I’m A Little Ashamed About This: A Hallelujah Parody

Hallelujah - The Holy or the Broken by Alan Light

I tried to write a parody of Hallelujah that even Leonard Cohen could appreciate.

When I first started writing comedy music, there was one thing I swore I wasn’t going to do.  Parodies.  Why?  Because so many of them are so terrible.  As one friend put it, “Replace ‘heart’ with ‘fart’ and there’s your parody.”

Not exactly high brow stuff, right?  Besides, nobody does parody better than Weird Al Yankovic and I don’t have any urge to try and outdo him. 🙂

But then I read the book, The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah’ by Alan Light.  It tells the story of the song from obscure album cut to big hit (for Jeff Buckley and others) to overplayed cliche on American Idol and any given benefit concert.

At the end of the book, the author mentions that he’s never heard a really good parody of “Hallelujah”.  Most of them are one joke compositions based around food, weed, or sex.  I went and did some searching and had to heartily agree with Mr. Light.  All gimmick, no funny.

So I had an idea to not just do a parody of the song, but to parody the song itself.  To take the song down a notch by using its own words against it.  I wrote 5 verses (as many of the versions of the song have), and used 3 in the video below.  I may do another video with the other two in the future.

Check out the video for my Hallelujah parody:

Here’s the lyrics:

I heard there was a secret song
That David played for much too long
And the lord said you don’t know another do ya?
It goes like this, the 4th, the 5th
They’re pretty basic chords if catch my drift
It’s another crappy version of Hallelujah

Bibbidi bobbidi boo la

You had a party up on the roof
The liquor was all 90 proof
You asked her bra size she said What’s it to ya?
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your nose and cut your hair
And made you listen to hours of Hallelujah

She broke your tooth-a
But Hallalujah
Cuz then she blew ya (ok, one sex joke…)

There was a time when we didn’t know
Who Leonard was or Buckyley, so
We had to keep on listening to “Imagine”
Now every time it’s on the tube
Or covered by another rube
Leonard’s bank accounts are screaming Hallelujah

Making moolah
Be bop a lula

Here’s the over-analysis part….
In the first verse my goal was to take the song off its pedestal by showing that even “the lord” thinks it’s overplayed and what a simple song it actually is.  Then with the chorus I pull the rug out from the word Hallelujah itself by equating with a song from Disney’s Cinderella.

The second verse is a rewrite of a verse in the song that includes similar sex and violence.  Often left out of performances on tribute shows. 🙂  Mine inflicts further punishment that includes “hour of listening to Hallelujah”.  And one gratuitous sex joke.  🙂

The third verse is about the song’s over-success.  Nearly taking over “Imagine” as the go-to song for tributes, funerals, weddings, etc.  And about the joy Leonard Cohen and his bank accounts must have every time another yahoo covers the song.

Ok, drop me a comment either here of on the YouTube page and let me know how you like it! 🙂


I’m A Little Ashamed About This: A Hallelujah Parody — 4 Comments

  1. Omg Phil I don’t know weither to laugh or spank ya and say shame on you for mocking a Christian song? But well I did giggle some. You are funny!
    But parody anything else now and not Christian music. I love it too much.

    • Glad you like it Lorie. But I don’t think I’d call that Christian music despite the use of Christian buzzwords in it. It’s more about love and pain. Not to mention, Leonard Cohen, who wrote the song, is Jewish.

      The book I mentioned about the song is fascinating. You should check it out.

  2. It would be better if you chose your own topic, stuck with it, and didn’t actually include “Hallelujah”. It’s a good attempt though.

    • My attempt here was to not just write a parody (because I’m not that fond of them) but to actually use the song’s lyrics as a weapon against it to parody the song itself and its overuse. Picking another topic wouldn’t have met that goal.

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