The Westgate Shopping Center on North Pearl in Tacoma has music that can be heard all across the parking lot and probably beyond. Recently I was parked outside Key Bank, while my wife Peg was inside reviewing our accounts. Both days I heard and listened intently to the music. They played Canadian Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
I first heard the song in a Leonard Cohen video on TV. It’s a beautiful tune. What connected the most with me about the song was when I saw the Canadian film production Saint Ralph. The 2004 film had nine nominations and won six of them. “Saint Ralph is the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth-grader who outran everyone’s expectations except his own in his bold quest to win the 1954 Boston Marathon.” The story is fiction, but everything else touches home. In the race, Ralph’s running for all he is worth; each step grows harder and harder to make. The song Hallelujah plays and we pray. We want him to not give up hope . . . or tire. Since then, each time the song plays I replay those images constantly in my mind. He doesn’t win, but he achieves much more. He connects with people. As the tired and straining words come out of Leonard Cohen, each time I feel touched.
On the second day of sitting in my car while waiting for Peggy, a woman walked up to her car about twenty feet away, but didn’t get in. On this hot summer day with the sun glaring down she stood beside her car under minimal shade, smoking a cigarette as she listened intently to Hallelujah.
The late Leonard Cohen once noted when asked about “Hallelujah,” which is quite possibly the best-known song in his rich and enduring catalog of compositions, “Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means, ‘Glory to the Lord.’ The song explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist. I say all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have an equal value.”
I’m not Jewish and I’m not religious, but still the song touches me and those of us who listen. In different ways the poetry of the tune make us think and consider our lives, our actions, our pasts and our futures. If you have not heard the song before. Sit down with someone you love and just listen to it. It has a calming and relaxing effect, which is something I think we all need right now.
– Don Doman
Here is a favorite version of Hallelujah, just like the parking lot at Westgate with no words, only feelings and memories . . . enjoy! –
Source: The Suburban Times