Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leonard Cohen sings his own Hallelujah

Hallelujah, written and sung by Leonard Cohen. Two covers are currently BOTH in the top 50 UK chart -- by Alexandra Burke and Jeff Buckley.
From wiki:
On the 21st of December 2008, "Hallelujah" became the first song in 51 years to occupy the first and second positions on the UK Singles Chart; ... Alexandra Burke's and ... Jeff Buckley's covers were the two highest-selling songs in the week beginning 15 December 2008.

Youtubers call this a "version," and the battle rages. Rufus Wainright? K. D. Lang? Allison Crowe? Amanda Jenssen? Bon Jovi? Damien Leith? Sheryl Crow? Tina Dickow?
There have been more covers than you can imagine ....
Watch the different versions and you will see different levels of emotional expression.
To me, this IS the song. The man wrote it - words and music both - and he sings it. He is a poet.

Says The Independent in the UK:

"Hallelujah” has too much wit and deviant sex in it to be sung by anyone the dumb side of 45, least of all the belt-it-out-while-holding-back-the-tears sort of diva the sight of whom is a profound religious experience to the judges of The X Factor."

The lyrics ... there are many. Supposedly Leonard keeps adding and subtracting. He has also said that everyone adds their own when they sing it. (see K. D. Lang's below) It almost begs the adding of you own personal verse. Haven't you thought of your own already? At least if you're over 45 y.o.

Now 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, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have 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
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?
And remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was 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 tried 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 tongue but Hallelujah

K. D. Lang's includes:
Maybe there's a god above
All I never learned from love was How to shoot someone
Who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not someone that's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

I think somewhere in there should be
Life is like licking honey off a thorn.

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