Leonard Cohen died yesterday. His “Hallelujah” is one of those soulful songs that stops you in your tracks. Cohen knows how to tell a story. In other words, his lyrics are wonderful, provocative, soul-searching.

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It’s a simple song.

The refrain uses but two chords, alternating between A minor and F major in 6/8 time.

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of those soulful songs that stops you in your tracks. Cohen knows how to tell a story. In other words, his lyrics are wonderful, provocative, soul-searching.

But let’s face it, it is his one-word refrain that makes this song a masterpiece: Hallelujah sung against a minor chord.

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Leonard Cohen’s evocative lyrics and haunting melody are brilliant. What do they mean? Is it simply that life is short, let us go out with a bang? Is it that, if you’re going to treat me as a specimen and take my life away from me, then let me savor the love of my life until my final, burning passion?

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