Hallelujah

Religion in TV, Movies, Books, etc.

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Hallelujah

Post #1

Post by Furrowed Brow »

There are now many cover versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. This one is my favourite by a country mile. If you have not heard these guys sing before you are in for a treat. Nilsen, Holm, Lind and Fuentes Nilsen sings last and it gives me the shivers.

Is Hallelujah a religious song, or does it just use religious narrative for different purposes. Do people of faith find something in the song to support their faith or are they challenged by it? I think the song is dark and weary and not a call to faith, more the opposite. How do you respond to what is I think a brilliant piece of music.

Also: what is your favourite version of Hallelujah and which version is the worst?

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Post #2

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It is a demoralizing song designed to undermine faith in God. It's almost an anthem for those losing their faith. A final blow on the back of their depressed heads.

Sweet and mournful but toxic as well. A great anti-christ song.

Almost as effective as Imagine by John Lennon. Now there is a pied piper song of satan at it's best.


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Post #3

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Adstar wrote:It is a demoralizing song designed to undermine faith in God.
We all find something different I guess. If you find it demoralizing then it is demoralizes you. I am not an expert on Cohen but I know he is Jewish born and has explored Buddhism and explores religious imagery a lot in his music. As for his own religious beliefs he is ambiguous and does not like to analyse it. I read that he refers to his music as “muffed prayers�. I think it is inaccurate and simplistic to say this song is designed to undermine faith. The song is complex and issues from Cohen's personal struggles with relationships.
Adstar wrote:It's almost an anthem for those losing their faith.
I think it can be this yes.
Adstar wrote:Sweet and mournful but toxic as well.
Yes I think it can be all these things.
Adstar wrote:A great anti-christ song.
Only if complex is anti Christ.

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Post #4

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Furrowed Brow wrote:
Adstar wrote:It is a demoralizing song designed to undermine faith in God.
We all find something different I guess. If you find it demoralizing then it is demoralizes you. I am not an expert on Cohen but I know he is Jewish born and has explored Buddhism and explores religious imagery a lot in his music. As for his own religious beliefs he is ambiguous and does not like to analyse it. I read that he refers to his music as “muffed prayers�. I think it is inaccurate and simplistic to say this song is designed to undermine faith. The song is complex and issues from Cohen's personal struggles with relationships.
Oh it doesn't demoralize me. The song saddens me a bit, but i also look upon it as being pathetic. Kind of funny mixed feelings about it.
Adstar wrote:It's almost an anthem for those losing their faith.
I think it can be this yes.
Adstar wrote:Sweet and mournful but toxic as well.
Yes I think it can be all these things.
Adstar wrote:A great anti-christ song.
Only if complex is anti Christ.
Well i don't know about the actual person who wrote the song. But it is used as tool of the anti-christs. I do not see it as a coincidence that the song because famous from the Children’s movie Shrek. You know get the kids to associate the word Hallelujah with loss, sadness, loneliness and depression. When they are still young and brainwashable when the actual word Hallelujah is a shout for Joy. Part of the twisting that’s been going on for a while now. Like you know today words like wicked and evil now mean cool and good with kids.

Its basic human programming done for a purpose.


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Post #5

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Adstar wrote:But it is used as tool of the anti-christs. I do not see it as a coincidence that the song because famous from the Children’s movie Shrek. You know get the kids to associate the word Hallelujah with loss, sadness, loneliness and depression.
Oddly in this version of the song from American Idol by Lee Dewyze backed by Gospel voices, the triumphant beat, and emphasis on placing the sadness in the past leaves Hallelujah as an affirmation. And interestingly I find this version emotionally vapid and whilst I like the tone of his voice it is emotional candyfloss.

This version by Alexandra Burke does something similar, managing to turn the song into a power ballad. Sheesh. (Nice voice though)

Now for pain and loss and depth try Jeff Buckley

I seem to remember another talent show where a contestant turned Every Breath You take by the Police into an earnest love song. Truly gruesome seeing the song is about a stalker. Lee Dewyze’s and Alexandra Burke’s versions of Hallelujah works a simpler kind of saccharine anti magic. I guess it is what the artists makes of it.

