The Spark of One Hallelujah
Updated: May 31
There are several stories that converge in this first entry.
In 2010 I was making an album while performing in Hong Kong. I had worked very hard to record nine songs for this album but I had made a commitment to record a 10 song album. I didn't have the time to record another song. I realized that months previous I had recorded a guitar and vocal demo version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I thought it sounded surprisingly good for a demo. I was playing with a wonderful cellist at the time who I thought could add a very special touch to this version. He did. I added a little piano part and some harmony vocals and I added it to the album. It was never intended to be on this album but, because of time and circumstance, there it was. Funny how things go. This song became one of my most popular and requested songs for all the years since. I have sung the song on three continents in front of presidents and prime minister's and I can't seem to end a concert without using it as the final ribbon to tie up the evenings events. The reason I'm spending so much time talking about another song is because "One Hallelujah"started out being about my relationship with my cover version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah”.
At times I would get upset that I could never get through a show without singing it. People would demand it. This sentiment was short-lived because I quickly realized how special A thing it was that there was a group of people out there that wanted anything from me that was special. It was always my duty to give it to them. It made me love the fact that I was a steward of this song.
I started developing the idea that perhaps everyone is given at least one gift, "one Hallelujah" if you will. We are all given this gift and the implied contract is that we will use it. These gifts will be a collection of Hallelujahs to God.
I started writing this song and was very excited about it. I had what I felt was compelling music and a good lyrical start. I quickly ran into a roadblock, otherwise known as writers block, and I did what I had done so many times in the past - I got discouraged just stopped writing it. To that point I guess I had been kind of a lazy song writer. I would keep going as long as the magic was flowing but as soon as it got hard I would flee. My wife has to watch me go through this process a lot and it frustrates her deeply, to the point where she wouldn't let me get away with it on this one. She said "Why aren't you finishing that song?" " You need to finish that song".
I had lost my inspiration but then she said something which really peaked my interest. "Will you finish it if I write it with you?"
I was blown away. My wife tends to be very shy and reserved. She doesn't easily put herself out there. I knew that if she was saying these things then she must be feeling something powerful. I felt I had a duty to respect that.
This would be our first collaboration.
Right off the bat she started coming up with some of the best lines in the song. I was no longer blocked but flowing down a river of music and language and inspiration. I was excited. Thank you my darling for always bringing out my best self.
This song has become the basis for much of what we are doing now, bringing us full circle to this new non-profit organization. Grateful to God and grateful to you for being here.