Friday, 7 March 2008

Hallelujah. A Life of a Song

Over at clapclap.org Michael Barthel has an interesting post entitled "It Doesn't Matter Which You Heard": the Curious Cultural Journey of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"
and it looks at why people can cry in movies and TV any more with out Jeff Buckley (covering John Cale covering Leonard Cohen) getting all breathy over them.

I like Hallelujah a lot. I have since I first heard Cale sing it on "I'm Your Fan" and part of me still considers this the definitive version, no matter what Buckley fans might claim. I've always enjoyed the rather sour humour of it, "the only thing I 've learnt from love is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya" is both marvellous and vaguely silly, and Buckley going all light and sexy always seemed to me to be a fundamental misunderstanding even though he brings out some of the beauty of the song.

Anyway it's hard to resist an article that has graphs in it like this:

3 comments:

handee20001 said...

i've been doing some journo-baiting on this topic over at the graun...

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/03/which_hallelujah_is_the_highes.html

Paul said...

Wow, that's...

Jon Wilde's a bit defensive isn't he?

I can almost see his point about having Lexis/Nexis, so not having to Google. Almost.

Maybe there should be an article asking why there are so many articles asking why there are so many covers of Hallelujah.

handee20001 said...

Yes he's a bit defensive. The LexisNexis thing is just shite, obviously: it has many major sources but not all, and Barthel's original blog post comes from a conference presentation anyway so it's not like it's "just a blog".

However, if you do the obvious google

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=john+wilde+plagiarism

you realise the guy's got form for this sorta shit.