Thursday, 18 December 2008

Hey there, authenticity fans!

"There's a blaze of light in every word;
It doesn't matter which you heard,
The holy, or the broken Hallelujah!"

Leonard Cohen gets the last word in first on covers in the original version of 'Hallelujah' on Various Positions, you know, the version from before John Cale's cover for the tribute albumI'm Your Fan album reconstructed the song using alternative rejected verses (some of which Cohen sang live) into what has become the now definitive version (like Hendrix's rejigging of ’All Along the Watchtower').
Cale's take on the song is the original version of it as it's currently known, right down to the singing 'you' instead of 'yah' (thus mucking up the rhymes) and the lyric tweaks that Buckley mimics.

I'm glad you like the Buckley version, but for me there are two guys in the queue due praise ahead of Buckley if you're coming on all purist and criticising later covers.

Let the kids have their charts- another cover won't break this song. If a Jewish Buddhist can write a hymn that Christians, Agnostics and Atheists all think is theirs, it's a song with a bit of strength in it.

1 comment:

Stuart Douglas said...

Oddly, it's one of my least favourite Buckley songs - there are comfortably five better songs on Grace.