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Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 08:42 AM
Something has been bugging me for a while.

My question is this. Why is it that no-one seems to listen to Leonard Cohen's version of his song Hallelujah before recording it on the ukulele? After all, he wrote it.

But every ukulele cover I have heard on YouTube seems to be based on someone else's version. And as pretty much everyone in the music industry seems to have recorded it, listening to one of these, often more popular versions, is not a problem.

For what it is worth, it is my opinion that none of these professional covers even come close to the power, humour and sheer joy of Cohen's original. For instance, they all sing the chorus an octave too low, and in that mamby-pamby, mard-arsed way that absolutely drips with imitation sincerity. For goodness sake, "Hallelujah" means "Praise the Lord". It surely should be sung in the loud, triumphant, declamatory style that Cohen uses.

Anyway, what I am asking is: why does everyone choose to do covers of these ghastly professional covers, instead of basing their recording on the original?

Hopefully this will initiate a bit of a discussion and maybe the thread won't be terminated.

Please post your versions, past and present, on this thread. If you all do, it will be a very long discussion.

Apologies, everyone. Occasionally, things niggle me and it is sometimes good to provoke a healthy argument (sorry, I may mean "debate").

BIGDB
10-11-2012, 08:50 AM
Jake shimabukuros version is based of of leonard cohens

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 08:57 AM
It's obvious Ken that the lyrical content is completely misunderstood by many an interpreter of this magnificent song. I cite Ms Alexandra Burke (X Factor test tube baby). Albeit Ms Burke recorded the song under Mr Simon Cowpat's instructions it was turned into one of those aweful Mariah Carey, wobble your lower jaw and wail like a tone deaf wombat trying to find the note they can't reach straight away modern "anthems".

As always Ken, you're right.

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 09:02 AM
Jake shimabukuros version is based of of leonard cohens

It absolutely isn't.

RevWill
10-11-2012, 09:02 AM
I think it's kind of the same reason most everyone bases their cover of All Along the Watchtower on Jimi Hendrix's version rather than the Bob Dylan original: Jeff Buckley's cover of Hallelujah is simply more popular and more widely heard.

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 09:06 AM
It's obvious Ken that the lyrical content is completely misunderstood by many an interpreter of this magnificent song. I cite Ms Alexandra Burke (X Factor test tube baby). Albeit Ms Burke recorded the song under Mr Simon Cowpat's instructions it was turned into one of those aweful Mariah Carey, wobble your lower jaw and wail like a tone deaf wombat trying to find the note they can't reach straight away modern "anthems".

As always Ken, you're right.

I wish I was always right. Sadly, I'm not.

I do agree about these "wobble your jaw", in pain talent contests. I have heard it sung a couple of times. I believe that this sort of recording should only be listened to under strict medical supervision, and only then as an emetic.

dkcrown
10-11-2012, 09:08 AM
Interesting thread Ken. But I actually prefer Jeff Buckley's somewhat haunting version of Leonard's great song. But to each his own.

GKK
10-11-2012, 09:08 AM
Just like everything else in this world, not everyone likes or enjoys the same things...

Another example is, Iz's version of "Over the Rainbow" which is played and recorded more on the ukulele than the original version by Harold Arlen which Jake composed his rendition off of and played beautifully on his new album.

Ken, I know you don't care for Jake Shimabukuro's style of playing for whatever reason but, maybe there should be another thread titled, "Why do many musicians dislike other popular musicians?"... :confused:

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 09:08 AM
And don't get me started on Adele's butchering of "Make You Feel My Love"

Sorry, went off thread there.

v30
10-11-2012, 09:09 AM
http://www.squidoo.com/Leonard_Cohen_Hallelujah

weerpool
10-11-2012, 09:10 AM
Cohen's version is just as boring as a plain cheeseburger

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 09:13 AM
http://www.squidoo.com/Leonard_Cohen_Hallelujah

Wow! Amazing. You can now clearly hear why Leonard Cohen politely asked the music industry to stop doing covers of it for a while.

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 09:14 AM
Cohen's version is just as boring as a plain cheeseburger

But the more relish you put on it, the sicklier it gets.

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 09:15 AM
And not forgetting the Plain Cheeseburger version.

ksiegel
10-11-2012, 09:26 AM
The only Cohen version I've hear had a choir backing him. It was amazing.

That being said, the one k.d. lang recording I have heard is one of the most sensual recordings I've ever heard, period. of course, I'm one of those folks who think that she could sing the periodical table, and it would send shivers up and down my spine.

Buckley's recording is OK. So is Wainright's. But Cohen and lang - at least an octave apart, if not more - have something in their performances that I don't get from others.



-Kurt

RevWill
10-11-2012, 09:27 AM
Leonard Cohen has a lot in common with singer/songwriters like Dylan, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young and others: they are songwriters of staggering talent with tremendous catalogues of incredible music but their singing voices and musical arrangements can be an acquired taste.

But like good coffee, great scotch or dry wine, once you acquire the taste everything else seems watered-down, saccarine and unsatisfying.

didgeridoo2
10-11-2012, 09:27 AM
Something has been bugging me for a while.

My question is this. Why is it that no-one seems to listen to Leonard Cohen's version of his song Hallelujah before recording it on the ukulele? After all, he wrote it.

But every ukulele cover I have heard on YouTube seems to be based on someone else's version. And as pretty much everyone in the music industry seems to have recorded it, listening to one of these, often more popular versions, is not a problem.

For what it is worth, it is my opinion that none of these professional covers even come close to the power, humour and sheer joy of Cohen's original. For instance, they all sing the chorus an octave too low, and in that mamby-pamby, mard-arsed way that absolutely drips with imitation sincerity. For goodness sake, "Hallelujah" means "Praise the Lord". It surely should be sung in the loud, triumphant, declamatory style that Cohen uses.

Anyway, what I am asking is: why does everyone choose to do covers of these ghastly professional covers, instead of basing their recording on the original?

Hopefully this will initiate a bit of a discussion and maybe the thread won't be terminated.

Please post your versions, past and present, on this thread. If you all do, it will be a very long discussion.

Apologies, everyone. Occasionally, things niggle me and it is sometimes good to provoke a healthy argument (sorry, I may mean "debate").

Well, let's discuss this as art. Art and spirituality are personal things and in some ways the same thing to most artists. At least those that are creating from the deeper parts of their souls. Cohen wrote a great song and he performs it the way he envisioned it. I think it's a great tribute to him that so many artists want to cover his song. As far as insincerity is concerned, I guess you can judge whether an artist is sincere or not, and you can decide to not listen to them too.

I prefer Jeff Buckley's version of this song. He was a troubled soul and I never doubted his sincerity in any of his music. His version of Hallelujah speaks to me, and while I love Cohen's music, his doesn't do that quite as much. But, that's me.

Skrik
10-11-2012, 09:46 AM
For goodness sake, "Hallelujah" means "Praise the Lord". It surely should be sung in the loud, triumphant, declamatory style that Cohen uses.

Well, that would be wholly inappropriate.

UKISOCIETY
10-11-2012, 09:51 AM
I like the Gilligan's Island version.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr4TyIzgGf0

pootsie
10-11-2012, 09:52 AM
those awful Mariah Carey, wobble your lower jaw and wail like a tone deaf wombat trying to find the note they can't reach straight away modern "anthems"


Now I know what to call that style of ... well, "singing," I guess.

Slightly off topic, maybe (and unique to one country? maybe not) but it always drives me nuts to hear a singer try to make the (USA) national anthem "their own." And of course, they do so by adding EVEN MORE warbles, ungainly pauses and pointless scale runs than the last person to mangle the song.
It's "land of the free," not "LLLLLaaaaaAAAaaAaAaaaaandDDDD of the FFRRrrrEEEEeeEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Just sing the bloody notes, already.

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 10:00 AM
Now I know what to call that style of ... well, "singing," I guess.

Slightly off topic, maybe (and unique to one country? maybe not) but it always drives me nuts to hear a singer try to make the (USA) national anthem "their own." And of course, they do so by adding EVEN MORE warbles, ungainly pauses and pointless scale runs than the last person to mangle the song.
It's "land of the free," not "LLLLLaaaaaAAAaaAaAaaaaandDDDD of the FFRRrrrEEEEeeEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Just sing the bloody notes, already.

Amen brother, I like the cut of your jib.

dkcrown
10-11-2012, 10:17 AM
Bravo Alan!

Uke Republic
10-11-2012, 10:48 AM
I want to be part of this thread but I have nothing clever to say.

Barbablanca
10-11-2012, 10:59 AM
To echo the old slogan:
No-one sings Cohen like Cohen! :cool:

Though it featuring in the brilliant animated film Shrek probably did more to popularise the song than any other single event.

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 11:02 AM
I want to be part of this thread but I have nothing clever to say.

Who says we do?

Bob Bledsoe
10-11-2012, 11:10 AM
I don't have an answer. But I will say this: I want to hang out at the mall with Ken Middleton so he and I can make fun of people as they walk by.

lennymac
10-11-2012, 11:12 AM
I don't have an answer. But I will say this: I want to hang out at the mall with Ken Middleton so he and I can make fun of people as they walk by.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Me too!!

DaveY
10-11-2012, 11:24 AM
then there's this version:

http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah

my prediction is that there will not be unanimity. yes, I've gone out on a limb.

Ben_H
10-11-2012, 11:24 AM
I heard the Buckley version before the original and loved it. 18 years on since I first heard it it's still one of my favourite recorded songs. I have nothing against the original and like it for it's own sake but it didn't make the same connection in me. I was and still am an enormous Jeff Buckley fan and was gutted when he disappeared.

Plainsong
10-11-2012, 11:59 AM
Kinda like with the Hendrix Watchtower, people just think Jeff Buckley did it first. I have a version of it, but the chords are all wrong.. still, the progression, people instantly know what it is, so I must have the intervals between the chords at least kinda right. Or maybe kinda right in that way that we all remember it wrong.

As for the whole pop diva method of singing, as a one-time wannabe opera singer, this insults the very core of me. They're doing it wrong, they're ruining the real talent that's in those vocal cords, and they're just over-singing for no reason. As an opera person I like some nice open-throaty resonance and a natural spin as much as the next person... but time and place. Time and place. I blame the modern musicals. All the girls want to sound like that and it's wrong, wrong, wrong. And there are voice teachers who will happily teach you to ruin your vocal cords. They know it, their students don't, and they don't bleeding care.

Having said that rant, I think when you do a cover, it's nice to start at the original when you're learning it... but that it's also ok to put your own mark on it. In fact it's more than ok, it's mandatory. If you don't, it's not ready for public hearing yet. What's the point of doing what someone else did? Those are harsh words, but I apply them to myself as much as to anyone else. Who wants to go to a concert to hear someone else's greatest hits?

But I get where Ken is coming from, everyone covers the version they learned first, and they don't put the homework into the song before learning it. In other music disciplines, people are more than happy to do a little homework about the song they love enough to attempt to do it. Maybe that combined with that they're not thinking about the words of the song and how they might approach it themselves.

ScooterD35
10-11-2012, 12:06 PM
I host a monthly Open Stage here in NJ and have heard this song butchered over and over and over... as a result, as brilliant as Mr. Cohen's lyrics are, I refuse to learn it.


Scooter

Skinny Money McGee
10-11-2012, 12:21 PM
Anytime Johnny Cash covered someone's song, it automatically became His

DaveY
10-11-2012, 12:41 PM
I think when you do a cover, it's nice to start at the original when you're learning it... but that it's also ok to put your own mark on it. . . . Who wants to go to a concert to hear someone else's greatest hits?

I agree with you - but of course there are people who want to hear someone else's greatest hits, or there wouldn't be all those "tribute" bands. (I'd rather stay home and hear the original, recorded.)

itsme
10-11-2012, 12:47 PM
I do agree about these "wobble your jaw", in pain talent contests. I have heard it sung a couple of times. I believe that this sort of recording should only be listened to under strict medical supervision, and only then as an emetic.
You, sir, have quite a way with words. I had to look up emetic meant. :p

I call that style "vocal histrionics" and Whitney Houston was a master of it. Wailing for the sake of wailing to show off their pipes. :rolleyes:

A much underrated singer in my book was Eva Cassidy. She could belt it out with the best of them when she wanted to, but really knew how to show restraint. If you've never heard her version of SOTR, check it out. She could go from a whisper to a roar and back again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL-9JlSCNOQ

pulelehua
10-11-2012, 01:00 PM
I have to say, I find a lot of the content of this thread very edgy, and nobody seems to be picking up on it.

The whole school of "warbling", "vocal histrionics", etc., is from the gospel tradition of Black Americans. It comes from a style, imported from Africa, in which there is a soloist, and an accompanying chorus. The soloist decorates the basic melody, improvising over the top, either heterophonically, or else in call and response. In the genres which brought it to the attention of the general public, it has both a strong religious and racial identity. And those identities shouldn't be disparaged lightly.

