Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby DrHGuy » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:56 am

For completeness sake, I should mention the quote from Anjani in "Sometimes You Just Get Very Lucky!”- an interview with Wears The Trousers magazine (July 8, 2008) ... ery-lucky/
Why not revisit ‘Hallelujah’ you might ask? At this she laughs. “After hearing k.d. lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, ‘well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection’. I don’t think I could even try it, because it’s been so magnificently done. Really, I think all the versions out there are such a testament to his songwriting talents, wherever that gift comes from.”
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby wyardley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:01 am

DrHGuy wrote: 2. Comment on post about a cover of "Ring of Fire"
"When Jeff played at the funeral of his father, Leonard Cohen was so moved that he permitted Jeff to cover his halleluja." ... 0255191515
[Note: An often mentioned portion of the Jeff Buckley bio, of course, has to do with his feelings about not being invited to his father's funeral so this seems at least somewhat in error]
Buckley's father? His stepfather? Didn't Tim Buckley die when Jeff Buckley was 8 or 9, before he even owned a guitar, not to mention the fact that he wasn't there? A little confused about this part.
DrHGuy wrote:3. "Hallelujah - a song with a life of its own" - The Independent
"Buckley omits two of Cohen's redemptive verses; he called his version an ode to 'the hallelujah of an orgasm', even saying: 'I hope Leonard doesn't hear it.' He needn't have worried. Cohen has allegedly acknowledged it to be his favourite version." ... 52178.html
[Note: This claim, with or without the "allegedly," also appears in several posts, Myspace pages, etc]
I don't really see the missing verses as being especially redemptive or anything. I like them, but they don't seem any less cynical than most of Cohen's songs. More tellingly, as far as I can tell, Rufus Wainwright's and Jeff Buckley's versions are pretty much identical (which verses are used as well as the exact wording of some phrases) to John Cale's, so it seems kind of unlikely to me that the omission of those verses was really that intentional on JB's part. Did Cohen give exact lyrics to John Cale, or did LC ever record the "Baby I've been here before...." version before "Cohen Live" (or were the full lyrics published somewhere)? I notice that Cohen seems to use "a complaint that you hear at night" vs. "a cry that you hear at night", and there are a couple other similar differences between most recorded / live LC versions I've heard and the version song by many others. Has LC (or anyone of note, for that matter) performed all the verses? [edit - sure this has been discussed elsewhere on this forum, but Wikpedia, as usual, has an answer - ... #John_Cale]

I actually had thought that at least one of the versions we're talking about had *all* the verses, but none of them do. I was interested to notice the order he's been performing it on this most recent tour. I was at one of the recent LA shows, but didn't notice the order specifically.

I did a little checking yesterday, and here's the list I came up with (PM me if there are any errors):

Code: Select all

                     | LC1 | LC2 |  JC |  JB |  RW | LC3**
Heard there was      |  1  |     |  1  |  1  |  1  |  1  |
Faith was strong     |  2  |     |  2  |  2  |  2  |  2  |
Took the name in     |  3  |     |     |     |     |     |
I did my best*       |  4  |  4  |     |     |     |  6  |
Baby I've been here  |     |  1  |  3  |  3  |  3  |  4  |
There was a time     |     |  2  |  4  |  4  |  4  |  5  |
Maybe there's a God  |     |  3  |  5  |  5  |  5  |  3  |
* This one appears in two different locations, so I listed it twice
instead of just once.
** On the last one, the sequence is different, so I used numbers to
indicate order.

(LC1 = "Various Positions" version)
(LC2 = "Cohen Live" version)
(LC3 = live version 2008-9 (using LA and London as examples)

On the topic of variations of the lyrics, does anyone know why Rufus Wainwright uses "holy dark" vs. "holy dove" (it always sounds like "holy duck" to me; from a quick search, seems I'm not the only one)? Religious reasons? Did he just hear it wrong?
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby Sochijava » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:58 am

I recently heard an interview on this topic, likely on CBC, I will post if I can remember exactly when or where I heard it. In short, according to this interview, LC either spoke with or wrote to Buckley's mother after Buckley's death, telling her that after hearing JB's version of Hallelujah, he feels the song cannot be performed any better. Does anyone else recall hearing this?
Toronto June 6 2008; Ottawa May 25 & 26 2009; Las Vegas 11 December 2010; Montreal 2012; Ottawa 2012; Kingston 2012.
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby slondon12 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:30 am

Worth acknowledging that perhaps "I wrote the lyrics but it's definitely Buckley's song" could also be in reference to its popularity vs. his preference.

Not that my opinion has anything to do with the topic at hand; but, as a musician, I think it's one of the best covers ever performed from the composition down to the instrumental pieces which are brilliant on guitar. Doesn't necessarily mean that Cohen would like it, some might say it's melodramatic or overindulgent but IMHO it's a beautiful piece which is why it's such a sensation even though it's very low tempo, in 6/8 ts and very long.
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby Clem » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:31 pm

For the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, Canada, k.d.lang sang "Hallelujah".
Adam Cohen told the press that the organisers' first choice was his father, but his father's response was that they should ask k.d.lang.
Adam told the Press, "We're all huge fans of k.d. lang", referring to members of his family. She's "exquisite...", he added.
Lang, who first included a version of "Hallelujah" on her 2004 album "Hymns of the 49th Parallel," sang the moving anthem at Leonard Cohen's 2006 induction into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

At that time, he is reported to have said she performed it to "its ultimate blissful state of perfection."
- Source: The Daily Telegram, Feb 18, 2010 ... Olympics/1
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robert webb's inheritance tracks

Postby sebmelmoth2003 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:55 am

robert webb's inheritance tracks.

Robert Webb

Inheritance Tracks

Comedian and writer Robert Webb inherits 'Dance in the Old-Fashined Way' by Charles Aznavour and passes on Jeff Buckley's version of the Dylan classic 'Hallelujah'.
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby Jenn02 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:50 am

UrPal wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:49 pm
LC has often been generous in his praise of other artists covers of his songs. I wouldn't be surprised if he had made this comment at a certain time in a certain place. I'd be more surprised if it remained his fixed position if asked today.

I've heard him speak effusively about Rufus Wainwright's version when it was first presented on some radio show or other a few years back, which sort of implied he thought it was tops in that moment. obtenir prêt

Since John Cale is a pal of sorts (or so I've heard it said), I assume he feels confident in "bigging up" more junior efforts whilst knowing that John's is the only one that comes close (and was the template from which the others took their cue) ;-)

Personally, I'm more surprised (shocked would be more appropriate) that he has said in the past he thinks Billy Joel "nailed" "Light As A Breeze" better than he did - not that I've heard Billy Joel's version, but I've heard enough Billy Joel :D
I too would be surprised if Leonard ever nailed his colours to one particular mast or other. H
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Re: Claims That Bucklely's Hallelujah Is Cohen's Favourite

Postby dancingpixels » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:12 pm

Objectively, I think K.D. lang has a lock on 'best cover of Hallelujah'.

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