Monday, December 15, 2008

The Original Hallelujah...



...or, at least, a (very good) performance of part of it by Leonard Cohen.

We'll return to poetry tomorrow, I promise. Although there is a fair bit of poetry in these lyrics.

6 comments:

Michelle said...

*swoon*

Colin Will said...

Yes, it's a fine song, and the lyrics are truthful and fresh. FWIW, my favourite version is the Jeff Buckley one. The soundtrack CD for 'I'm Your Man' contains some excellent versions of Cohen songs, with Antony's singing on 'If It Be Your Will' quite outstanding.

BarbaraS said...

My favourite version by far. I'm not keen on JB's version, it's a bit, well, not Laughin' Len for a start.

Anna Russell said...

"Well maybe there's a God above, but all I ever learned from love was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you"

That line just knocked me for six the first time I heard it. Some songwriters can be called poets and I think Mr Cohen is one of them.

Can you believe the winner of the X Factor is covering this? Oh, how I have ranted!

Rob said...

I think this is a very fine live version - is it better than Cohen's original? Maybe. Shame it's only a section of the song.

Anna, yes, I know it was done by Alex, the X Factor winner. I covered the final on this blog. I'm not anti-X Factor, although I think the show is about entertainment rather than talent (a few contestants do have real talent all the same). I think Alex sings it well, quite honestly (she was by far the best singer of the series), although the musical arrangement isn't up to much.

I always found the line you quoted chilling and disturbing, especially when considering it alongside the "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."

Leonard Cohen is a poet, as well as being a songwriter. I've only read one of his collections: prose poems called 'Psalms'. That book was OK, but I prefer his lyrics.

Rob said...

Actually, the Cohen book I was talking about in the comment above is called 'Book of Mercy'.