On the other hand, a lot of those techniques could be compared to what was done in Baroque times, when musicians regularly ornamented tunes with their own stylistic flair. Or, in more modern times, the practice amongst jazz musicians of "making a tune their own". I would hate if John Coltrane started playing "My Favourite Things" like it actually goes in the musical. What a smelly piece of saxophonal crap that would be.

So, maybe let's be slower on to the bandwagon. Cups of tea are not for all people, but let's at least think about where the tea comes from, why it's brewed that way, and other teas we like which are actually more similar to the offending brew than perhaps we first were willing to admit.

Soapbox analogising finished.

ukemunga
10-11-2012, 01:02 PM
One of my favorites is Rachel Pearl, which I just reaffirmed here:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150170663027506&set=vb.14889510067&type=2&theater

And, while trying to find that link I discovered that Rachel consulted with Ken about the performance of the song.


I'm also partial to K.D. Lang's version. Allison Crowe's, though beautifully sung, seems a bit overdone to me.

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 01:03 PM
Some very interesting, thoughtful and considered responses. I have to say that I thought I would annoy more people.

Maybe this will. Here the very different, more recent version of the song, sung by LC himself.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJTiXoMCppw&feature=colike

What about one or two more videos from people?

AndrewKuker
10-11-2012, 01:22 PM
I love Jeff Buckley. One of the best ever. I still listen to his music. When he died I was so sad for music. People like him are not often. He was a tortured genius not unlike many great artist. The fact that he drowned in the Mississipi river drunk on wine seemed to be at least an appropriate exit for him into the infinity, but that hardly lessens the loss of this musician and what he could have given. He gave this song justice. Props to leonard for writing it but....that probably comes to him in the form of a check.
As far as the ukulele version and who's melody it follows...who cares. It's an instrumental on the ukulele. It won't be much like either no matter how it tries. As far as Jake's music. I like his original music best.

jackwhale
10-11-2012, 01:23 PM
Current american television is filled with 'contests' which stress vocal hystrionics and note for note copying of the original song.. i.e. the Voice, etc It often seems like over the top karaoke. The audience in the studio and at home are absolutely 'thrilled' when the singer hits the right note. This certainly has a huge impact on the current musical scene. There is a lot of money to be made.

I'm also a little worried that my reactions are like older guys from previous generations. As we grow older we tend to hear ourselves say, "This generation is not like it was in the good old days. It was so much better and more authentic when I was younger."

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 01:31 PM
Here's a recording I'd forgotten about and most of you have probably not seen 'cause it is not on my main channel.

Ether I used to be even smaller then, or it is an unnaturally large ukulele.

Please feel free to tear it apart.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG4IPaarNjs&feature=colike

AndrewKuker
10-11-2012, 01:42 PM
"It is great to cover songs. Many people prefer to hear covers than original material. However, I simply cannot understand why people try to closely imitate the original performance. What’s the point?"- Ken Middleton

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 01:56 PM
"It is great to cover songs. Many people prefer to hear covers than original material. However, I simply cannot understand why people try to closely imitate the original performance. What’s the point?"- Ken Middleton

Haha. I wasn't actually imitating him. Just trying to do it in his style. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. But if you want to hear blatant copying, look up my version of Blowin' In The Wind. It makes me want to crawl into a corner and put a bag over my head. Very cringeworthy.

buddhuu
10-11-2012, 02:09 PM
IMHO, just because someone wrote a song doesn't mean that they perform it better than anyone else. If a person is really blown away by a song and covers it out of sheer respect or joy or empathy because it blew them away, that honest connection can come through. For me, Buckley's cover is one of the most perfect moments in recorded music history. Cohen's song is great, but for me Cohen's recording of it does not do the song justice. Buckley's does.

Personally I have no time for the vocal acrobatics crew. To compare a cover in that style with versions by Cohen, Buckley or even Lang is like comparing the approach of a heartless shredder like Yngwie Malmsteen with a soulful guitar player like SRV, Peter Green or Steve Cropper.

Did I have a point to make here?

I have no idea.

austin1
10-11-2012, 03:03 PM
my all-time favorite version of this song is still Rufus Wainwright's. I know that's probably sacrilegious, but...he says "you" instead of "ya," which I really like. The "ya" makes me crazy, I don't know why. And Rufus Wainwright is just fabulous--I heard him do Hallelujah live with his sister, and it was phenomenal. Good thing there are so many versions of this song, everyone can find one they like!

Dougf
10-11-2012, 03:08 PM
"Anyway, what I am asking is: why does everyone choose to do covers of these ghastly professional covers, instead of basing their recording on the original?"

Chances are they've never heard the original, but it is also possible that the ghastly professional covers are more to their taste. De gustibus non est disputandum.

I have a similar objection to Danielle ate the sandwich's version of "Stormy Weather" -- to me it sounds more like "Heart and Soul". Give me Ella's version with Joe Pass any day, but I'm sure that many people assume Danielle's version is the way it is "supposed" to be played.

Having said that, IMO there really should not be such a thing as the way a song is "supposed" to be played. Iz's version of "Over the Rainbow" is a perfect example. He created a version like no other. Or check out Eva Cassidy's "Autumn Leaves".

Kayak Jim
10-11-2012, 04:01 PM
That being said, the one k.d. lang recording I have heard is one of the most sensual recordings I've ever heard, period. of course, I'm one of those folks who think that she could sing the periodical table, and it would send shivers up and down my spine.



Absolutely!

Tigeralum2001
10-11-2012, 06:48 PM
A poll would be interesting. I also vote for k.d. lang's version as not only one of the best performances of this song, but one of my all time favorite performances of any song. I also like Kurt Nilsen's version. Unfortunately he usually sings this in groups. The groups are decent, but he slays the song.

BassGuyukin'
10-11-2012, 07:39 PM
For personal reasons, Hallelujah has been my favorite song for years. I have listened to so many versions, and I even play a very simplified version of it myself on ukulele. In some ways it is unfair to compare Cohen's original to any other version. I mean he wrote the song. Those are his words, his story, his lyrics. Hard to compare someone speaking from their own voice to others speaking in someone else's voice. With that said, if I want to just sit back and listen to what I find to be enjoyable music, I find Cohen's version god-awful. He has a terrible voice. He may be singing it from the heart, but it is just not pleasant to my ears. I agree with some others that KD Lang sung it best. Matter of fact, my favorite recording by a vocalist... ever, is her version from the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Listen to it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-bj4TccyKk

In my opinion, that is the most passionate and well sung tune I have heard anywhere, ever. Yes, she is singing someone else's words. She did not live this story, or even imagine it. But she sings it passionately and with as much feeling as I've heard anywhere. If she is faking it, well, she is quite the pro and knows her craft well.

Listening to Jake's version is nice, but without the powerful lyrics it is hard to compare that to a version with a singer.

Yes, Hallelujah is overdone, in a sense. But it is such a powerful and beautiful song, and it touches so many people, then why the heck not? If I could sing I'd want to sing it and I could care less how many others sung it before me or sung it better.

itsme
10-11-2012, 07:59 PM
The whole school of "warbling", "vocal histrionics", etc., is from the gospel tradition of Black Americans ...it has both a strong religious and racial identity. And those identities shouldn't be disparaged lightly.
I don't think anyone here has been disparaging anyone's race or religion. It's just a matter of personal preference. And some of us just don't care for that style and the fact that it's been co-opted and overdone by people whose heritage doesn't even include it to begin with.

Hippie Dribble
10-11-2012, 08:16 PM
Something has been bugging me for a while.

My question is this. Why is it that no-one seems to listen to Leonard Cohen's version of his song Hallelujah before recording it on the ukulele? After all, he wrote it.

But every ukulele cover I have heard on YouTube seems to be based on someone else's version. And as pretty much everyone in the music industry seems to have recorded it, listening to one of these, often more popular versions, is not a problem.

For what it is worth, it is my opinion that none of these professional covers even come close to the power, humour and sheer joy of Cohen's original. For instance, they all sing the chorus an octave too low, and in that mamby-pamby, mard-arsed way that absolutely drips with imitation sincerity. For goodness sake, "Hallelujah" means "Praise the Lord". It surely should be sung in the loud, triumphant, declamatory style that Cohen uses.

Anyway, what I am asking is: why does everyone choose to do covers of these ghastly professional covers, instead of basing their recording on the original?

Hopefully this will initiate a bit of a discussion and maybe the thread won't be terminated.

Please post your versions, past and present, on this thread. If you all do, it will be a very long discussion.

Apologies, everyone. Occasionally, things niggle me and it is sometimes good to provoke a healthy argument (sorry, I may mean "debate").

I guess music is always open to individual interpretation, that is the stuff of art, and why music is the universal language, though we often don't speak the same language at the same time: Cohen and Buckley are clearly speaking in different tongues. Buckley's version is passionate but the work of a trouble soul, and yes Ken, I agree it loses the humour and celebratory vibe of the original. I do think that Buckley brings out the melody better by virtue of his incredible vocal gift - but his cry of 'Hallelujah' is not a cry of praise, but of regret, of mourning, and cuts angry and deep at the end. I guess in these recordings one could argue they are the separate works of two artists being true to their own nature, as different as they are.

On a side note, this interpretation and reinterpretation issue reminds me of the criticism Pete Seeger has endured for most of his life; for singing versions of old time folk songs that were not faithful to the originals. As he became more well known throughout the last century, people started to learn and mimic his performances as though they were the originals, and, like the old Chinese Whispers, history gets lost. I would hold that this is really what folk music is all about though: the sharing of stories, of culture and social history and a way that the past is kept alive. The melody being slightly altered doesn't bother me as long as the lyrics are kept intact because that is where the real guts of folk music lies.

For myself, I know I could never play an original as it was supposed to be if my life depended on it. But at the same time, every song I sing is invested with every emotion I can muster to present it in a way that is faithful to what the lyric means to me. I think this is where Cohen and Buckley part company. The lyrics clearly have a different meaning to each of them, and presumably, to many of these more recent versions of which you speak. I prefer the Cohen version for reasons you outlined in your first post Ken. But is Buckley's any less valuable? Not at all. We all have a right - an obligation even - to tackle any song that moves us, in whatever way that may be. Real art comes from deep inside and it's generally not difficult to see through something contrived, artificial.

spookefoote
10-11-2012, 08:20 PM
My apologies to one and all. I didn't realise that disliking a style of singing could imply racism. As Kevin Ayes would say I'm outta here.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
10-11-2012, 08:31 PM
Great thread! Plenty of interesting ideas and issues raised here.

One observation I'd like to add is that it seems that one excellent cover of a great song can open the floodgates to legions of not-as-excellent covers. For example, think about how many rock versions of "All Along the Watchtower" are out there. We can thank---or blame, as the case may be---Jimi Hendrix for nearly all of the later "rock" versions. With this view, Buckley is to Cohen as Hendrix is to Dylan. Yeah?

itsme
10-11-2012, 08:40 PM
I had never heard Buckley's version before but just listened to it. I prefer Cohen's. Again, that's just my personal preference and my tastes are not yours.

I really can't see doing a cover that's 100% faithful to the original. What's the point? Although if you want to go to a bar and dance to top 40 tunes, I guess you do want them to sound like the original.

A couple tunes where I like both the original and a radically different version:

You Keep Me Hanging On - the Supremes and Vanilla Fudge

Diamonds & Rust - Joan Baez and Judas Priest

Ben_H
10-11-2012, 09:06 PM
I love Jeff Buckley. One of the best ever. I still listen to his music. When he died I was so sad for music. People like him are not often. He was a tortured genius not unlike many great artist. The fact that he drowned in the Mississipi river drunk on wine seemed to be at least an appropriate exit for him into the infinity, but that hardly lessens the loss of this musician and what he could have given. He gave this song justice. Props to leonard for writing it but....that probably comes to him in the form of a check.
As far as the ukulele version and who's melody it follows...who cares. It's an instrumental on the ukulele. It won't be much like either no matter how it tries. As far as Jake's music. I like his original music best.

I was gutted when Jeff Buckley disappeared. I still have a copy of his obituary from the NME (New Music Express) which I found a few weeks ago when looking for some paperwork. I was gutted all over again and I'm 40! I have owned half a doazen copies of Grace over the years as I keep lending the album to people and then not getting it back.

webby
10-11-2012, 10:10 PM
"Hallelujah" means "Praise the Lord".

It doesn't mean anything, it's just nonsense, like a child burbling it has no meaning other than the sound itself, it's kinda like shouting whoopieeee !

It's a kind of verbal jazz.

GK Chesterton said "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly"

Find me one translation that says it means anything but nonsense.

Also... I have always disliked that song, and cohen sounds like a grave being prized open.