Do you not think that a word or concept is made richer by being open to a full spectrum of emotions. The only reason Hallelujah is able to invoke emptiness is because of the Christian heritage. There is probably some literary term that describes this kind of subversion of meaning. It is done all the time, and not to undermine Christianity but to find an emotion that is otherwise complex and difficult to express or find. To present the enormity of loss you stand it in something that is meant to be everything. Thus pain.
Adstar wrote:When they are still young and brain washable when the actual word Hallelujah is a shout for Joy.

Ooh. So if a word is used in one context over and over without flexibility of meaning to affirm joy of belonging to a belief system that is not brainwashing. But if that word is exposed to a complex spectrum of emotions, contexts and meanings that subvert the original context it is brainwashing. Okaay. :-k
Adstar wrote:Like you know today words like wicked and evil now mean cool and good with kids.
Yes language is fluid and changing.

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Post #6

Post by Furrowed Brow »

I should have probably done this in the OP. Here is a selection of just just some of the versions of Hallelujah. I put Leonard Cohen top as he wrote it. Though I am less fond of his version. I believe John Cale was the first person to cover the song and I am not such a fan of Cale's version either. I was surprised to find myself quite liking Justin Timberlake's version.

Leonard Cohen
4 Norwegians
Jeff Buckley
KD Lang
Myles Kennedy
Allison Crowe
Sheryl Crow
Bon Jovi
Kate Voeglee
Damien Leith
Il Divo
Rufus Wrainwright
John Cale
Stan Walker
Justin Timberlake
Damien Rice

There are some nice versions in here and some moderate ones. I still like the 4 Norweigians best mainly for Kurt Nilsen's voice, though I think Jeff Buckley's version is magnificent.

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Post #7

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double post

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Post #8

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Adstar wrote:Well i don't know about the actual person who wrote the song. But it is used as tool of the anti-christs. I do not see it as a coincidence that the song because famous from the Children’s movie Shrek. You know get the kids to associate the word Hallelujah with loss, sadness, loneliness and depression. When they are still young and brainwashable when the actual word Hallelujah is a shout for Joy. Part of the twisting that’s been going on for a while now. Like you know today words like wicked and evil now mean cool and good with kids.

Its basic human programming done for a purpose.


All Praise The Ancient Of Days
I think the melody is wonderful. I like melancholic, minor tones.

But to say that the song associates God with depression, in the attempt to subvert Christianity -- is a bit much.

You wouldn't apply those same standards to "It Is Well With My Soul," would you? This hymn was penned out of deep anguish as the author's children drowned in a boating accident. The lyrics associate God with pain and suffering. Is it satanic and demoralizing and crafted by 'anti-Christs,' or is it just a lovely, human song which evokes feelings similar to that of "Hallelujah"?

Here is Kutless' rendition of the famous hymn:

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Happy hopeful songs aren't always Christian songs, written by "secret Christians"... and sad, melancholic songs aren't always "of the devil."

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Post #9

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My favorite version is by Jeff Buckley.

The version in the OP struck me as little disney meets jesus campy. Too faux, I didn't buy it.

FWIW I think Leonard Cohen has more God love and awareness in his little pinky than most people have in their lifetime. Anti-christ? What nonsense. There's one in every crowd I guess.

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Post #10

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Well i don't know about the actual person who wrote the song. But it is used as tool of the anti-christs. I do not see it as a coincidence that the song because famous from the Children’s movie Shrek. You know get the kids to associate the word Hallelujah with loss, sadness, loneliness and depression. When they are still young and brainwashable when the actual word Hallelujah is a shout for Joy. Part of the twisting that’s been going on for a while now. Like you know today words like wicked and evil now mean cool and good with kids.

Its basic human programming done for a purpose.
Is christianity the pot or the kettle in this scenario. lol!
8-)

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