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A friend of mine and I were talking about music the other day. I told her that one of my favorite songs is Hallelujah, sung by Jeff Buckley. She was appalled that I would listen to "Christian" music. I told her that is so much more than that. It is religion, sadness, love and searching. I think it is beautiful. Does anyone else like /love it? I also like Appalachian music, a lot of which is religious. I love all kinds of music.

Wisewoman3 7 Apr 18

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That is a beautiful song.


Music transcends the genre when it's good. I love that song, and I love Christmas music, too. I even like Vince Gill's Go Rest High... and I can't stand Country music.


Lots of songs reference imaginary beings! Doesn’t mean we have to believe to enjoy and appreciate!


Neither of you have ever listened to the words, I can tell. It is about as far from religious as you could get!

I actually know every word. I think it is very deep and meaningful on many levels. She never really listened deeply to it. I told to look and listen to the lyrics.

@Wisewoman3 To me it is a beautiful song about all the wrong kinds of love there are and deeply sarcastic about it. For example..."he saw the moonlight.." and sent her husband to be killed in battle so he could have her.


it was written by a secular jew. sung by a man who committed suicide. i don't see it celebrate religion per say, but definitely life. and i love mountain music!

Hallelujah has a firm basis in the bible with the two love stories at the start.
Cohen was far from secular. He may not have been a practicing jew but he spent a long time in other religions, even scientology at one point. Then 9 years as a zen buddhist monk. I noticed on the sleeve notes of " Dear Heather " he spelt god as g-d as any good jew would. Also his last album is deeply religious, with a chorus taken from the kaddish and " I`m ready my lord. "

@273kelvin are you jewish?


I cover a lot of Gillian Welch tunes that reference religion. Red Clay Halo, Tennessee, I Wanna Sing That Rock and Roll... And the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leaving Eden. Not a damn thing wrong with it.


I still like to listen to Second Chapter of Acts. Their harmonies are beautiful.

A lot of times I listen to the music and the way the singing flows; not neccessarily the words themself.

Why should I worry, why should I fret? I’ve got a mansion builder who ain’t through with me yet.


I listen to 4 part harmony gospel hymns.


If it sounds good and there is no overt message dictating how I should live, then I'm all for it.


You don't live for other people - you live for yourself and what makes you happy. I've been a non-theist since I was 20 - 30-years ago and I love that song. I also listen to Amy Grant, I love black southern gospel and I recently watched Denzel Washington's motivational speech titled "put God first" and I loved that too. A few months back I watched Dr. Rick Rigsby's motivational speech titled "A 3rd Grade Drop-out" - I loved it despite the fact that God was referenced more than once. Just because I am non-theist doesn't mean that I have to dismiss anything that references God or religion - I didn't join a club with bylaws. I'm not accountable to anyone or any particular group and so I really don't give 2 sh@ts about what anyone else may think about my music, video or reading selections.


i like a lot of music, some of which is in a language i don't know, so half the time i don't know weather its religious or not. i just like how it sounds and how it makes me feel. i like some churchy music, i like some stuff from other cultures, i love some of those monks singing, its all just good vibrations anyway.

Byrd Level 7 Apr 18, 2018

"Hallejuah," written by Leonard Cohen, is not a Christian song. He said this in interviews. Christians often mistake it for one. Tell your friend it was written by a brilliant Jew who sought to capture the feeling of a religious song in secular situations.

The point is that it shouldn't matter if it was religious in nature or not - regardless of one's faith or lack thereof - they're free to listen to whatever music genre that they wish.

@SLBushway Of course they are and no one here has intimated differenly. The point here is that her friend mistakenly believes Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is a Christian song, when in fact a Christian would want to know it is a secular song written by a Jew. Many Christians make this mistake in attribution. I'll thank you not to snipe at me for passing along pertinent information.

I do believe the OP knows it is her prerogative to listen to whatever music she pleases. I myself have a Master's degree in Appalachian Culture and enjoy the Old Time variety and Scots-Irish ballads more than the ubiquitous bluegrass, although all three are common in Western NC.

Now did you have a relevant comment for the OP's question, or are you merely here to annoy us both?


Music is music If I like it . Then where it comes from doesn't matter. I like appalachian and folk music too, It's from the heart and it's a story of life.


I am an unabashed atheist and I too love Hallelujah, although I prefer the Rufas Wainwright version. This song has such a strong emotional pull that it will sometimes bring me to tears. If we are honest, I think we must admit that there are some great spiritual songs, even if we don't share the religious connection (when there is one). I often have similar reactions to "The Blues," country music, and others genre and styles. Classical Music without lyrics can also do this. Music is about much more that the lyrics, or the message (when there is one).

twill Level 7 Apr 19, 2018

Great song


I agree that's a beautiful song, and I also love Appalachian music, especially bluegrass, and Negro spirituals, which often have religious content. Still, I don't like the religious references at all.


Ssome of the most magnificent classical music is 'religion' themed, Handel's Messiah as just one example. Gospel has some of the most incredible vocals around! Sometimes the 'lyrics' or theme can be ignored. Sometimes a very human message is inherent in the words, religion based or not. I'm not a fan of most 'church' music "onward christian soldiers" disgusts me, but take it one song at a time!

True John Newton was a slave ship captain but he already was a christian. (christianity had no problem with slavery. In fact it was viewed as the white mans burden to bring it to negroes). Later he became a staunch abolitionist but amazing grace was not initially written about this. He was shipwrecked off the coast of Africa and rescued, hence the " saved. "


I love that song, too. The religious don't hold a monopoly on music that mentions religion. Religion is part of our collective history, and music often evokes feelings based upon good or bad memories we possess. You don't owe anyone an explanation as to why you do or don't like a certain song.

Deb57 Level 8 Apr 18, 2018

I wonder if your friend really listened to it or just dismissed it? I personally love the cover by Kaylee Rodgers.

I told her to watch a video with the lyrics. She will get it sooner or later.


Some of my favorite songs have religious overtones or are outright religious.
I see no issue with that. I like and can respect music from all over. I don't have to belong to that 'group' to enjoy it.


It seems the word Hallelujah in the song Hallelujah has several connotations, Including -gasp!- sex. There is a mention of the lord and God in the song. Generally, the word Hallelujah has a religious "tilt" I guess. But the song is deeply personal about a relationship.

IDK how closely your friend has listened, or if he/ she has tried to interpret the lyrics Denise, but the beauty and meaning of the music is found by listening.
At one time I was guilty of same, regarding this song.(Shrek anyone?) Then I started playing it and trying to sing it......and WOW! what a revelation. The hair on neck stood up.

I just thought you'd enjoy the thread.

@Nottheonlyone : I DO! Did you like the Bruce Cockburn song? (I actually like the studio version better)

@twill It's very pretty


I used to like that song, but not as much anymore, times have changed for me.

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