A “New to Us” song for this Sunday:
This is what I call a “redeemed” song. There is a tradition that says Martin Luther liked to take popular songs of his day and change the words to songs of worship. He reportedly said, “why should the devil have all the good tunes?” This song is one of those. The original, by Leonard Cohen, makes mention of some people from the Bible, but the theme is definitely not worshipful or Biblical. Lincoln Brewster changed the lyrics to make it a worship song. He asked Leonard Cohen for permission to use it on one of his albums, not really expecting that permission would be given. He was surprised when Mr. Cohen did give his permission, provided the name of Lincoln’s version be changed from “Hallelujah” to “Another Hallelujah.”
The first verse is:
I love You Lord with all my heart
You’ve given me a brand new start
And I just want to sing this song to You
It goes like this the fourth the fifth
The minor fall the major lift
My heart and soul are praising
For you non-musical folks, the section that talks about the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift (or David’s “secret chord” in the original song) is a reference to the chord progression. The song is in the key of C. The progression changes chords starting with C, to the fourth degree of the C major scale (F), then the fifth (G), then the minor fall (A minor or the sixth) and back to the fourth (F, the major lift).
Songs like this are great reminders that music is a gift from God. Music in and of itself is not evil, but like many of God’s good gifts, it can be twisted and perverted to selfish and evil ends. I like the idea of taking a song like this and “redeeming” it so that it can be used to give God glory.