Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hallelujah- Rufus Wainright

I heard there was a secret chord
That david played and it pleased the lord
But you don't really care for music, do you
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Baby i've been here before
I've seen this room and i've walked this floor
I used to live alone before i knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah Hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you
But remember when i moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a god above But all i've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

The lyrics to this song are very important to its structure, so I included them for everyone. Rufus Wainright is one of my favorite artists, he sings and plays the piano and is known for his whimsical and very relatable lyrics. Perhaps my favorite thing about Rufus, however, is that he is classically trained in music and this shows up now and again (of course in this song, I'm getting to it!) A lot of his songs are for voice, piano, and string quartet, sometimes larger orchestra, and very often a lot of oboe (yay!). His newest album "want two" starts off with a setting of the "angnus dei" which is amazing as well.
Although Hallelujah was not originally done by Rufus, (its actually a Leonard Cohen song), its a great example of the type of writing that Rufus does on his own.
The first strain of lyrics actually encorporates the chords mentioned which is one of my favorite things about this song.
The song is entirely solo voice and piano, and the chords underneath the lyrics are all simple and arpeggiated throughout the song giving it a gentle quality that I love. The dynamics definately accent the cadences and phrases and are extremely important throughout the song, simply because the song is strophic so there is no variation melodically or harmonically, so the lyrics are really emphasized and the dynamics definately play a big part in that.
This is definately one of my favorite songs, its one that you can put on low and fall asleep to.

1 comment:

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Okay, this is the song I need to listen to this week. Isn't it fun when you get the musical jokes and innuendos?