neither spiritual nor universal any more than it is Christian or supporting worldwide religion. The closest it comes is the mention of David, presumably King David, which as most of us may know is essentially the foundation of Old Testament Jewish faith which is limited to the Jews. He could have eaisly tuned it into a universal spiritual piece had he developed a spiritual theme, but instead took an alternate path which is anything but spiritual and certainly not universal (unless one considers darkness as unverisal).

    Take for example these verses of Cohen, “Love is not a victory march, It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah” and “Maybe there’s a God above, But all I’ve ever learned from love, Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you” and “You say I took the name in vain. I don’t even know the name, But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?”.

    How can anyone come away from Cohen’s song feeling spiritual? It baffles me. Thanks much to the writers of the new version who did what Cohen should have done from the very beginning!