Friday, May 08, 2009

Adapting Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen wrote his famous song Hallelujah in 1984. He changed the lyrics in 1988. Twenty years later, the operatic group Il Divo changed the lyrics again to make them much more fitting for praising God.

Someone sent me a link to the recording of that last version on YouTube. It was a beautiful song, but for a while I could not place where had heard it before. Then I remembered it was in Shrek.

All of yesterday the melody was stuck in my head, and my brain wanted a rhyming, English adaptation of the Il Divo lyrics. Here is what I came up with:
The soldiers return home to stay,
Children once lame now walk and play,
No one is neglected today.
In the rainforest no one cuts down trees,
The orphans all find families,
All rejoice in good deeds, halleluyah!

Halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah

An atheist sees that God does care,
The hungry now have food to spare,
Each church has more than enough to share.
Wars and fighting come to their ends,
Throughout the world every sorrow mends,
All is peace and all are friends, halleluyah!

Halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah

The reign of God like a banner unrolls,
No corruption left in pure souls,
Love is complete when the Kingdom's whole.
We learned from suffering and travail,
Now evil vanishes with a wail,
A perfect world is unveiled, halleluyah!

Halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah, halleluyah
Halleluyah, halleluyah

No comments: