By Leonard Cohen
I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord,
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah,
Your faith was strong but you needed proof;
You saw her bathing on the roof;
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.
She tied you to her kitchen chair,
She broke your throne, she cut your hair,
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah,
You say I took the Name in vain,
I don't even know the Name,
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word,
It doesn't matter which you heard,
The holy or the broken Hallelujah,
I did my best, it wasn't much,
I couldn't feel, so I learned to touch.
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong,
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my lips but Hallelujah,
Baby, I've been here before.
I know this room, I've walked this floor.
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch,
But love is not a victory march;
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah,
There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below,
but now you never show it to me, do you?
Remember when I moved in you,
And the holy dove was moving too,
and every breath we drew was Hallelujah,
Now maybe there's a God above,
But all I ever learned from love
Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
It's not a cry that you hear at night,
It's not somebody who's seen the light,
It's a cold and it's a lonely Hallelujah,
There are at least two other verses in this song not sung in Cohen's version but attributed to him (my personal favorite versions are Jeff Buckley's and Allison Crowe's but at this site you can find Bono's, Bob Dylan's, Imogen Heap's, Sheryl Crowe's, Rufus Wainwright's from Shrek and many others). There's some debate about which lyrics are the "most authentic"; I took out some of the "and" and "oh" vocal additions that Cohen sings but not everyone else does.
Younger son's science fair project is set up and approved at the University of Maryland, where he must spend several hours tomorrow without a parent around as the science expo has a rule that parents may not be in attendance during the judging. Older son has been picked up at his high school from the carpool for the robotics competition at the US Naval Academy, where he seems to be having the time of his life even though his team did not win any awards during Friday's portion of the judging (there's more tomorrow). I saw the list of speakers and it seems the Navy is using the competition as a recruitment opportunity, which I suppose is unsurprising (and some of these kids want to be NASA astronauts, and there is no place better to get on that track than the USNA). There are also business executives and Department of Commerce officials, plus patent officials, and the kids are working with kids from all over the world and seem delighted with the experience. There's a big emphasis on teamwork both within one's own group and with all the other students visiting, which I appreciate; the county science expo almost seems more competitive...and intimidating!
While the kids were at school I went to CVS (husband needed airline-friendly size tube of toothpaste), picked up my mother's mail since she's away, folded four very full baskets of laundry, wrote a review of "The Ensigns of Command", contemplated buying a mountainside flying saucer house in Tennessee, worried about viruses coming pre-installed on my electronic devices, and took a photo of the first daffodil in my neighborhood as well as red-breasted robins driving my cats insane:
When that happens, the robins follow almost immediately. They hang out in front of our house in birdie heaven, eating berries and pooping all over our cars, sidewalk and anything our children were silly enough to leave outside.
It is of course a requirement that the cats spend all day in the front windows watching and making annoyed "I need to eat you!" noises at them.
Daisy is the most easily excited, but Cinnamon is the most vocal about her displeasure. Rosie generally gets bored after a bit and goes to check her food dish or take a nap.
The cats are willing to sit in unusual proximity for such frustration. In fact, Rosie and Daisy sometimes exhaust themselves and fall asleep practically on top of each other glaring at the birds.
And here, as promised, is the first daffodil, growing under our neighbor's tree but planted by the previous inhabitant of that house.
thefridayfive: Turn Around, Bright Eyes
1. What do you see when you are looking out of the window closest to you? Since it's dark, just the backs of the bushes in front of the house. During daytime there might be birds or squirrels on one side of the window and cats on the other (see today's photos).
2. Who was the last person coming into your room? If you mean the room I'm in now, both my sons and my husband are in here (and all talking to me at once!). If you mean my bedroom, when I was last up there, I was joined by Daisy, then Cinnamon, both wanting me to turn on the sink and let them drink out of it.
3. What is the most predominant colour around you? Burgundy.
4. What is right behind you? My son's sweatshirt that he dumped on the back of the couch instead of hanging up like he's been told to do about a thousand times.
5. What is on today's calendar sheet? I have the Audubon Birds Page-a-Day calendar, and today it's the California towhee.
fannish5: What were your five favorite series finales? This could be a TV series finale, the end of a series of books or a comics run, or the finish of any other serial media.
1. Deep Space Nine, "What You Leave Behind" -- I know it's not popular because it isn't a happy ending, but I find it very satisfying and real in most cases.
2. M*A*S*H, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" -- similarly, a very serious episode that left a lot of things up in the air, but far more realistic than much of the series, which was, at the core, about a bloody war. The scene with the mother on the bus has stuck with me always.
3. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, "God Fearing Child" -- if you're saying, "But that's a Xena episode, you're absolutely right! Yet this is the installment that resolved the issues between Hercules and Zeus (and Hercules and Hera) that drove the show that spawned Xena so much more effectively than "Full Circle" -- I only wish Iolaus had been involved in saving the day.
4. The Prisoner, "Fall Out" -- Who is Number One? You are Number One! The perfect surreal paranoid absurdist ending for a surreal paranoid absurdist series.
5. The Aubrey-Maturin series, Blue at the Mizzen -- Jack gets his flag and he and Stephen sail off together into the sunset. I like where Patrick O'Brian was starting to go in 21 but it also isn't necessary; where he left things in his last complete novel is glorious enough.
Saturday I am hoping to be able to get to two student events on two different college campuses -- the question is whether I can get to Annapolis and back to College Park fast enough to see both the robots and the science fair. Enjoy the Ides of March!