There, is that controversial enough for you :)

patfia
10-11-2012, 10:17 PM
But at the same time, every song I sing is invested with every emotion I can muster to present it in a way that is faithful to what the lyric means to me. I think this is where Cohen and Buckley part company. The lyrics clearly have a different meaning to each of them, and presumably, to many of these more recent versions of which you speak. I prefer the Cohen version for reasons you outlined in your first post Ken. But is Buckley's any less valuable? Not at all. We all have a right - an obligation even - to tackle any song that moves us, in whatever way that may be. Real art comes from deep inside and it's generally not difficult to see through something contrived, artificial.

Well said Jon, as well as the rest of your post. At the base, we're talking about art. It speaks differently to each of us. For me, though he wrote the song, Mr. Cohen's original doesn't voice the pain of the lyrics. I guess that's why kd lang's version sends chills down my spine. The loss and the pain are palpable. I have had the privilege of seeing her on the stage in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon. Hearing it live is incredibly more moving even though what you hear coming out of your stereo box is fantastic as it is.

This discussion brings to mind another piece that has been sung so differently by various performers, Mack the Knife. Bobby Darin sang it like it was a trip to the beach. But listen to the lyrics folks, it's a story of violent death. Lyle Lovett comes closer to giving a true voice to the lyrics but you rarely hear his version. So it's all a matter of interpretation, both yours and the artists. Some speak to us and some don't.

Anyway, that's my 5 rubles.

Ken Middleton
10-11-2012, 10:17 PM
It doesn't mean anything, it's just nonsense, like a child burbling it has no meaning other than the sound itself, it's kinda like shouting whoopieeee !

It's a kind of verbal jazz.

GK Chesterton said "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly"

Find me one translation that says it means anything but nonsense.

Also... I have always disliked that song, and cohen sounds like a grave being prized open.

There, is that controversial enough for you :)

Haha. Whatever your personal thoughts on Judaism and Christianity are, it certainly does mean "praise the Lord" to LC. His songs are absolutely littered with Biblical references. That and sex. Religion and sex - a heady mixture.

Bob Bledsoe
10-11-2012, 10:23 PM
It doesn't mean anything, it's just nonsense... Find me one translation that says it means anything but nonsense...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hallelujah

Pundabaya
10-11-2012, 10:45 PM
The problem with that song? I can't stand it. Never heard any version I have liked in any way. So I agree with Ken, people should stop covering Hallelujah, because the less people sing it, the less chance of me hearing it.:)

Getting past my dislike for that particular song, the definitive version of any song is a matter of personal taste. Especially nowadays where any notable songs are covered, remixed, mashed up, sampled, parodied, deconstructed and just plain ripped off.

And all thats a good thing! There will always be different versions of songs, so it's much easier to find one you like, whether 'official' or not.

Hippie Dribble
10-11-2012, 10:55 PM
It doesn't mean anything, it's just nonsense, like a child burbling it has no meaning other than the sound itself, it's kinda like shouting whoopieeee !

It's a kind of verbal jazz.

GK Chesterton said "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly"

Find me one translation that says it means anything but nonsense.

Also... I have always disliked that song, and cohen sounds like a grave being prized open.

There, is that controversial enough for you :)
webby, many thanks for your own brand of verbal jazz. Not liking the song is fine, a simple and understandable matter of choice. I cannot believe you are so uniformed though as to be making a serious comment here in asserting an absence of meaning for a word that has for centuries had a clear and universally understood definition. Controversy is ok but controversy for controversies sake is mischievous at best and only lowering the tenor of what is an excellent discussion.

bodhran
10-11-2012, 11:30 PM
Must admit i like Leonard Cohen's rendering of this song. But then i like his music - to me it has a raw, live quality. Not quite sure how to put this but to me a fair bit of recorded music has a sort of 'contrived' or perhaps 'clinical' quality to it that somehow misses something. Leonard Cohen is, in my opinion at least, one of the greats whose recordings have that wonderful 'raw' quality. I guess what I am trying to say is that music should paint a picture and convey emotion rather than be clinical.

buddhuu
10-11-2012, 11:44 PM
I don't think anyone here has been disparaging anyone's race or religion. It's just a matter of personal preference. And some of us just don't care for that style and the fact that it's been co-opted and overdone by people whose heritage doesn't even include it to begin with.

I'm inclined to agree. I saw no evidence that anyone was disparaging anyone's race or religion (except for a minor confusion over the meaning the the song's title that came much later in the thread), and to suggest otherwise is unjustified and unhelpful in an otherwise interesting thread.

IMHO, the majority of practitioners of this style to whom I have been exposed over the last 10 years or so are not those who are rooted in gospel music as the previous generation of soul and R&B divas may have been. I suspect that most have little substantial awareness, care or regard for racial or religious context for the style or technique; they just do what they see on X Factor and what they heard in the music charts as they grew up.

The style may be more prevalent in MOBO genres, but that doesn't mean that someone who dislikes the acrobatics is attacking the race or religion of practitioners. Some black people are getting tired of it too.

A lot of country music is religion-themed, but if a black person told me that she didn't like country music (or Strauss waltzes, or Irish traditional sean nos songs) I wouldn't assume that she was atheist or racist; I would assume that she didn't like whining pedal steel guitars and lyrics about cowboys' mothers getting run over by trains (or repetitive 3/4 violin music; or unaccompanied nasal singing about death and tragedy). Some white people don't like country music, Viennese waltzes and acapella Irish trad.

YMMV.

Back to your scheduled topic, with apologies to Ken for the diversion.

Teek
10-11-2012, 11:51 PM
Love Leonard Cohen! Like Buckley's version better. To me both are different.

As for Gospel and all it's roots and grand vocal flourishes, it's great in a Baptist church and I admire it and respect the tradition.

But keep it out of the national anthem. Read the music and follow it I say, it's a beautiful song and I don't understand why the hell everyone has to ruin it. Half the time they are so busy showing off that the melody ends up excessively mutilated and the words are garbled or also wrong and it just sounds foolish and ignorant.

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 12:16 AM
But keep it out of the national anthem. Read the music and follow it I say, it's a beautiful song and I don't understand why the hell everyone has to ruin it. Half the time they are so busy showing off that the melody ends up excessively mutilated and the words are garbled or also wrong and it just sounds foolish and ignorant.

"Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Powerful stuff. But you want it removed?

I like this verse in our Nat. Anth. Also powerful stuff. The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America.

"O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all"

Apologies to me for getting off track.

MisterRios
10-12-2012, 12:34 AM
I actually dislike Jeff Buckley's version, if only because it is a cover of John Cale's 1991 arrangement for the exquisite I'm Your Fan tribute album. (Shocked no one has mentioned this)

Though I rank the Cohen Live version (1994) above the Cale Version, but the Various Positions (1974) version below the Cale version, if only for the arrangement.

pulelehua
10-12-2012, 12:40 AM
Not intending to hijack. Just to maybe better explain what I was saying:

The use of particular vocal melismas in music is something which was largely brought to the West by the influence of Black American gospel music. I see that as a gift given to our music. A musical gift. Not a racial gift. Not a religious gift. And just because there is a trend for people not from that tradition to do it less well doesn't mean we should condemn the technique, because it is something which has been done fantastically well by some of the greatest singers of the past 50 years.

I think when stylistic features wear thin, it's because we're overexposed to often commercially-driven versions of them. But that doesn't mean that the source idea isn't something wonderful. It's a case of, let's do shoot the messenger. The message itself is worth hearing, but probably got a bit lost in translation.

I used to think I didn't like country music. Then I listened to a wider variety, and from less commercial sources. Then I started to play some. Then I listened to it again. Then I found lots of things to like. But it took some looking.

Not sure if that's any clearer. Sorry, Ken. I just don't like when things start to sound too generalised. It's the Devil's advocate in me.

Back to your tangent. ;)

pulelehua
10-12-2012, 12:45 AM
For the record, I am a fan of unaccompanied nasal singing about death and tragedy. There's a genre whose time has come.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 01:04 AM
As far as the thread topic, how many songs are actually not written by the singer. From the beginning of music the best writer and the best singer /performer were often not the same. Motown is a good example. The spirit or soul from the artist moves us most prominently and so that's popular music. With this situation the covers are from the version they experienced or liked most. I don't know, maybe with colder weather my mind would hear it differently. I like my sad music with a smooth edge.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 01:11 AM
For the record, I am a fan of unaccompanied nasal singing about death and tragedy. There's a genre whose time has come.

haha emo, yay!

Cornfield
10-12-2012, 02:58 AM
I enjoy singing this song in public, playing arpeggios on a low G tenor uke. For my version, I studied LC's original, Bucley's, kd lang's, the Norweigan quartet on You tube (the absolute best) and others.
LC has several verses that have been in and out through his various performances. Buckley seems to have formulated a standard set of lyrics.
Audiences love to sing the chorus. For some, this is a very spiritual and personal song.

If you don't care for a version, don't listen to it, don't sing along, don't applaud.

ukuhippo
10-12-2012, 03:18 AM
Bon Jovi really r*ped this song once, stay away from that video, you have been warned. I like Buckleys version because I like Buckley, his guitar skills included.
Cohen is Cohen, 'nuff said. I love his version, and I mostly like original versions anyway. The Buckley version seems more suited for the ukulele than Cohens version.

Sporin
10-12-2012, 03:26 AM
IMHO, just because someone wrote a song doesn't mean that they perform it better than anyone else. If a person is really blown away by a song and covers it out of sheer respect or joy or empathy because it blew them away, that honest connection can come through. For me, Buckley's cover is one of the most perfect moments in recorded music history. Cohen's song is great, but for me Cohen's recording of it does not do the song justice. Buckley's does.

Agreed. People do covers because they connect with the song and want to bring their own spin to it. SO what if they cover a cover? It's what speaks to them.

I have tremendous respect for Cohen as a songwriter but there's not many Cohen songs that can't be improved by being sung by anyone but Cohen.

;)

My favorite version is actually by John Cale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsa9PPgsOj4

webby
10-12-2012, 03:33 AM
webby, many thanks for your own brand of verbal jazz. Not liking the song is fine, a simple and understandable matter of choice. I cannot believe you are so uniformed though as to be making a serious comment here in asserting an absence of meaning for a word that has for centuries had a clear and universally understood definition. Controversy is ok but controversy for controversies sake is mischievous at best and only lowering the tenor of what is an excellent discussion.

You believe whatever you want, I'm totally comfortable with my christopher hitchens book :)

The onus is not on me to prove anything, that's the problem with religions, NOTHING will make them abandon their hypothesis, athiests however are always fully ready to abandon their position the moment proof of god can be shown.

Anyways it's still a rubbish song.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 03:34 AM
My favorite version is actually by John Cale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsa9PPgsOj4

Blasting this on my headphones and it seems excessively gratifying.

Cornfield
10-12-2012, 03:52 AM
My favorite version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2NEU6Xf7lM

The verse that Kurt Nilsen sings (third verse) send shivers up my spine. This is how I want to sing.

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 03:53 AM
You believe whatever you want, I'm totally comfortable with my christopher hitchens book :)

The onus is not on me to prove anything, that's the problem with religions, NOTHING will make them abandon their hypothesis, athiests however are always fully ready to abandon their position the moment proof of god can be shown.

Anyways it's still a rubbish song.

So, we are now drifting a tad too far off topic, as well as entering territory likely to rile fellow members. I may share your atheism but many do not and this is not a theology thread.

Also, you may not like the song, but why go that step too far and declare it "rubbish" when it is clear that many people love it?

Please quit trolling. Thanks.

Freeda
10-12-2012, 03:57 AM
U
Some very interesting, thoughtful and considered responses. I have to say that I thought I would annoy more people.

Maybe this will. Here the very different, more recent version of the song, sung by LC himself.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJTiXoMCppw&feature=colike

What about one or two more videos from people?

That was painful to listen to. Ugh.

ukuhippo
10-12-2012, 04:04 AM
So, we are now drifting a tad too far off topic, as well as entering territory likely to rile fellow members. I may share your atheism but many do not and this is not a theology thread.

Also, you may not like the song, but why go that step too far and declare it "rubbish" when it is clear that many people love it?

Please quit trolling. Thanks.


As long as one puts it clearly as an opinion I see no problems with it, e.g. 'I think it's rubbish' vs. 'Rubbish!'

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 04:08 AM
Not intending to hijack. Just to maybe better explain what I was saying:

The use of particular vocal melismas in music is something which was largely brought to the West by the influence of Black American gospel music. I see that as a gift given to our music. A musical gift. Not a racial gift. Not a religious gift. And just because there is a trend for people not from that tradition to do it less well doesn't mean we should condemn the technique, because it is something which has been done fantastically well by some of the greatest singers of the past 50 years.

I think when stylistic features wear thin, it's because we're overexposed to often commercially-driven versions of them. But that doesn't mean that the source idea isn't something wonderful. It's a case of, let's do shoot the messenger. The message itself is worth hearing, but probably got a bit lost in translation.

