“Hallelujah” by Haim

Despite Haim’s “Hallelujah” having a religious title, it is fundamentally about appreciating loved ones. The track is dedicated to “anyone struggling with chronic illness” and their supportive loved ones, though that particular point is not necessarily elaborated upon in the lyrics. Rather the first verse, which is sung by Danielle Haim, depicts the Haim sisters as being a close-knit group. The “two angels… in disguise” are interpreted as being a flattering metaphor for her sisters/bandmates. 

And the second verse seems to be based on the same idea of the singer, this time Este Haim backed by Danielle, acknowledging “three roads, one light”. This, once again, sounds like an allusion to the trio. 

Meanwhile the third verse, which has Alana Haim at the lead, details how she has feels in the aftermath of losing her “best friend” prematurely some time ago. And basically, the sentiment she is putting forth is that she misses and will never forget this individual.

This all leads us into the refrain of the song, in which the artists ask “Why me? How did I get this hallelujah?” And while, as we all know, the word hallelujah has a distinct religious connotation tantamount to praising a Higher Power, the ultimate purpose of this song is to serve as an ode. An ode to what? An ode to “family, love, loss and being thankful for it all” in general. 

So basically, the singers are taking the good with the bad. That is they recognize that misfortunes too are a part of life. However, amidst it all, they are also compelled to acknowledge those whom they are closest to emotionally.

Lyrics of "Hallelujah"

Facts about “Hallelujah”

The Haim sisters (Alana, Danielle and Este) wrote this song along with Tobias Jesso Jr.

Danielle Haim produced “Hallelujah” with her boyfriend, Ariel Rechtshaid. The pair produced it alongside another musician called Rostam.

The “best friend” whom Alana Haim refers to was a young lady and fellow entertainer by the name of Sammi Kane Kraft. Sammi unfortunately died in a car crash in 2012. She was only 20 years old.

She and Alana were agemates. And in addition to this song, Alana still memorializes her late friend by having her (Sammi’s) initials (SKK) displayed on her guitar.

“Hallelujah” was released as a standalone single on 18 November 2019. 

This song shares the same title with Leonard Cohen’s iconic 1984 song (“Hallelujah“). It’s likely Cohen’s song inspired the title of this Haim track.

Sammi Kane Kraft?

Sammi Kane Kraft was a multi-talented young lady who was proficient in music, acting and athletics. In fact concerning the latter two professions, she was featured in the remake of the classic “Bad News Bears” baseball comedy which came out in 2005. And one of the logical reasons she was able to land that role is because she was actually a Little League “star” in real life. And this is according to ESPN itself. 

Sammi Kane Kraft
Sammi Kane Kraft (1992 – 2012)

In fact Sammi was also a Junior Olympian. And as aforementioned, she was a dear friend of Alana Haim before the sisters even really blew up in the music industry. Sammi unfortunately died as the result of a car accident in California on 9 October 2012. And her heart was actually donated by her parents to save the life of another individual named Yvonne Payne.

Alana Haim shares Emotional Story about her “Hallelujah” Verse

As aforementioned, Alana’s verse is specifically centered on her late friend Sammi, even though she is never mentioned by name in the song. Indeed this is an individual whom Alana has described flat-out as her “best friend”. And we all know that losing someone that close to you is bad enough. But there are a couple factors involved which made that experience even more disturbing. First is that both Alana and Sammi were only 20 years old when the latter passed away. Indeed Alana basically feels that losing her best friend so young has cheated her out of certain experiences they were bound to have together. And some of these experiences include the following:

  • Celebrating their 21st birthdays (which were only four months apart)
  • Traveling the world
  • Having Sammi eventually serve as her maid of honor

And second is that Sammi’s passing was a completely unexpected event, the result of a car crash, and she in fact transitioned the same day of the accident.  Thus when Alana first heard of the crash was also the very moment she learned about Sammi’s fate. 

Something Positive emerges from the Darkness

However one positive, if you will, that can be taken from the experience is that it helped Alana realize how important her sisters are to her emotional wellbeing. For it was her sisters who gave her “a shoulder to cry on” or “an ear to talk to” as she ‘slowly recovered’.

So in hindsight, losing Sammi was a life-changing experience for Alana. That is because it made her realize just how fragile life is and accordingly how loved ones should be given their flowers while they can still smell them. But that being said, it is pretty clear that the main purpose of her verse in “Hallelujah” is actually to memorialize Sammi.

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