Note by Note: Hallelujah | No. 28 | 6.7.20

"This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can...reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that's what I mean by 'Hallelujah.' "   ~Leonard Cohen 

Hallelujah (n.) – an expression of praise or thanks or rejoicing 

* In 1741 George Frederick Handel composed the libretto and score to Messiah in 24 days without leaving his home, often without food or sleep. While writing the “Hallelujah” chorus, Handel is said to have exclaimed in fervor that “he saw all heaven before him”…Hallelujah 

* As members of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, my friend Devra and I ushered for Messiah performances in the great Powell Hall. As soon as the lights went down, we would climb the red velvet steps to the very top row. The majestic “Hallelujah” chorus brought the audience to its feet and me to tears…Hallelujah 

* I was released from the hospital on Christmas Day after a life-saving hysterectomy. The “Hallelujah” chorus played on the radio as my then-husband, mother and 6-week-old baby took me home on that transcendent morning…Hallelujah 

* Leonard Cohen took five years and 80 drafts to finish his “Hallelujah”. More than 300 artists have recorded his lyrical poetry and offered their own interpretation of this captivating song…Hallelujah 

Here's my version with Ryan Dugan and Jake Wheeler: 

P.S. The 6-week-old baby in that car on Christmas Day grew up to play this incredible introduction…Hallelujah 

P.P.S. “Hallelujah” is one of the tracks on my new live CD, Shed a Little Light: Joy Zimmerman Live. To purchase, click here


Joy Zimmerman's soulful vocals and original music dance effortlessly from poignant to hilarious to joyful -- round-trip guaranteed! With folk rock as a springboard, Joy dives into the everyday and the extraordinary. A touring musician based in Kansas City, Joy is a voice of authenticity, hope and joy. 

Joy's songwriting awards include an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and nine Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins. She has recorded seven albums - three in Nashville and four in Kansas City. Joy's most recent release, Shed a Little Light: Joy Zimmerman Live is available now.


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