Singer fills Chicago’s empty streets with hopeful sounds of ‘Hallelujah’

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CHICAGO — This period of social isolation has left many longing for human interaction, and on Chicago’s empty streets the sound of silence is almost deafening. 

So street performer Andrew David brought a microphone and a speaker to the corner of North Orleans Street and West Wacker Drive Wednesday.

Standing alone, he sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to the empty buildings and few passersby who happened to be on the mostly-empty streets downtown.

“I always start off my day of street performing with this song,” David said. “I realized that people are looking – in the midst of calamity – for peace. So this song stuck out to me even further.”

It’s a song that seems perfectly suited to our times, conjuring our lost intimacy with each heartbreaking verse. It mirrors our own human journeys in these times, evoking both suffering hopeful celebration.


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