The cool atheists – as distinct from those of us for whom this is a phoney argument – are in a flap over the prospect that some people will think Leonard Cohen’s Allelujiah is a religious song.
This follows the news that X Factor winner Alexandra Burke will record it for Christmas, singing it like a spiritual.
Cohen has a way of mixing sexual and religious imagery that would scare the faithful but bewilder the determinedly unspiritual too. The ‘real’ message of Allelujiah is despair at the prospect of love which is nothing more than a ‘broken Allelujiah’. I’m not sure who’s supposed to be cheered by it, if anybody. And KD Lang’s rendition is the one I love most.
It seems that he has heard this discussion himself before and doesn’t like his words being appropriated for causes.
This version of Allelujiah posted on Youtube and sung by Malvasio, replaces some of the verses with this message:
There’s a blaze of light in every word,
It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard,
The Holy or the broken Allelujiah.
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the lord of song
with nothing on my tongue but
Or does anyone know if these are Malvasio’s words?