I used to think I didn't like country music. Then I listened to a wider variety, and from less commercial sources. Then I started to play some. Then I listened to it again. Then I found lots of things to like. But it took some looking.

Not sure if that's any clearer. Sorry, Ken. I just don't like when things start to sound too generalised. It's the Devil's advocate in me.

Back to your tangent. ;)

In the paragraph I emboldened above I think you put your finger on the problem. It is the commercially driven, ubiquitous and tiresome derivative that saturates contemporary media. It has become a shallow, fad device. That is where I see the criticism directed. I for one would happily see it replaced with some old-school, genuine gospel music.

There is plenty of good stuff to be found in country music (I'm a Willie Nelson fan), classical music (Bach and Elgar for me) and Irish traditional music (I'm a trad nut). I picked those genres because they are ones with a relatively low visible level of participation of black people. The point was that there need be no religious or racial hostility or derision implied in someone's dislike of a style; they may just simply not like what they're hearing.

pulelehua
10-12-2012, 04:24 AM
In the paragraph I emboldened above I think you put your finger on the problem. It is the commercially driven, ubiquitous and tiresome derivative that saturates contemporary media. It has become a shallow, fad device. That is where I see the criticism directed. I for one would happily see it replaced with some old-school, genuine gospel music.

There is plenty of good stuff to be found in country music (I'm a Willie Nelson fan), classical music (Bach and Elgar for me) and Irish traditional music (I'm a trad nut). I picked those genres because they are ones with a relatively low visible level of participation of black people. The point was that there need be no religious or racial hostility or derision implied in someone's dislike of a style; they may just simply not like what they're hearing.

I think what I pictured people disliking may not have born much resemblance to what they were actually disliking. Or perhaps in their atheistic tendencies, they're subverting their own intolerance through a veil of self-imposed deception.

Mmm hmm.

Yep.

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 04:27 AM
Of course! That's it!

Mandarb
10-12-2012, 04:27 AM
To avoid any controversy I have not performed a cover of this song on YouTube. Oh wait - nevermind, I have not made any YouTube videos of any songs.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 04:45 AM
Haha. I wasn't actually imitating him. Just trying to do it in his style. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. just givin you a hard time. I understand




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG4IPaarNjs&feature=colike
Nice. I gotta say though, ukulele does make you a "bigger man". I guess it does that to all of us. side benefit I hadn't considered. good thread Ken

kissing
10-12-2012, 04:55 AM
This comes to mind:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQY8_jFZKU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQY8_jFZKU

pootsie
10-12-2012, 05:08 AM
This comes to mind:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQY8_jFZKU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQY8_jFZKU

That was funny right there.

Now, let's all celebrate our different tastes and what we share in common!

pootsie
10-12-2012, 05:20 AM
The whole school of "warbling", "vocal histrionics", etc., is from the gospel tradition of Black Americans. It comes from a style, imported from Africa, in which there is a soloist, and an accompanying chorus. The soloist decorates the basic melody, improvising over the top, either heterophonically, or else in call and response. In the genres which brought it to the attention of the general public, it has both a strong religious and racial identity. And those identities shouldn't be disparaged lightly.


I would just like to note that I have a lot of respect for the origins of the tradition and the music it comes from.

For instance, I love this version of Mbube with the warbling or whatever you want to call it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrrQT4WkbNE

or this more recent version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJF87m4_k88&feature=related

But the shame is that the abuse of a beautiful tradition has led this poor innocent youngling to think that this is a way to improve a song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PEVYLfY7wQ

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 05:29 AM
Goodness gracious! (English for "Oh dear!)

barefootgypsy
10-12-2012, 05:45 AM
IMHO, just because someone wrote a song doesn't mean that they perform it better than anyone else. If a person is really blown away by a song and covers it out of sheer respect or joy or empathy because it blew them away, that honest connection can come through.
I agree - Keith Richard wrote "Sympathy for the Devil" but for me, Bryan Ferry's take on it - completely different from the Stones - is much, much more effective! Different song, same point. Artists have always put their own interpretation on songs... but I agree that some are just awful. It does just come down to personal taste in the end......

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 05:52 AM
http://youtu.be/sJF87m4_k88
This is great working music. Thanks Pootsie. But I would remove the video or at least make it a link. It just seems wrong. How can youtube allow an 11 year old to be ridiculed, I know she could probobly use a dose of reality and her parents, vocal coaches, or whoever thought she could do this obviously isn't familiar with it. But getting teased on this level. It was painful, but c'mon. This digital age is allowing too much sometimes. It was a mistake to let her sing it to the audience. But now for the world, forever. Am I wrong?
My daughter, 6 years old, kinda does that R&B thing that was never my taste. She sounds nice and I'm just glad she likes music and has potential. But it is kinda scary. She's also rockin' wipeout on the uke so I might be ok.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 06:09 AM
http://youtu.be/IdcKLuRjIX0
If your gonna criticize a style you can't pick the worst possible version. So do you guys hate the style or just the fact when it's a fail. It's like listening to me solo over giant steps and saying you don't like jazz.

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 06:35 AM
Personally I am bored and irritated that everyone and his/her dog seems to think it is necessary to add all the fluttering regardless of the song.

It's not even the style/technique per se that annoys, just its cliched overuse and ubiquity. When it first became popular in mainstream chart music, all those years ago, it was interesting and impressive and often done well. The singers were often people who did have a background in gospel music.

It is the tedious repetition and overuse of a style. Bandwagon jumping, fashion/fad following, the unthinking conformity to a genre template. It has happened across all genres over the years. This is just one example. The death metal growl is another. it was a novelty when Napalm Death and a few others first made it popular, but it spawned thousands of unthinking copycats. And why did so many grunge and post-grunge band vocalists have to be Eddie Vedder?

Sorry again, Ken. If any of this strays too far from what you wanted to discuss, just ask us to start a separate thread.

AndrewKuker
10-12-2012, 06:53 AM
Personally I am bored and irritated that everyone and his/her dog seems to think it is necessary to add all the fluttering regardless of the song.

It's not even the style/technique per se that annoys, just its cliched overuse and ubiquity. When it first became popular in mainstream chart music, all those years ago, it was interesting and impressive and often done well. The singers were often people who did have a background in gospel music.

It is the tedious repetition and overuse of a style. Bandwagon jumping, fashion/fad following, the unthinking conformity to a genre template. It has happened across all genres over the years. This is just one example. The death metal growl is another. it was a novelty when Napalm Death and a few others first made it popular, but it spawned thousands of unthinking copycats. And why did so many grunge and post-grunge band vocalists have to be Eddie Vedder?

Sorry again, Ken. If any of this strays too far from what you wanted to discuss, just ask us to start a separate thread.

Ya that pretty much nails that. Wisdom from budduh. Can we atleast all agree that Dara O'Briain is a comic genius. I have been watching his stuff for the last hour and wow. my sides hurt. ok, officially too far off. my bad but thanks kissing. i never knew

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 07:03 AM
You're right about the singing style. But you can't apply the same style across the board, and they're creating that sound wrongly in their bodies. It comes from the trunk, and an open relaxed throat, not from the throat. Why does it matter? Because the wrong way sounds... like vocal histrionics. It sounds wrong. Also, in gospel singing, they are masters of the build-up. Where do you build-up to if you're already verging on vocal melodrama? It sounds silly, and people know it sounds silly, but they can't put their finger on what's making it sound silly.



I have to say, I find a lot of the content of this thread very edgy, and nobody seems to be picking up on it.

The whole school of "warbling", "vocal histrionics", etc., is from the gospel tradition of Black Americans. It comes from a style, imported from Africa, in which there is a soloist, and an accompanying chorus. The soloist decorates the basic melody, improvising over the top, either heterophonically, or else in call and response. In the genres which brought it to the attention of the general public, it has both a strong religious and racial identity. And those identities shouldn't be disparaged lightly.

On the other hand, a lot of those techniques could be compared to what was done in Baroque times, when musicians regularly ornamented tunes with their own stylistic flair. Or, in more modern times, the practice amongst jazz musicians of "making a tune their own". I would hate if John Coltrane started playing "My Favourite Things" like it actually goes in the musical. What a smelly piece of saxophonal crap that would be.

So, maybe let's be slower on to the bandwagon. Cups of tea are not for all people, but let's at least think about where the tea comes from, why it's brewed that way, and other teas we like which are actually more similar to the offending brew than perhaps we first were willing to admit.

Soapbox analogising finished.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 07:04 AM
Ya that pretty much nails that. Wisdom from budduh. Can we atleast all agree that Dara O'Briain is a comic genius. I have been watching his stuff for the last hour and wow. my sides hurt. ok, officially too far off. my bad but thanks kissing. i never knew

His routine about Metal Gear Solid, that was me playing Metal Gear Solid. :D

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 07:16 AM
Sorry again, Ken. If any of this strays too far from what you wanted to discuss, just ask us to start a separate thread.

Thanks, but I'm not worried at all. All debate is good debate (even about contentious stuff like religion). Anyway, I don't take any of this too seriously. And none of these hideous recordings, of Hallelujah or anything else, really bug me at all. I always listen to as many recording on YT as I have time for. I always respect people's attempts at whatever they do. I never give thumbs down to anything and I never give negative comments. I sometimes give constructive criticisms, if I believe that is what the person whats (most people don't).

i only introduced this thread to promote a little honest debate. Doesn't really matter if it goes off track.

GKK
10-12-2012, 07:46 AM
***Just Listen...***http://youtu.be/CdqozsGJGdM

Uke Whisperer
10-12-2012, 08:21 AM
I agree with Ken's original post. The reason is that I have a respect for certain things and certain things I don’t. Some music I have respect-for and some not. Religious beliefs, politics, raising children, freedom of speech, dances and probably a few more thousand topics fall into the same type category of having certain parts I respect and having parts I don't. When it comes to music there are particular songs and/or arrangements that I like and those I don't. Then there are those that I seem to have a certain respect-for (usually within those I like, but not always). To me, those that I respect should only be sung and/or played exactly as they were written. HALLELUJAH is one, the National Anthems (all, not just the United States), certain Patriotic songs, certain religious songs, etc., etc, etc. I can't think of many things that upset me more than to hear the U.S. National Anthem performed off-key, off rhythm, etc. (or to hear a “jazzed-up” version of TAPS). All of us have certain things we like and things we respect. I‘m sure no two individuals have the same.

Freeda
10-12-2012, 08:21 AM
You're right about the singing style. But you can't apply the same style across the board, and they're creating that sound wrongly in their bodies. It comes from the trunk, and an open relaxed throat, not from the throat. Why does it matter? Because the wrong way sounds... like vocal histrionics. It sounds wrong. Also, in gospel singing, they are masters of the build-up. Where do you build-up to if you're already verging on vocal melodrama? It sounds silly, and people know it sounds silly, but they can't put their finger on what's making it sound silly.

Great point.

:)

strumsilly
10-12-2012, 08:22 AM
I host a monthly Open Stage here in NJ and have heard this song butchered over and over and over... as a result, as brilliant as Mr. Cohen's lyrics are, I refuse to learn it.


Scooter
ok, I learned it just so I could butcher it. It never stopped me with any other songs. haha. but what do I know, I even like the Bon Jovi version. in fact, I've never heard a version out there I don't like, so I really don't know what all the hooplas about.
and,I have always thought hallelujah meant "Praise the Lord", so you can see how little I know. anyway, before I insert foot in mouth any further, here is the BEST version I've ever heard. JUST KIDDING. I just whipped this out to add a little humor and really irritate those who cringe at another amateur version.

http://youtu.be/oPzfZj8RL7s

vanflynn
10-12-2012, 08:52 AM
Whatís the point of doing a cover if everyone did it exactly like the original? You would never get things like Joe Cocker doing Beatles songs. On the flip side, I feel performer has the obligation to figure out what the songwriter was trying to convey when doing the cover and donít do it just because it has a catchy chorus.

Lalz
10-12-2012, 09:19 AM
Also, in gospel singing, they are masters of the build-up. Where do you build-up to if you're already verging on vocal melodrama?

So true, haha! I'm a big fan of soul music, R&B, gospel etc. When done right, this type of soulful singing is just breathtakingly amazing. But I can't stand the unnecessary whaling that some singers - especially industry-formated pop singers - are using these days. It's like some sort of caricature. They forget that soul singing is all about conveying a feeling through their voice, not about showing off their technical abilities. Nothing more ridiculous than to hear someone sing something mundane like "I woke up thiiiis mooooorrniiiiiiiing whooohoohoohoo yeah nonono yeah baby, and had some cereaaaaaaals yyyyiiiiiieaaaahhhheeeaaaaah oh oh oh" and completely pouring their heart out. Seriously. Tone it down and save the power-singing for actual powerful moments, gosh! It's like watching an episode of "Trapped in the Closet" with R. Kelly whaling about turning off his "ceeellllllphoooone" lol.

