Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm a big fan of Leonard Cohen, though I came to him late -- one night I was watching Austin City Limits, this old guy in black came out and sang, in a voice to put Darth Vader's to shame, The Tower of Song, and I was riveted. I went out next day, bought CDs, and discovered after hearing them that there were all kinds of people who have covered his music.

Recently, Cohen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and I watched that. After an acceptance speech that included reciting verses from The Tower of Song, which I found touching, Damien Rice came out, and with an acoustic guitar, played one of Cohen's most covered tunes: Hallelujah.

The song is about lost love. I don't get choked often listening to music, there are a few pieces, and this is one of them. I thought this version was especially evocative.


Jordan said...

The absolute best rendition I've heard is by a quartet of musicians from Norway. I think they went by the name the new guitar brothers (when translated) or some such when performing together. The album is incredibly hard to find, but the DVD version of their tour is amazing.

Kurt Nilsen in particular (the fourth singer in this link) has an absolutely stunning voice. He was the winner of the European Idol or some such singing contest I believe.

Dan Moran said...

I came to Cohen late myself -- if I'd come to him earlier he'd probably be one of my favorite musicians. As it is his catalog is too large, and while I spend time listening to it, I'm not nearly as familiar with him as I am with other musicians of his generation.

Boy sure can sing ...

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

I've heard a bunch of his songs covered, but never heard him sing. In fact I didn't know until I picked up a volume of his poetry that he'd written a lot of the songs I'd been hearing since forever-- "Suzanne", "Blue Raincoat", and of course "Hallelujah".

First heard that when I was driving through the hills up behind The Dalles. Had to pull over.