Blog 1650 – 03.29.2020
As a life-long lover of words, hallelujah, is one of my favorites. The first time that I recall reading it aloud myself was in public school as barely a teenager in Homeroom where the teacher required all the students to take turns reading a short passage from the Bible to the class without comment for a devotional each morning after which to the chagrin of Madeline Murray O’Hare and the Supreme Court ruling against prayer in public schools the teacher prayed a short prayer before we went to our first period class. Thus was the beginning of my eighth grade middle school day in the smack dab middle of the Bible Belt in the early nineteen sixties in an all white public school still sadly refusing to integrate students of color. I usually picked a short Psalm, many beginning, ending or peppered with hallelujahs. I had no clue what hallelujah meant except that it was yelled excitedly in a few churches (much louder and more often in black churches) and at ball games occasionally by God, Jesus, Holy Ghost, and sports loving fans.
I attach the above screen shot of my phone dictionary to remind myself and all who read this what I am writing about today. The number 3 definition is my pick: “A shout of joy, praise, or gratitude.” Well, hallelujah.
The first time I heard the song called Hallelujah was in the first Shrek animated movie and it was for me like love at first listen. Then for a while I seemed to hear it everywhere in different voices and with different verses of the many picked, just three or so. The arrangement I liked best with my preferred verse choice was the the one that follows as the song is done in the hero movie, Watchmen. Since my karaoke CD+G disc version with accompanying music and lyrics had a different verse selection, for a long time when I did the song, till I memorized the words and verse order, I had to carry a piece of paper with these words written on it. But I finally learned it by heart, Hallelujah.
I particularly like verse three in this version:
The song is written by Leonard Cohen and has been recorded by many, one of the more popular versions being by Rufus Wainwright. I doubt my karaoke version is as good or will ever be heard by as many as his but as another song lyric says, “I can dream, can’t?” This dream for me, this life defined as a dream in the Row, Row, Row Your Boat children’s song, has been one for which Hallelujah seems the most appropriate one word description, that or just Love.
I hope each and everyone of you finds much to shout or sing hallelujah about along your particular hallelujah trail.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Pop Goes the Weasel, London Bridge Is Falling Down, & Row, Row, Row Your Boat