Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One Song, Many Feelings

You all know that I love music. I think it's one of the most wonderful gifts from the Creator.

One of the greatest songs ever, ever, ever recorded is, I believe, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." But not  as sung by Cohen. Or Rufus Wainwright. Or anyone else I've heard sing it - although this version is pretty in a self-conscious way. Bless Cohen for the lyrics that try explaining love, but it's the Jeff Buckley version that moves me to a beautiful place.

The song is on my mind because it's one I use to set the tone as I work on one of my on-going stories. Sometimes, when I need a good memory of love, I play the song in an loop for hours. Listening to it when I've been assaulted by thoughts of my lat relationship is like taking a shower after rolling in mud.

I felt so strongly that Buckley made the most perfect version that I spent a few minutes searching some information. According that bible of secular wisdom, Wikipedia, I'm in the majority. And I find it lovely that Buckley himself was able to put words to a thought I had when he described it as a "hallelujah to the orgasm." Not just a physical exclamation of the senses, but that spiritual sort of sealing of a bond we make with someone we love. It's a pretty powerful song.

Here's Rufus Wainwright. I found his version nice, but not intimate or sweet enough for the words being sung.
And the lyricist Cohen. This version made me feel like I was being prayed over by a fire-and-brimstone minister.

And Buckley, who sang as if he truly understood what it would mean to sing the words only to someone who deserved hearing them.

As you listened, did you find yourself holding your breath?