Monday, 1 December 2008

Don't Give Me A Leonard Cohen Afterworld

Kurt Cobain may have wished for a Leonard Cohen Afterworld on the Nirvana song Pennyroyal Tea, but i can think of plenty other singers i would prefer to share a cloud with when i pop my clogs. Cohen never really did it for me but he is responsible for one of my all time favourite songs, the magnificent biblical themed Hallelujah.
Cohen, with his monotonous style, joins a small club of singers whose songs have been improved by being covered by other singers. Who can argue that Whitney Houston didn't dance rings around Dolly Partons version of 'I Will Always Love You' and so it is with the late Jeff Buckley's take of Cohen's 'Hallelujah' and Kate Voegele's version which is about as good as it gets.
With news that this particular song has been chosen as the X-Factors winners single and considering that it is therefore guaranteed to be Christmas number 1, i am one happy camper.
A simple song with simple lyrics and arrangement, it is heavily tinged with biblical references to Samson having his hair cut and the Lord appreciating Davids secret chord but despite the religious overtures, or maybe because of them, it is a very beautiful and haunting song which seems to have become undeservedly known as that song from the Shrek movie.
Controversially, one of the favourites to win, Diana Vickers, sang the song in one of the earlier rounds which hasn't gone down particularly well with the other contestants but as none of the remaining four are going to have much of a career after this single, i want the person who can most do justice to this great song that Cohen wrote but couldn't sing, to win it and it isn't the gurning Irish lad with the strange hair or the identikit boy band that Louis Walsh is grooming into the next Westlife.
I am not really convinced that Diana or Alexandra could do it justice but at least Simon Cowell has finally picked an exceptional song to grace our Christmas top spot and not the usual dross he serves up.


Anne said...

Just wanted to tell you that I appreciate Leonard Cohen. But then, I be old. "Everybody Knows" became frightfully true. You know?

Falling on a bruise said...

Leonard Cohen was always one of those singers who i knew but just sort of filtered out, like Cliff Richards.