About Hallelujah. Agreeing with many others here: LC is a great songwriter but there are much better singers than him that have covered the song and raised it to a whole other level. For me his version is definitely more like a songwriter demo than the ultimate recording of it, for sure.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
10-12-2012, 10:01 AM
So true, haha! I'm a big fan of soul music, R&B, gospel etc. When done right, this type of soulful singing is just breathtakingly amazing. But I can't stand the unnecessary whaling that some singers - especially industry-formated pop singers - are using these days. It's like some sort of caricature. They forget that it's all about conveying a feeling through their voice, not about showing off their technical abilities. Nothing more ridiculous than to hear someone sing something mundane like "I woke up thiiiis mooooorrniiiiiiiing whooohoohoohoo yeah nonono yeah baby, and had some cereaaaaaaals yyyyiiiiiieaaaahhhheeeaaaaah oh oh oh" and completely pouring their heart out. Seriously. Tone it down and save the power-singing for actual powerful moments, gosh! It's like watching an episode of "Trapped in the Closet" with R. Kelly whaling about turning off his "ceeellllllphoooone" lol.

Be careful, Lalou. R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" is an unassailable work of incredible genius. I-ii-iiinnncredibblllllle. Ge-eee-ee-ee-ee-eee-ni-ii-i-ussss. Yeah.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 10:03 AM
Be careful, Lalou. R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" is an unassailable work of incredible genius. I-ii-iiinnncredibblllllle. Ge-eee-ee-ee-ee-eee-ni-ii-i-ussss. Yeah.

If you get near a note, sing it. :D

Teek
10-12-2012, 10:06 AM
Quote Originally Posted by Teek
But keep it out of the national anthem. Read the music and follow it I say, it's a beautiful song and I don't understand why the hell everyone has to ruin it. Half the time they are so busy showing off that the melody ends up excessively mutilated and the words are garbled or also wrong and it just sounds foolish and ignorant.


"Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Powerful stuff. But you want it removed?

I like this verse in our Nat. Anth. Also powerful stuff. The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America.

"O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all"

Apologies to me for getting off track.

Begging your pardon but I didn't refer to original lyrics or their projected attitudes of toxic nationalism, tribalism, or warlike ego and ethnic superiority. I stated that I don't like hearing a national anthem butchered, whether it's England's or Canada's or Ethiopia's. Apparently I'm not alone in that regard. IIRC Britain was down to one fighter plane when the US stepped into WW2, so if we had taken your country's anthem seriously y'all could be part of Germany today.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 10:16 AM
What does that even mean? What does it have to do with music, singing style, poems adapted into national anthems, verses that don't stand the test of time... what does that statement have to do with anything? Care to clarify?


Quote Originally Posted by Teek
IIRC Britain was down to one fighter plane when the US stepped into WW2, so if we had taken your country's anthem seriously y'all could be part of Germany today.

Teek
10-12-2012, 10:42 AM
"The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America."

And so? If we took that stuff seriously we wouldn't be funding Islamic states in the Middle East. For example, Libya.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 10:55 AM
"The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America."

And so? If we took that stuff seriously we wouldn't be funding Islamic states in the Middle East. For example, Libya.

Face-palm.

You realize he's talking about the historical meaning of a song? As in, the actual intended meaning of the words as meant AT THE TIME THEY WERE WRITTEN. - Also... Libya? You're out on a limb here that has nothing to do with anything. We're talking about music.

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 11:02 AM
And please let's go back to talking about music.

Lalz
10-12-2012, 11:11 AM
"The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America."

And so? If we took that stuff seriously we wouldn't be funding Islamic states in the Middle East. For example, Libya.

OOT but technically, Libya is in North Africa not in the Middle East...

Lalz
10-12-2012, 11:14 AM
Be careful, Lalou. R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" is an unassailable work of incredible genius. I-ii-iiinnncredibblllllle. Ge-eee-ee-ee-ee-eee-ni-ii-i-ussss. Yeah.

Trapped in the Closet = Best. R&B. Parody. Ever. :D Although I'm not quite sure whether he was taking this hiphopera thing seriously or not hehe. It's hard to tell sometimes with that man. But yeah, you get my point ;)

pulelehua
10-12-2012, 11:16 AM
The Star Spangled Banner is just a poor cover of "To Anacreon in Heaven". :p

ksiegel
10-12-2012, 11:31 AM
Originally Posted by Teek
But keep it out of the national anthem. Read the music and follow it I say, it's a beautiful song and I don't understand why the hell everyone has to ruin it. Half the time they are so busy showing off that the melody ends up excessively mutilated and the words are garbled or also wrong and it just sounds foolish and ignorant.

"Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Powerful stuff. But you want it removed?

I like this verse in our Nat. Anth. Also powerful stuff. The problem is that the enemies that we want God to defeat may well have been America.

"O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all"

Apologies to me for getting off track.

Actually, Ken, I think she was speaking of the Vocal Histrionics not belonging in performances of "The Star-Spangled Banner", not religion.

Some of the most beautiful art and music the world has ever known were religion-based. So were some of the worst atrocities.

(And remember, when Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner", he was writing about victory over Great Britain.)


-Kurt

ksiegel
10-12-2012, 11:50 AM
http://youtu.be/IdcKLuRjIX0

If your gonna criticize a style you can't pick the worst possible version. So do you guys hate the style or just the fact when it's a fail. It's like listening to me solo over giant steps and saying you don't like jazz.

To be honest, while I liked Whitney Houston, I always thought that Cissy Houston (her mother) was a better interpreter of music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PNvGoq1VcA8

(And her aunt, Dionne Warwick... forgoing Psychic Friends Network jokes...)


-Kurt

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 12:42 PM
Britain was down to one fighter plane when the US stepped into WW2, so if we had taken your country's anthem seriously y'all could be part of Germany today.

That is not actually correct.

patfia
10-12-2012, 12:52 PM
D'ya think maybe this has gone too far? Too many wars/crusades have been fought with both sides thinking God or a supreme being of some kind was on both of their sides. This thread looks like it's devolving into yet another one.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 01:02 PM
The way I read it, Ken meant just the meaning of a song at the time it was written, or generally in that time frame. It's been a couple of others who have the wrong idea.

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 01:06 PM
This thread looks like it's devolving into yet another one.

Why is it that we can talk all sorts of drivel about all sorts of stuff, but when God, is mentioned, the thread gets closed, just in case we we don't agree and fall out with each other?

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 01:12 PM
It might be that not everyone believes in the same definition of a god, or follow the same god, or have the same take on religion, maybe not even be a theist, or have their religion as their politics, and their politics as their religion. Some religious ideals clash, and can make people uncomfortable if one belief is being touted that comes off as quiet offensive to their belief. Sure, you could just say something, but then more offense is taken... and so on, and so on. That and if the majority have a given belief, it might make someone feel marginalized at a place where they used to feel comfortable. My take is that theism sucks, and this is why it sucks. But, it bothers me not one bit if it works for anyone else. And I don't mind the overlap of music and religion, because... how could I? Music as we know it has its roots in theism, you can't get away from that. I have not a bit of issue of religion in music or music in religion, beautiful music is beautiful music, made by people. :)

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 01:25 PM
It might be that not everyone believes in the same definition of a god, or follow the same god, or have the same take on religion, maybe not even be a theist, or have their religion as their politics, and their politics as their religion. Some religious ideals clash, and can make people uncomfortable if one belief is being touted that comes off as quiet offensive to their belief. Sure, you could just say something, but then more offense is taken... and so on, and so on. That and if the majority have a given belief, it might make someone feel marginalized at a place where they used to feel comfortable. My take is that theism sucks, and this is why it sucks. But, it bothers me not one bit if it works for anyone else. And I don't mind the overlap of music and religion, because... how could I? Music as we know it has its roots in theism, you can't get away from that. I have not a bit of issue of religion in music or music in religion, beautiful music is beautiful music, made by people. :)

I agree with what you say. However, people shouldn't take offence so easily and get so hot under the collar. They ought to grow up and respect other people's right to have a different opinion, even if they truly believe them to be wrong.

Lalz
10-12-2012, 01:27 PM
It might be that not everyone believes in the same definition of a god, or follow the same god, or have the same take on religion, maybe not even be a theist, or have their religion as their politics, and their politics as their religion. Some religious ideals clash, and can make people uncomfortable if one belief is being touted that comes off as quiet offensive to their belief. Sure, you could just say something, but then more offense is taken... and so on, and so on. That and if the majority have a given belief, it might make someone feel marginalized at a place where they used to feel comfortable. My take is that theism sucks, and this is why it sucks. But, it bothers me not one bit if it works for anyone else. And I don't mind the overlap of music and religion, because... how could I? Music as we know it has its roots in theism, you can't get away from that. I have not a bit of issue of religion in music or music in religion, beautiful music is beautiful music, made by people. :)

Ken has a point though. This thread is not about whether or not God exists or who saved what country 67 years ago or whatnot, it's about people doing covers of covers instead of covering the original and how through this they sometimes miss out on the original meaning of the song or overemphasize certain feelings that are not part of the song to begin with, etc. The fact that this particular song is about religion is not important. We should be able to discuss music - whether the topic of a particular song is love, death, war, religion, lipgloss or how much someone reminds you of your jeep - without getting all political about it. It's weird how some people feel the need to suddenly talk about their religious beliefs or disbeliefs in the middle of this. We all believe in different things, let's respect that and move on. Just my two cents.
Let's talk about ukuleles shall we?

strumsilly
10-12-2012, 01:28 PM
God save the Queen, and my ukuleles.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 01:32 PM
Oh I agree with you and Ken. It's just a shame when people do get so fired up about a misunderstanding. :)


Ken has a point though. This thread is not about whether or not God exists or who saved what country 67 years ago or whatnot, it's about people doing covers of covers instead of covering the original and how through this they sometimes miss out on the original meaning of the song or overemphasize certain feelings that are not part of the song to begin with, etc. The fact that this particular song is about religion is not important. We should be able to discuss music - whether the topic of a particular song is love, death, war, religion, lipgloss or how much someone reminds you of your jeep - without getting all political about it. It's weird how some people feel the need to suddenly talk about their religious beliefs or disbeliefs in the middle of this. We all believe in different things, let's respect that and move on. Just my two cents.
Let's talk about ukuleles shall we?

beautifulsoup
10-12-2012, 02:32 PM
As for Gospel and all it's roots and grand vocal flourishes, it's great in a Baptist church and I admire it and respect the tradition.

But keep it out of the national anthem. Read the music and follow it I say, it's a beautiful song and I don't understand why the hell everyone has to ruin it. Half the time they are so busy showing off that the melody ends up excessively mutilated and the words are garbled or also wrong and it just sounds foolish and ignorant.

Agreed!

And entirely self-indulgent, besides! It becomes more about the singer than the song when sung in that fashiion.

Oh - and as for Hallelujah, my fave versions are actually Leonard Cohen's and kd Lang's.

webby
10-12-2012, 02:44 PM
I just read every post in this thread and have to say what an amazing place this is and how wonderful that such a diverse section of humanity with so many different IQ's interests, passions and levels of education and understanding have been brought together by our shared love of the ukulele.

Now if anything deserves to be given the nobel peace price it's the uke, I'm pretty certain that with some of the members here it's the ONLY thing we have in common and I would last about 5 minutes in their company before I slit my wrists or physically attacked them, (down to our last plane rofl) but if we were both to shut the hell up and just play our ukes we would most probably have a brilliant time and make some great music.

So thanks again to the uke, a little ambassador of harmony and tolerance.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 02:52 PM
Same here, dude, same here. :D


I just read every post in this thread and have to say what an amazing place this is and how wonderful that such a diverse section of humanity with so many different IQ's interests, passions and levels of education and understanding have been brought together by our shared love of the ukulele.

Now if anything deserves to be given the nobel peace price it's the uke, I'm pretty certain that with some of the members here it's the ONLY thing we have in common and I would last about 5 minutes in their company before I slit my wrists or physically attacked them, (down to our last plane rofl) but if we were both to shut the hell up and just play our ukes we would most probably have a brilliant time and make some great music.

So thanks again to the uke, a little ambassador of harmony and tolerance.

Teek
10-12-2012, 03:05 PM
@Kim etc., I was talking about the music until the OP went off on various off topic tangents and others followed suit, what I was trying to clarify is that I don't care that the US national anthem was written to the melody of an English drinking song, I didn't bring up that it was celebrating a US victory over the British, I don't give a bleep what original lyrics have been cut out of the official MLB version and it has nothing to do with the original topic thank you very much and what was the point of that anyway, Ken, in the context of my post?! It was totally irrelevant to my post that you quoted. Why would you even ask a question about missing lyrics when I was just posting about bad singing? Are you intentionally targeting members to create bad feelings? Either way it seems you've succeeded since several members who were posting in this thread have walked away in disgust. Good work.

