February Word Challenge, Day 21

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are belt, bingo, lift, trolley, reindeer.

Chosen word for free association: lift
spirits, elevator, raise, major lift

Exercise:

I had the opportunity to learn how to play and sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” recently for an upcoming benefit performance. I love the self-referential portion of the song in which the melody and chord progression are climbing and the lyrics say the following:

Well it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift

I put this song in the same category as “The Hook” by Blues Traveler and “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen. All of those songs are tongue-in-cheek exercises that make different points than the listener expects; “The Hook” is a cynical look at how it doesn’t really matter what a song’s lyrics are about as long as the hook grabs your attention. “Born in the USA” is about the deplorable treatment our veterans receive after coming back home from war; it’s not a celebratory song, but it is often used as one because the chorus — the hook — is just “Born in the USA”, which by itself doesn’t make any negative statements about the government or military.

“Hallelujah” is similar, if a bit more obfuscated. Its point seems to be to rail against love. Or is it to celebrate the pain of love?

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