In his book Slam, Nick Hornby mentions the singer Rufus Wainwright. I hadn’t heard of Wainwright, but when I looked him up, I found that I had heard him, oddly enough, in the soundtrack to Shrek. However, the song Wainwright sings on the Shrek soundtrack is a song by Leonard Cohen. It’s “Hallelujah” and has been performed by dozens of musicians (including a rather dreadful version by Bono). This song has something of religion in it. It mentions David, refers to Samson and of course the chorus is Hallelujah.
Cohen wrote a lot of verses to this song. Artists pick and choose. Some leave out the David passage, but it’s beautiful poetry:
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 major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.
Ok, that’s enough from me. Listen to the song.