I'm not in any way dissing religions, races, genders, musical traditions or whatever else anybody else wants to project of their own toxic narcissistic personality disordered issues to get bent out of shape over. Some people just need to get a grip! I finally am out of patience with this behavior and made a long visit to my ignore list and first on is the member who is consistently egotistically righteous, firstly about everything to do with singing, and secondly everything else. Maybe you could actually READ someone's post all the way through a few times to make sure you understand it before you write yet another condescending, officious or smart ass reply. If you're like this on a forum for goodness' sake, you must be murder in real life. Life is too short to be exposed to any more egotistical self gratification than absolutely necessary. I'm used to saying "whatever" but at some point it's wiser to just say "NO".

To clarify yet again for the dummies, I don't like listening to stuff like THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=3YMc87XQ4gM&NR=1). And that is just my own personal opinion, many of you may enjoy it and good for you if so, knock yourselves out.

I pretty much like any decent version of Hallelujah too, I don't have to bring religious deitys or anything else into whether or not I like the song because that is personal, I have I think 5 versions in iTunes, I even liked Ken's. I thought Strumsilly's version was much better than Ken's, but that is ALSO my personal preference .

I think I have wasted enough time now with UU to hold me for the rest of the year or longer. Happy holidays all!!! ;)

buddhuu
10-12-2012, 03:22 PM
I like this thread.

Personally I like to debate politics and religion, but we have a couple of problems here:

1) This thread currently resides in "Uke Talk". If it strays miles out of uke territory then I'll have to move it.

2) Experience on another music forum has shown me that online discussions of politics and religion rarely remain objective, or even courteous, for very long.

You see our problem?

vanflynn
10-12-2012, 03:40 PM
Buddhuu, you monitors rock. It's a hell of a balancing act between letting folks express themselves and keeping things civil. Thanks .

PS. Is it OK to add gay marriage into this discussion?

itsme
10-12-2012, 03:51 PM
Experience on another music forum has shown me that online discussions of politics and religion rarely remain objective, or even courteous, for very long.

You see our problem?
Yes, I do. One music forum I frequent has a strict "no politics/no religion" rule. It seems to work quite well.

There are many other forums out there for debate/soapbox discussions.

Plainsong
10-12-2012, 03:55 PM
I'm going to be a horrible person and reply, and hence contribute to going more OT. At an audio forum called Head-fi, back when it was more of a community and less of just a faceless resource (though some oldies are still there), they tried a little experiment. That experiment was called Take it Outside. It was a subforum that was a free-for-all for politics, religion, conspiracy theories, and general aggression. It didn't go over well. Feuds from Take it Outside spilled into the rest of the forums. And when they closed down TIO as a huge mistake, the bad feeling resided for a few years afterwards. We couldn't unknow that this or that forum member was now crazy. That forum member couldn't unknow that as far as they were concerned, you were an idiot. It just didn't go over well.

Now there are other forums where the culture is more aggressive and free-for-all, but everyone knows to put on their tough skins before going there. Head-fi was already a tougher place than UU and TIO did a number on it. It just doesn't work so well, does it.. no matter how much we think we're reasonable people.

Like in my immediate family, there are political, moral, and religious differences. And we can't talk about them because it's so divisive that you end the call with a decision to avoid the family for the next few years. And that's fine with them because they'd rather forget you exist. It's sad, but it's not rare, especially now. If it can happen in families, it can surely divide a forum.


I like this thread.

Personally I like to debate politics and religion, but we have a couple of problems here:

1) This thread currently resides in "Uke Talk". If it strays miles out of uke territory then I'll have to move it.

2) Experience on another music forum has shown me that online discussions of politics and religion rarely remain objective, or even courteous, for very long.

You see our problem?

PTOEguy
10-12-2012, 07:53 PM
Now I know what to call that style of ... well, "singing," I guess.

Slightly off topic, maybe (and unique to one country? maybe not) but it always drives me nuts to hear a singer try to make the (USA) national anthem "their own." And of course, they do so by adding EVEN MORE warbles, ungainly pauses and pointless scale runs than the last person to mangle the song.
It's "land of the free," not "LLLLLaaaaaAAAaaAaAaaaaandDDDD of the FFRRrrrEEEEeeEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Just sing the bloody notes, already.

For a neat national anthem experience try out Igor Stravinsky's arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHYCqFfpNGQ

He wrote it during WWII and the Boston police threatened to fine him for it.

rasputinsghost
10-12-2012, 09:45 PM
I'll say this: Leonard Cohen is one of the best songwriters that ever lived. But his voice is not for everyone.
It's also far from clear what the singular meaning of Hallelujah is (or any song), or how it's meant to be sung in every context.

Ben_H
10-12-2012, 10:20 PM
Wow, this discussion moved up a gear overnight!!

Moving back to the original conversation I wonder if this story reached other parts of the world than just the "Little old UK".

When the to (my ears unecessary) Alexandra Burke version was released prior to Xmas a couple of years back as the X Factor Xmas single it caused a surge in sales of both the Jeff Buckley version and the original which is a GOOD THING!

Slightly off topic background story for those that are interested:

Unfortunately the better alternatives didn't sell as many despite a campaign on social media to try and promote them and prevent the Simon Cowell media machine gaining the Xmas no.1 again.

The previous year there had been great success with getting Rage Against The Machine's - Killing in the name to the top of the charts instead of whatever dross had won that years X factor. Cowell himself was sanguine about the result and congratulated the orchestrators on a masterful media campaign but some of the other judges were horrified that their winner did not get the no.1 he "deserved". Big debates over here in the press on the the value of the Xmas number being degraded by X Factor as the freepublicity the programme gives it's contestants' singles means that other artists will now not release singles at Xmas because of this.

webby
10-12-2012, 10:24 PM
who is this simon cowell person ?? I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, I live in the australian outback and have no TV, because of this news is always good and the future looks bright and full of hope.

Someone else told me today the USA is having another election, Has Clinton done his 3 terms then ???, wonder who will follow him.

Ken Middleton
10-12-2012, 11:03 PM
who is this simon cowell person ?? I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, I live in the australian outback and have no TV, because of this news is always good and the future looks bright and full of hope.

Someone else told me today the USA is having another election, Has Clinton done his 3 terms then ???, wonder who will follow him.

Haha. I don't watch the news either. And you are right, the world is a nicer place when you don't know any of the news that is being "fed" to us.

However, I do know that they recently made Simon Cowell the Prime Minster of England. It was decided to hold a talent contest instead of an election. It seemed fairer. As for President Clinton, yes, he was doing very well, but I believe something happened to make the US public lose a little faith in him. Don't know what it was, but it must have been serious. I believe America may now have a lovely young lady from Alaska as their CIC. She seemed very bright and popular. It's good to know that someone so capable has their finger on the button.

webby
10-12-2012, 11:15 PM
Haha. I don't watch the news either. And you are right, the world is a nicer place when you don't know any of the news that is being "fed" to us.

However, I do know that they recently made Simon Cowell the Prime Minster of England. It was decided to hold a talent contest instead of an election. It seemed fairer. As for President Clinton, yes, he was doing very well, but I believe something happened to make the US public lose a little faith in him. Don't know what it was, but it must have been serious. I believe America may now have a lovely young lady from Alaska as their CIC. She seemed very bright and popular. It's good to know that someone so capable has their finger on the button.

He He He :) :)

Skrik
10-13-2012, 01:28 AM
Why doesn't anyone cover the original Leonard Cohen version of "The Star Spangled Banner"?

Plainsong
10-13-2012, 02:40 AM
Why doesn't anyone cover the original Leonard Cohen version of "The Star Spangled Banner"?

No no, Neil Young wrote it! That's what made Lynyrd Skynyrd so angry.

barefootgypsy
10-13-2012, 02:44 AM
However, I do know that they recently made Simon Cowell the Prime Minster of England. It was decided to hold a talent contest instead of an election. It seemed fairer. As for President Clinton, yes, he was doing very well, but I believe something happened to make the US public lose a little faith in him. Don't know what it was, but it must have been serious. I believe America may now have a lovely young lady from Alaska as their CIC. She seemed very bright and popular. It's good to know that someone so capable has their finger on the button.Priceless, Ken - this thread has made my day already! Thanks for starting it!

roxhum
10-13-2012, 06:13 AM
Amen brother, I like the cut of your jib.


Haha. I don't watch the news either. And you are right, the world is a nicer place when you don't know any of the news that is being "fed" to us.

However, I do know that they recently made Simon Cowell the Prime Minster of England. It was decided to hold a talent contest instead of an election. It seemed fairer. As for President Clinton, yes, he was doing very well, but I believe something happened to make the US public lose a little faith in him. Don't know what it was, but it must have been serious. I believe America may now have a lovely young lady from Alaska as their CIC. She seemed very bright and popular. It's good to know that someone so capable has their finger on the button.


I just read this whole thread. I actually like most of the versions of hallelujah, but after listening to them this morning it may be a good long time before I want to hear that song again. Great thread and Ken your last post, priceless. LOL. Now I am going to go play my uke. I will play anything but hallelujah.

PedalFreak
10-13-2012, 12:13 PM
Jeff Buckley absolutely owned Hallelujah, there isn't any version that can compete with it, including Cohen's. Cohen sounds like a poet, just reading something. When Buckley sings you feel everything that he is singing. I think that is why his rendition of Hallelujah has become the standard.

Markr1
10-13-2012, 01:10 PM
I've never heard of Jeff Buckley till now. I've heard of Leonard Cohen but not to familiar with him. I've listened to both versions of the song now and not wanting to piss anyone off but I hope I never hear Leonard Cohens version again. In my opinion Jeff Buckley absolutely blew me away. I'll listen to him do it anytime. That is one thing good that came out of this thread for me is I now know who Jeff Buckley is. I wasn't even going to check the videos out after reading thru all the posts till I saw Pedalfreaks post and it caused me to check it out. Thanks Pedalfreak!!

webby
10-13-2012, 04:39 PM
So now lets ramp this thread up a notch and ask for everyone's opinions on Tom Waits lol.

Ben_H
10-13-2012, 09:39 PM
I've never heard of Jeff Buckley till now. I've heard of Leonard Cohen but not to familiar with him. I've listened to both versions of the song now and not wanting to piss anyone off but I hope I never hear Leonard Cohens version again. In my opinion Jeff Buckley absolutely blew me away. I'll listen to him do it anytime. That is one thing good that came out of this thread for me is I now know who Jeff Buckley is. I wasn't even going to check the videos out after reading thru all the posts till I saw Pedalfreaks post and it caused me to check it out. Thanks Pedalfreak!!

You'll be wanting to listen to the whole of "Grace" then ;o)

buddhuu
10-14-2012, 12:31 AM
So now lets ramp this thread up a notch and ask for everyone's opinions on Tom Waits lol.

He is absolutely extraordinary. Chuck Norris is wary of Tom Waits.

Skrik
10-14-2012, 01:57 AM
He is absolutely extraordinary. Chuck Norris is wary of Tom Waits.

I don't know why people don't listen to the original Leonard Cohen version of "Heartattack & Vine".

Markr1
10-14-2012, 03:40 AM
I will definitely be downloading or locating the CD of his one and only album.
You'll be wanting to listen to the whole of "Grace" then ;o)

ScooterD35
10-14-2012, 06:09 AM
ok, I learned it just so I could butcher it. It never stopped me with any other songs. haha. but what do I know, I even like the Bon Jovi version. in fact, I've never heard a version out there I don't like, so I really don't know what all the hooplas about.
and,I have always thought hallelujah meant "Praise the Lord", so you can see how little I know. anyway, before I insert foot in mouth any further, here is the BEST version I've ever heard. JUST KIDDING. I just whipped this out to add a little humor and really irritate those who cringe at another amateur version.

http://youtu.be/oPzfZj8RL7s



Perhaps "butchered" was a bit strong. What I meant was I've heard it played so many times, often less than effectively, that I can't bring myself to learn and perform it myself. I do, however, applaud louder than anyone else at every performance. Thank you Strumsilly, for helping me re-phrase my position.

Our Open Stage's primary goal is to encourage people to make music and have the opportunity to feel the thrill and satisfaction of performing on stage. We hold it in our regular concert venue and the audience is there to listen and encourage.

I have experienced great joy over the years watching folks take that first terrifying step of performing in front of an audience for the first time and seeing the look of triumph on their faces when we applaud them like they were Eric Clapton. It is enormously satisfying to watch someone grow and improve musically over time and become an accomplished performer. If you ever find yourself in Morristown, NJ on the second Friday of the month, let me know and I'll see to it that you get a performance slot. I'd be honored to have you on our stage.


As to the thread... O do love the song. When my wife was in labor for 21 hours with our son (waiting for him to be born and taken straight to the NICU for heart surgery) the movie Shrek was on the hospital TV every few hours. That was the first time I ever heard "Hallelujah" and it still has a profound effect on me as a song.

