Friday, October 22, 2010

Hallelujah

I was going to save this one until Easter but I couldn't wait. I hope you enjoy it, too.



7 comments:

Beth said...

Oh, I do love this.

Thank you.

daisymarie said...

Enjoy and love this. Thank you so very much for sharing this. The real reason to sing Hallelujah!

Enchanted Oak said...

Oh, what a song! I almost didn't play it because I was just scurrying around among my favorite bloggers to see how you all are doing today. But something made me pause and hit the play button, and I'm thankful for it. I just enjoyed an eight-minute prayer, thanks to you.
Have a beautiful, joyful weekend, Hope.

Black Pete said...

I listened with very mixed feelings, Hope, though I thank you nonetheless for posting it.

With all due respect to the singer/lyricist, I still prefer Leonard Cohen's lyric to this. Yes, she did a fine job on relating the Easter story, but I feel that Leonard told something more universal, brought the Biblical narrative into our lives more deeply because we didn't have to be believers to hear it.

But Christological/theological disagreements aside, "Hallelujah" was essentially stolen from Leonard Cohen, along with a number of his other works, by an unscrupulous manager and he as composer no longer holds copyright on his own creation. Put an other way, he was not the one consulted about mechanical rights or even the content of the new lyric. He might have been ok with this lyric, he might not.

The singer here is not responsible for that, but as a creator of work myself, I cringe at the thought that someone could riff on something I've written and published, and turn it into something I can't abide.

Years ago, at a church I attended, the minister sang Leonard's Hallelujah (I accompanied on guitar and voice). It may not have been the Easter story take posted here, but it spoke very profoundly to the congregation.

Hope said...

I agree with you Pete that the original song told something more universal. I listened to it yesterday just to see again because the original does evoke something deep in me. This one does too.

That is really sad about the copyright thing. I wondered when she said she got permission if it was from Leonard Cohen himself.

I have really strong feelings about copyright. Not too many people understand why.

Black Pete said...

Actually, my recollection of her remarks is that she got permission from "Leonard Cohen's publishers", which would be accurate, but incomplete. In reality, there are at least two--Stranger Music, which is his own label, and the one that secured the rights that she spoke of, notably to Hallelujah.

All that said, Kelley Mooney wrote a very fine lyric, make no mistake. I think, though, that she made a small error after her priest told her to check out Leonard's lyric. There are at least 2 or maybe half a dozen versions of the lyrics. I first heard this song, believe it or not, from the movie Shrek (I was blown away), which has the shorter Rufus Wainwright version, and that's the one we did in our church years ago. It has plenty of fine, profound theology in it.

Kelley Mooney likely listened to the fuller version, with all the material that Leonard added later ("She tied me to a kitchen chair..." etc), which he himself says takes the song well away from its biblical origins. I can understand her trepidation.

Here's one guy that understands copyright, Hope. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys lost copyright to all his earlier songs (up to about 1972, I think)because of his nutbar father--so "Fun Fun Fun", for example, now sells cars and motorcycles and probably even breast implants and there is not a damned thing Brian can do about it. It was extremely painful to him as a person and as a creator

I really resonate with that: copyright is as much about what happens to your creations as it is proper recompense.

End of rant. We now resume our regular programming... :)

David A said...

With respect to BLACK PETE, Mooney's use of the melody of this song is not really comparable to Brian Wilson's loss of copywrite to his own creation. I know that you didn't intend this comparison but some readers may make this direct inference. Cudos to Mooney for seeking out permission from whomever she truthfully thought could provide it. She is in very good company. The best hymns of tradition by Fanny Crosby for example were borrowed from popular songs of the day. There have been stinkers though - remember Amazing Grace sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"? Now, that was a weird juxtaposition if there ever was one...