If you are looking at the date and thinking "today is not the 15th," you are correct. The next Battle of the Bands post is SUPPOSED to fall on the 15th. However, that backs right up to Thursday and my HERE'S TO YOU post. Of course, that post might (emphasis on might) be delayed until Friday if I don't find that YouTube inspiration to correspond to your posts.
I am pretty psyched about my song for this battle. Sometimes I am excited before I start looking and then I deflate a bit. This time, the more I worked on this battle, the better I liked it. I am going to share some information that I found on Wikipedia, simply because I found it *fascinating.* And, I like to think, that if I find something Fascinating, one or two ore more of you will, too.
The song for this battle is Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Here are some of the juicy bits from Wikipedia:
"Hallelujah", in its original version, is a song in "6/8 feel", which evokes both waltz and gospel music. Written in the key of C major, the chord progression "goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, and the major lift": C, F, G, A minor, F.
Cohen wrote around 80 draft verses for "Hallelujah", with one writing session at the Royalton Hotel in New York where he was reduced to sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor. His original version, as recorded on his Various Positions album, contains several biblical references, most notably evoking the stories of Samson and traitorous Delilah from the Book of Judges as well as the adulterous King David and Bathsheba: "she cut your hair" and "you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you".
Following his original 1984 studio-album version, Cohen performed the past original song on his world tour in 1985, but live performances during his 1988 and 1993 tours almost invariably contained a quite different set of lyrics with only the last verse being common to the two versions.
Wowza. 80 draft verses that resulted in him sitting on the floor (in his underwear) banging his head on the floor. People, that is commitment. Leonard Cohen knew that there was magic in this song and was determined to find it. If you look up Cohen's version of this song on YouTube, you will find him singing it differently nearly every time. For the sake of this battle, we are going to go with the ORIGINAL RECORDING.
The song was originally released on his album Various Positions (1984) The studio didn't really want to record it. It was never released as a single. And it was fairly obscure until John Cale covered it on his album, I'm Your Fan (1991), a Leonard Cohen tribute album, and later on his live album Fragments of a Rainy Season (1992).
Let's listen to the original Leonard Cohen recording:
If you are more familiar with the covers off of Cale's cover, you are aware that Cohen's Original Recording includes verses others chose to leave out (and puts in verses this one leaves out). So, the essence of the song really changes with the change in lyrics.Well, that isn't the only thing that changes. But, let me get there....
Back to Wikipedia...
Jeff Buckley, inspired by Cale's earlier cover, recorded one of the best-known versions of "Hallelujah" for his only complete album, Grace, in 1994. Later, in 2007 it was released as single.
Buckley's version was not an instant hit, nor did Buckley live to see the full measure of the reception his recording would ultimately have; he died in 1997. The album on which it appeared did not go Gold in the U.S. until 2002, nine years after its release. In fact, like Cohen's original, the Buckley version was never released as a single, and it first charted posthumously in 2006.
In 2004, Buckley's version was ranked number 259 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The same year Time called Buckley's version "exquisitely sung," observing "Cohen murmured the original like a dirge, but ... Buckley treated the ... song like a tiny capsule of humanity, using his voice to careen between glory and sadness, beauty and pain... It's one of the great songs."[23
In March of 2006, Buckley had his first national Top 10 bestseller when "Hallelujah" was number seven in Norway. In 2007 it made the top 3 on the Swedish charts. In March 2008 it topped Billboard's Hot Digital Songs in the U.S. after a performance of the song by Jason Castro in the seventh season of American Idol. The sudden resurgence of interest provided both Gold and Platinum status, the RIAA certifying the digital track on 22 April 2008. It has sold 1,144,000 digital copies in the US as of May 2010. It also hit number one in France in March 2008.
Notice that Buckley never lived to see the success of this song. He never read any of the positive reviews.
Here is his version of the song:
Aside from the lyric changes - which completely change the feel of the song - Buckley also changed the arrangement significantly. His interpretation of the vocals is vastly different from Cohen's, evoking a different feeling entirely.
In the end, I think music is all about feeling. Which one of these versions did you feel the most keenly in your soul? Why? Please share with me in the comments and vote for your favorite.
There are other Battles going on, so be sure to check them out (on Wednesday, that is). Remember... I am a day early here. To participate in those...
Thank you for voting and sharing your thoughts!!!