I'm a Deadhead so any version of any song is fine with me if it suits the performers spirit. If I don't particularly care for a version, I don't listen to it. That's the beauty of music. there's plenty to go around and plenty of styles to fit plenty of tastes.




Scooter

ScooterD35
10-14-2012, 06:09 AM
BTW, here's my favorite Wimoweh:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77VUYPVMtWY


Scooter

ancient
10-14-2012, 06:17 AM
Ken,
Leave it alone. To each his own.

Ken Middleton
10-14-2012, 06:43 AM
Ken,
Leave it alone. To each his own.

What exactly are you saying?

ancient
10-14-2012, 06:49 AM
Everyone has their own way of playing or singing a song and thats ok.

Bob Bledsoe
10-14-2012, 07:11 AM
Ken,
Leave it alone. To each his own.

Ken was just starting an interesting and fun debate - as many people like to do on this forum. It's totally cool if you're not interested in it. There's no need to comment.

ScooterD35
10-14-2012, 07:17 AM
This doesn't mean we will all be the same,
We'll have different faces and different names
Long live many different kinds of races
It's difference of opinion that makes horse races
Just remember the rule about rules, brother
What could be right for one could be wrong for the other
And take a tip from La Belle France: "Viva la difference!"

"All Mixed Up" ~ Pete Seeger

ancient
10-14-2012, 07:50 AM
I am interested in the topic and thats why I replied

stevepetergal
10-14-2012, 07:54 AM
I like your question, Ken. Mine is much simpler. Why would anyone ever want to perform this song at all, based on any version? P'tooeee!

uke4ia
10-14-2012, 08:56 AM
I host a monthly Open Stage here in NJ and have heard this song butchered over and over and over... as a result, as brilliant as Mr. Cohen's lyrics are, I refuse to learn it.


This is my opinion too. I like Buckley's cover fine and I like the song well enough by itself. But at open mikes I've heard too many guys play this song, and sing it as slow as humanly possible, in hope that the song would give them a soulfulness that they couldn't convey using their own power. "Look at how earnest I am!" I eventually wrote a set of lyrics called "I'm Sick of Hallelujah".

Skrik
10-14-2012, 09:00 AM
I can't find Wait's version of Cohen's cover of Seeger's Buckley. *sigh*

didgeridoo2
10-14-2012, 09:07 AM
Ken,

Is your main problem with Hallelujah the idea that artists other than Leonard Cohen perform this song in insincere ways? or is it that some folks reference non-Cohen renditions as inspiration for their own attempts at this song? a cover of a cover, per se?

Plainsong
10-14-2012, 09:41 AM
I am interested in the topic and thats why I replied

Saying to leave it alone, then saying you're interested in the topic... These contradict and so the entirety is filed under Things That Make No Sense.

OldePhart
10-14-2012, 09:47 AM
I like your question, Ken. Mine is much simpler. Why would anyone ever want to perform this song at all, based on any version? P'tooeee!

:agree: :biglaugh:

Ken Middleton
10-14-2012, 11:04 PM
I like your question, Ken. Mine is much simpler. Why would anyone ever want to perform this song at all, based on any version? P'tooeee!

I have quite a number of videos of this song, but I don't think I will be wanting to record it again any time soon.

Cornfield
10-15-2012, 04:34 AM
It seems that everyone has had his/her say on this matter and that this conversation has come to a close. Hallelujah.

kvehe
10-15-2012, 04:47 AM
Actually, no, one more comment. I think every version I've ever heard is quite grating, except this one:

http://wimp.com/girlshallelujah

Even if you are in the ptooooeee camp, you ought to see/hear this.

Ken Middleton
10-15-2012, 05:56 AM
Actually, no, one more comment. I think every version I've ever heard is quite grating, except this one:

http://wimp.com/girlshallelujah

Even if you are in the ptooooeee camp, you ought to see/hear this.

A really lovely recording, even if it is based on the diabolical Jeff Buckley version. And at least in this video they clearly recognise that it is very much based on a Bible story, praise the Lord!

kvehe
10-15-2012, 06:06 AM
A really lovely recording, even if it is based on the diabolical Jeff Buckley version. And at least in this video they clearly recognise that it is very much based on a Bible story, praise the Lord!

Thank you, Ken, for validating my selection (sort of!). :D

Skrik
10-15-2012, 07:39 AM
A really lovely recording, even if it is based on the diabolical Jeff Buckley version. And at least in this video they clearly recognise that it is very much based on a Bible story, praise the Lord!

Two Bible stories, actually, but in neither is anyone tied to a kitchen chair.

Ken Middleton
10-15-2012, 07:44 AM
Two Bible stories, actually, but in neither is anyone tied to a kitchen chair.

It may lose something in translation from the Hebrew.

Barbablanca
10-15-2012, 09:02 AM
There is more info than you might ever want to know about this song and its covers on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_(Leonard_Cohen_song)):

bazmaz
10-15-2012, 12:12 PM
Antidote video, sorry Ken, couldn't resist. And it's in more of a Cohen style (which I also prefer!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4VD0SigYRg

Ken Middleton
10-15-2012, 12:57 PM
Antidote video, sorry Ken, couldn't resist. And it's in more of a Cohen style (which I also prefer!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4VD0SigYRg

Now that's what I'm talking about. Outstanding!

ksiegel
10-15-2012, 02:05 PM
I can't find Wait's version of Cohen's cover of Seeger's Buckley. *sigh*

That's probably because it is on the "Best Of" Sting/Springsteen album, featuring Randee of the Redwoods.

Only available in the Library of Congress Lost Ark-ives.

ukemunga
10-15-2012, 02:39 PM
Actually, no, one more comment. I think every version I've ever heard is quite grating, except this one:

http://wimp.com/girlshallelujah

Even if you are in the ptooooeee camp, you ought to see/hear this.

That was goosebumps beautiful.

rasputinsghost
10-15-2012, 03:56 PM
A really lovely recording, even if it is based on the diabolical Jeff Buckley version. And at least in this video they clearly recognise that it is very much based on a Bible story, praise the Lord!

Is the song really 'based on' a story from the Bible? Or does it use the imagery from the Bible to comment more on the narrator's experience in life and in love? Is it metaphoric? Hallelujah really doesn't sound like a praise tune. For instance, Shakespeare used TONS of biblical imagery in his plays, I don't know if that constitutes Macbeth being 'based on' the New Testament or the Torah. Cohen's even said that 'many different Halleuljahs exist'....

Plainsong
10-15-2012, 05:00 PM
Is the song really 'based on' a story from the Bible? Or does it use the imagery from the Bible to comment more on the narrator's experience in life and in love? Is it metaphoric? Hallelujah really doesn't sound like a praise tune. For instance, Shakespeare used TONS of biblical imagery in his plays, I don't know if that constitutes Macbeth being 'based on' the New Testament or the Torah. Cohen's even said that 'many different Halleuljahs exist'....

Oh I'm glad someone posted this, because that's what I was thinking. Like those old songs in the gospel style, where they ain't singin' the gospel.

Hippie Dribble
10-15-2012, 05:31 PM
Oh I'm glad someone posted this, because that's what I was thinking. Like those old songs in the gospel style, where they ain't singin' the gospel.

know what you mean Kim, many of those Afro-American spirituals I find quite sad and depressing too...where the focus is more on the suffering than the victory and it's hard to put a joyful slant on them. O Sinner Man, All My Trials etc etc.

Cohen's song is very closely tied to King David's story of infidelity, when he succumbed to his lust and had an adulterous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba in the Old Testament. A story of sin and repentance, and ultimately, of forgiveness, which is borne out in Psalm 51 where David humbles himself before God in confession. The 'cold and broken' hallelujah is an admission of guilt and shame, but the 'holy' cry is a genuine one based on God's forgiveness. To me, the final verse is one of real hope, saying that 'The Lord of Song' is a God who frowns on sin, but whom is faithful and will forgive when there is genuine repentance.

Steedy
10-15-2012, 07:00 PM
Actually, no, one more comment. I think every version I've ever heard is quite grating, except this one:

http://wimp.com/girlshallelujah

Even if you are in the ptooooeee camp, you ought to see/hear this.

Wow, that one is very nice!

To me, a good singer is one who can hit the right note and hold it, and that's all I have to say about that.



know what you mean Kim, many of those Afro-American spirituals I find quite sad and depressing too...where the focus is more on the suffering than the victory and it's hard to put a joyful slant on them. O Sinner Man, All My Trials etc etc.

Cohen's song is very closely tied to King David's story of infidelity, when he succumbed to his lust and had an adulterous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba in the Old Testament. A story of sin and repentance, and ultimately, of forgiveness, which is borne out in Psalm 51 where David humbles himself before God in confession. The 'cold and broken' hallelujah is an admission of guilt and shame, but the 'holy' cry is a genuine one based on God's forgiveness. To me, the final verse is one of real hope, saying that 'The Lord of Song' is a God who frowns on sin, but whom is faithful and will forgive when there is genuine repentance.

Good post, thanks!

Freeda
10-15-2012, 07:09 PM
This thread has caused a lot of playing time for that song. Just sayin'. ;)

stevepetergal
10-15-2012, 08:08 PM
Actually, no, one more comment. I think every version I've ever heard is quite grating, except this one:

http://wimp.com/girlshallelujah

Even if you are in the ptooooeee camp, you ought to see/hear this.

I said p'tooeee to the song. But this is lovely singing, a nice arrangement, and great video editing. (Still hate the song)

Plainsong
10-15-2012, 10:35 PM
Ugh, I strongly dislike how they say "you" - as if they're in a freaking choir.

Update to add:
Second ugh. They over-freaking-sing. Like not taking the song into consideration at all, just vocal fapping. I don't think they get the meaning of the song. But men love to hear women do this. Why do think divas always got death scenes in operas with over-the-top vocals? Yup, that's why.

Otherwise, back to the song in general, this song might be from the bible, but it ain't religious, not even close to religious. Not in terms of worshipping a god anyway. It's worshipping something, but not that. ;)

2nd update: If anyone wants to take a crack at this, my husband and I were IMing about this, and we heard the same things all wrong. Basically there's a danger that if you tone down your buildup, that you may as well get out a guitar and copy Buckley. But maybe if you want to keep the harmony idea, then use two voices only and have them be male and female. Keep the instrumental simple and out of the way so that you can empathize phrases yourself, and follow the buildup, but take the less-is-more approach. Anyone want to have a crack at that method?

Ken Middleton
10-15-2012, 10:54 PM
Ugh, I strongly dislike how they say "you" - as if they're in a freaking choir.

Update to add:
Second ugh. They over-freaking-sing. Like not taking the song into consideration at all, just vocal fapping. I don't think they get the meaning of the song. But men love to hear women do this. Why do think divas always got death scenes in operas with over-the-top vocals? Yup, that's why.

Otherwise, back to the song in general, this song might be from the bible, but it ain't religious, not even close to religious. Not in terms of worshipping a god anyway. It's worshipping something, but not that. ;)

It depends what you mean by "religious". It is certainly not Christian, true. Like so many of Cohen's songs though, the imagery is taken from the OT of the Bible (Torah) and the song is very clearly influenced by his Jewish way of thinking.

barefootgypsy
10-16-2012, 12:19 AM
my husband and I were IMing about this, IMing? Sorry, don't understand - will someone enlighten me please?

webby
10-16-2012, 12:27 AM
I like this version.....

Oh Saturday was a special night.
The X Factor final was so tight.
We ordered take away from the Prince of India.
We had onion bhajis for the Wife.
And Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice.
But it when it came they'd forgotten my Lamb Bhuna.

My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.

buddhuu
10-16-2012, 12:41 AM
^ lol! :D

Barbablanca
10-16-2012, 02:17 AM
Ken started this with tongue in cheek,
It got more troubled through the week.
And led to comments without mitigation.
It's such a shame we can't discuss
A simple song without the fuss,
What next? Will we see here some litigation?

Litigation... etc ;)

ukemunga
10-16-2012, 02:18 AM
IMing? Sorry, don't understand - will someone enlighten me please?

"Instant Messaging" I assume.

barefootgypsy
10-16-2012, 02:32 AM
"Instant Messaging" I assume.Thanks very much! Learning something every day!

Ken Middleton
10-16-2012, 02:33 AM
Ken started this with tongue in cheek,
It got more troubled through the week.
And led to at least one guy's resignation.
It's such a shame we can't discuss
A simple song without the fuss,
What next? Will we see here some litigation?

Litigation... etc ;)

Who has resigned? And for what reason?

Cornfield
10-16-2012, 02:47 AM
Cohen's song is very closely tied to King David's story of infidelity, when he succumbed to his lust and had an adulterous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba in the Old Testament. A story of sin and repentance, and ultimately, of forgiveness, which is borne out in Psalm 51 where David humbles himself before God in confession. The 'cold and broken' hallelujah is an admission of guilt and shame, but the 'holy' cry is a genuine one based on God's forgiveness. To me, the final verse is one of real hope, saying that 'The Lord of Song' is a God who frowns on sin, but whom is faithful and will forgive when there is genuine repentance.


