Saturday, May 10, 2008

Five Hallelujahs

So I’ve been thinking about love. So? Haven’t we all? Isn’t it always that time?

And also, I've been thinking about the song "Hallelujah." Seems every time I turn around these days, I'm stumbling across it. American Idol? Yikes. And then today at my daughter's dance recital, a tweener did a solo routine all flopping around in her veils and agnst to the Wainwright version. As luck would have it, we all survived.

I've been living with this song for many years, having been a Leonard Cohen fan from High School, when I came across the song "Suzanne."

Leonard Cohen once called "Hallelujah" his best song. He might be right, as the lyric, “all I ever learned from love / was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you” is the most succinct version of love I’ve come across. So here it is, for you, of course, five times (though some versions, of course, screw around with the lyrics, etc.). Let's start with the original.



Leonard Cohen. The original, from his wonderful Various Positions album.



John Cale. His version is on a tribute album titled I'm Your Fan, which came out in the late 80s.



Jeff Buckley (there's a better one on YouTube, but I wasn't able to embed it). Is this the most famous version? Maybe. At least before Shrek.



Rufus Wainwright. The Shrek version. This is the only one I've ever heard on the radio.



Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi? Huh? Well, it's not bad at all. He has a little too much of that power ballad thing in his vocals, but kudos to him for his taste in covers.

7 Comments:

At 5/10/2008 7:24 PM, Blogger Anne said...

My favorite cover of that song, these days, is by k.d. lang. I'm a total sucker for her voice though.

 
At 5/10/2008 7:50 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I like that one too. I was just watching it on YouTube. Maybe I should make a second five-song list. A lot of singers like singing this song. It's fun to move up the ladder, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift. that sort of thing.

 
At 5/11/2008 1:39 AM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

Willie Nelson's is interesting too...

 
At 5/11/2008 5:23 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I haven't heard that one. I'll look for it. I like his version of gravedigger more than the DMB one.

 
At 5/12/2008 10:07 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

I had no idea Willie did gravedigger, a song I'm often a little obsessed with.

You could put together an entire CD of covers of this song, by the look of it.

I too became an LC convert because of Suzanne. Plus a friend just gave me a Son Volt cd so I have new music to listen to!!!!

 
At 5/12/2008 12:35 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Which Son Volt? They're one of my favorites. If it's not Trace, you'll want that one too.

"Gravedigger" is on Willie Nelson's newest, Moment of Forever. There's currently a video of it up on the amazon page.

 
At 5/12/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

It is Trace. Yay! I haven't gotten it uploaded to podthing, but I will tonight. Friend also gave me Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne, which I've heard everywhere but in my collection.

I did youtube on willie. I too like it better than DM, which is saying something considering how much I like the DM version.

Hmm. Maybe itunes has the song. Or is the whole album worth getting?

If you want a hoot, youtube search on Leningrad Cowboys. They do a lot of classic rock covers and they are hilarious. and not bad.

 

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