Another Hallelujah

Earlier this month, I found a powerful live version of the song, Hallelujah, written by Leonard Cohen. It was sung by a Toronto pop choral group that calls themselves Choir! Choir! Choir! I was deeply moved by the emotional and powerful expression of this group of 1,500 singers.

As a matter of fact, I was so moved that I was inspired to spirit-size the lyrics. It’s been on my mind to do so for a number of years now. While I love the melody and the feel of Cohen’s song, I’ve always been uncomfortable with his mix of the sacred and profane in Hallelujah. After I shared the YouTube video with some folks, they wanted to know when they might hear my version of the tune. So, I recorded it this week and you may hear the rough demo version of it by clicking the play button that follows.

Also, if you want to read my spirit-sized lyrics, here they are.

Written by Leonard Cohen/ Spirit-sized lyrics by Marshal McKitrick

I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord
With blessings of the music flowing through ya’
It goes like this the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The wondrous and the graceful hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle luu-uu-jah

Your faith is strong, no need of proof, you see great beauty in the truth
The wisdom of Great Spirit moving through ya’
You live your life with room to spare, while you claim your power and ever dare
And from your lips you sing the Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle luu-uu-jah

Some folks they play the victim game or work for power, wealth, and fame
But if they do, well really, what’s it to ya’
There’s a blaze of light in Spirit’s word, it doesn’t matter what you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle luu-uu-jah

I do my best and that’s enough even when my life gets tough
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool ya’
And even when it all goes wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Poetry Corner

As we approach Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), some folks carry thoughts of loved ones who have passed on.

In honor of the anniversary of my mother’s birthday, I’m sharing one of my family poems. It speaks to me of my ancestors, the ones I knew, the ones I never met, and the ones we will become when we leave this world.


Written by Marshal Jon McKitrick
August 2001

So, here I am in anticipation after my long journey
Waiting on the hanging canopy swing
In the shade of two giant elder pine trees
With my son on the side of my sister’s house
In Northern Idaho

It is a peaceful summer mid-afternoon with a few fluffy clouds
In a high blue sky, as my son and I take turns napping on the swing
Waiting for someone to arrive home

The first one in is my sixteen year old nephew
Who comes along the lane scuffling to his own rhythm
He goes inside the house without noticing us

After a few minutes, I make the first move
And do the next right thing
I go inside to say ‘Hi’ and connect
And then the rest of my family arrives in shifts

Brothers with their families, sister home from work
My parents, the elders, carrying their hopes and prayers
Along with their handbags

Yes, there is hope here among the expectations
And fears of the Unknown
Unfulfilled promises from the past
Jaded frustrations with old disappointments
Three generations of hoping for a better world

And each member of this clan
Has a different vision of that better world
Which is shared in pieces with each other
Held out tenderly to one another
And splashed out in loud colors
Among the branches of that old family tree

In the sharing of these visions of a better world
Around the reunion table, around a circle on the beach
Around the breakfast table, around the campfire by the dock late at night
Each one of us is returning to the one true family of all in our hearts
And we are all prodigal children coming out of our own wilderness
To join and gather as the special and sacred people that we are

On the last morning, as my son and I are making our goodbye family rounds
I feel a sadness of leaving too soon
And a joy of keeping something for myself

There is a final moment of them, standing in a group
Watching my son and I walk out the front door
Into the blessed morning light

They wish us well on our journey and bid farewell to the returned ones
The blessings and the joy flow like water, when the prodigal son returns for a reunion
And he leaves wanting more, after giving away and receiving
Something that he had never dreamed of