Thank you. Your explanation was one of the few in this thread that was worth reading.

kvehe
10-16-2012, 02:59 AM
Ken started this with tongue in cheek,
It got more troubled through the week.
And led to comments without mitigation.
It's such a shame we can't discuss
A simple song without the fuss,
What next? Will we see here some litigation?

Litigation... etc ;)

The winner!!!! I love this place.

webby
10-16-2012, 03:00 AM
'The Lord of Song' is a God who frowns on sin, but whom is faithful and will forgive when there is genuine repentance.

With respect this does not make sense for it says in (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

So how can the lord god you speak of frown upon a thing he or she created themselves ?

You will NEVER hear a sermon preached on this passage.

Barbablanca
10-16-2012, 03:07 AM
Who has resigned? And for what reason?

Sorry, I didn't wish to expand on the speculation in another thread, but someone did resign recently without giving clear reasons and there was speculation on his farewell thread that it was comments on this topic that had pushed him over the top. I'll withdraw the line if it is going to upset anyone.

buddhuu
10-16-2012, 03:39 AM
Sorry, I didn't wish to expand on the speculation in another thread, but someone did resign recently without giving clear reasons and there was speculation on his farewell thread that it was comments on this topic that had pushed him over the top. I'll withdraw the line if it is going to upset anyone.

Would you mind editing that line? It might be helpful, thanks.

Plainsong
10-16-2012, 04:04 AM
IMing? Sorry, don't understand - will someone enlighten me please?

Instant Messaging :)

Plainsong
10-16-2012, 04:06 AM
With respect this does not make sense for it says in (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

So how can the lord god you speak of frown upon a thing he or she created themselves ?

You will NEVER hear a sermon preached on this passage.

You will, but it won't be at church. ;)

vanflynn
10-16-2012, 04:13 AM
IMing? Sorry, don't understand - will someone enlighten me please?

Thanks for asking Lesley. I was thinking it was some new chinese electronic device.

roxhum
10-16-2012, 04:18 AM
Thanks for asking Lesley. I was thinking it was some new chinese electronic device.


Ha ha, I wondered if it was some weird religion.

RevWill
10-16-2012, 04:37 AM
Do I detect a challenge?


With respect this does not make sense for it says in (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

So how can the lord god you speak of frown upon a thing he or she created themselves ?

You will NEVER hear a sermon preached on this passage.


You will, but it won't be at church.

PedalFreak
10-16-2012, 05:01 AM
I've never heard of Jeff Buckley till now. I've heard of Leonard Cohen but not to familiar with him. I've listened to both versions of the song now and not wanting to piss anyone off but I hope I never hear Leonard Cohens version again. In my opinion Jeff Buckley absolutely blew me away. I'll listen to him do it anytime. That is one thing good that came out of this thread for me is I now know who Jeff Buckley is. I wasn't even going to check the videos out after reading thru all the posts till I saw Pedalfreaks post and it caused me to check it out. Thanks Pedalfreak!!

No problem. Prepare for your mind to be blown :) Try to find the Grace EP Box set also. Sends chills down my back listening to Buckley's music. Live at Sin e is awesome also! Just Jeff and his guitar.

DaveY
10-16-2012, 05:21 AM
So I too think it's almost time to end my membership of not only this but a few other online forums and chat boards




I like this version.....

Oh Saturday was a special night.
The X Factor final was so tight.
We ordered take away from the Prince of India.
We had onion bhajis for the Wife.
And Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice.
But it when it came they'd forgotten my Lamb Bhuna.

My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.
My Lamb Bhuna.

Webby, you are the Lazarus of UU!

AndrewKuker
10-16-2012, 05:53 AM
With respect this does not make sense for it says in (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

So how can the lord god you speak of frown upon a thing he or she created themselves ?

You will NEVER hear a sermon preached on this passage.

the KJV has several revisions through the years, as well as the english language evolving. For this scripture you will see "evil" in other more translations as "calamity" or "disaster". Very much old testament style, God, creator and destroyer. To convey the meaning of one passage from ancient Hebrew texts in a light that contradicts the bible as a whole seems pointless. It's like if we had this discussion in the style of a Shakespearean sonnet. People would be misconstruing others. Even more so.

AndrewKuker
10-16-2012, 06:16 AM
There has been talk from a few about leaving UU. I just wanted to say that I value expression and social interaction and I am glad you are all here. I enjoy living vicariously through the joy of a new uke. Or reading your opinions whether I agree or not. I feel closer to many of you then we may ever share but certainly another level compared to say, my wife's friends husbands I end up being around in the "real" world. I find this interaction and mental stimulation far beyond what television or movies or even video games allow. I have things to "accomplish" like anyone but choose to stop in and enjoy. Everyone can choose what is healthy for their life. You can drink so much water that you die, and that might not be the best analogy but the point is moderation. Since this thread turned religious, I will add that it is my belief we were created to enjoy life. This is part of how I do that and I'm glad everyone else isn't too busy "accomplishing" things to have a good ol' crazy conversation. I don't care what you believe or who you worship or how you interpret my expression. It's a forum and it's for people who enjoy hearing other's opinions and formulating their own. When I take a break because I need to you can guarantee I'll be back because I love UU and the people here. A couple years ago we contemplated starting a forum but did not because of this one. If you love uke, this is the forum to check in at. period

barefootgypsy
10-16-2012, 06:41 AM
There has been talk from a few about leaving UU. I just wanted to say that I value expression and social interaction and I am glad you are all here. I enjoy living vicariously through the joy of a new uke. Or reading your opinions whether I agree or not. I feel closer to many of you then we may ever share but certainly another level compared to say, my wife's friends husbands I end up being around in the "real" world. I find this interaction and mental stimulation far beyond what television or movies or even video games allow. I have things to "accomplish" like anyone but choose to stop in and enjoy. Everyone can choose what is healthy for their life. You can drink so much water that you die, and that might not be the best analogy but the point is moderation. Since this thread turned religious, I will add that it is my belief we were created to enjoy life. This is part of how I do that and I'm glad everyone else isn't too busy "accomplishing" things to have a good ol' crazy conversation. I don't care what you believe or who you worship or how you interpret my expression. It's a forum and it's for people who enjoy hearing other's opinions and formulating their own. When I take a break because I need to you can guarantee I'll be back because I love UU and the people here. A couple years ago we contemplated starting a forum but did not because of this one. If you love uke, this is the forum to check in at. periodThat's a great post, Andrew and I agree with you completely. Thanks for putting those views into words.

webby
10-16-2012, 06:46 AM
Webby, you are the Lazarus of UU!

Did you miss the word almost ??

caukulele
10-16-2012, 06:49 AM
There has been talk from a few about leaving UU. I just wanted to say that I value expression and social interaction and I am glad you are all here. I enjoy living vicariously through the joy of a new uke. Or reading your opinions whether I agree or not. I feel closer to many of you then we may ever share but certainly another level compared to say, my wife's friends husbands I end up being around in the "real" world. I find this interaction and mental stimulation far beyond what television or movies or even video games allow. I have things to "accomplish" like anyone but choose to stop in and enjoy. Everyone can choose what is healthy for their life. You can drink so much water that you die, and that might not be the best analogy but the point is moderation. Since this thread turned religious, I will add that it is my belief we were created to enjoy life. This is part of how I do that and I'm glad everyone else isn't too busy "accomplishing" things to have a good ol' crazy conversation. I don't care what you believe or who you worship or how you interpret my expression. It's a forum and it's for people who enjoy hearing other's opinions and formulating their own. When I take a break because I need to you can guarantee I'll be back because I love UU and the people here. A couple years ago we contemplated starting a forum but did not because of this one. If you love uke, this is the forum to check in at. period
Wonderful Andrew!!! You said it very well and I thank you for taking the time to write such thoughtful words. I agree with you!

Barbablanca
10-16-2012, 07:12 AM
I would request that anyone who has quoted my first draft of the lyrics I wrote earlier please replace them with these:

Ken started this with tongue in cheek,
It got more troubled through the week.
And led to comments without mitigation.
It's such a shame we can't discuss
A simple song without the fuss,
What next? Will we see here some litigation?

Litigation... etc ;)

bmelo
10-16-2012, 07:37 AM
Ben Harper did an excellent cover of the song at Carnegie Hall last week, probably the best one I've ever heard.

OldePhart
10-16-2012, 07:50 AM
Webby, you are the Lazarus of UU!


Did you miss the word almost ??

"Webby, you are the Lazarus of almost UU!" - huh? doesn't even make good Engrish... :biglaugh:

John

PhilUSAFRet
10-16-2012, 07:51 AM
Is this a thread or a soap opera??????????????

Ken Middleton
10-16-2012, 08:05 AM
Is this a thread or a soap opera??????????????

It's a soap opera, of course. Like a sort of religious version of Dallas.

barefootgypsy
10-16-2012, 08:47 AM
I would request that anyone who has quoted my first draft of the lyrics I wrote earlier please replace them with these:

Ken started this with tongue in cheek,
It got more troubled through the week.
And led to comments without mitigation.
It's such a shame we can't discuss
A simple song without the fuss,
What next? Will we see here some litigation?

Litigation... etc ;)Nice one, Barbablanca!

rasputinsghost
10-16-2012, 08:56 AM
know what you mean Kim, many of those Afro-American spirituals I find quite sad and depressing too...where the focus is more on the suffering than the victory and it's hard to put a joyful slant on them. O Sinner Man, All My Trials etc etc.

Cohen's song is very closely tied to King David's story of infidelity, when he succumbed to his lust and had an adulterous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba in the Old Testament. A story of sin and repentance, and ultimately, of forgiveness, which is borne out in Psalm 51 where David humbles himself before God in confession. The 'cold and broken' hallelujah is an admission of guilt and shame, but the 'holy' cry is a genuine one based on God's forgiveness. To me, the final verse is one of real hope, saying that 'The Lord of Song' is a God who frowns on sin, but whom is faithful and will forgive when there is genuine repentance.

Eugene, you've managed to point out that Biblical imagery is used but nowhere has Cohen come out and said that that is the meaning of the song. An equally strong argument can be made is that he's just using biblical metaphor and imagery to reflect on his life, without praising God in any meaningful way (if the song is even meant to be autobiographical).

"MAYBE there's a God above" is not a phrase I would EVER find in one of the hymnals at church

RevWill
10-16-2012, 08:59 AM
It could be a song about a perceived or experienced parallel between sexual and religious ecstacy; religious and sexual guilt or shame; or religious and sexual redemption. Who knows what a songwriter is thinking, especially a cerebral and elusive writer like Cohen.

pulelehua
10-16-2012, 09:15 AM
It's a soap opera, of course. Like a sort of religious version of Dallas.

Dallas wasn't religious?

Hippie Dribble
10-16-2012, 09:17 AM
Eugene, you've managed to point out that Biblical imagery is used but nowhere has Cohen come out and said that that is the meaning of the song. An equally strong argument can be made is that he's just using biblical metaphor and imagery to reflect on his life, without praising God in any meaningful way (if the song is even meant to be autobiographical).

"MAYBE there's a God above" is not a phrase I would EVER find in one of the hymnals at church
yep, totally agreed mate. That is just my interpretation. My post was really in direct response to the person who questioned the background of the story, which is clearly in the Old Testament. But this is what I love so much about Cohen; his lyrics are so beautifully constructed there is plenty of elbow room for each of us to move. And yes, I agree very much there could be a strong autobiographical component. But why does it have to be one or the other? I think both ways of looking at it are valid...(and for that matter, probably another 50 or so more).

This is the stuff of real art, no? That's why Cohen is one of the very best I reckon and why the process of art is as much about the observer as the artist.

pulelehua
10-16-2012, 09:22 AM
yep, totally agreed mate. That is just my interpretation. My post was really in direct response to the person who questioned the background of the story, which is clearly in the Old Testament. But this is what I love so much about Cohen; his lyrics are so beautifully constructed there is plenty of elbow room for each of us to move. And yes, I agree very much there could be a strong autobiographical component. But why does it have to be one or the other? I think both ways of looking at it are valid...(and for that matter, probably another 50 or so more).

This is the stuff of real art, no? That's why Cohen is one of the very best I reckon and why the process of art is as much about the observer as the artist.

Since you've become a moderator, you've become so postmodern.

Hippie Dribble
10-16-2012, 09:27 AM
Since you've become a moderator, you've become so postmodern.
he he John...too many years kicking around dust in the English Department...I'm scarred I tell ya, scarred :p

Lalz
10-16-2012, 10:17 AM
I'm glad everyone else isn't too busy "accomplishing" things to have a good ol' crazy conversation

Hehe. Well said! :agree: I enjoy good ol' crazy conversations such as this one very much.
Next thread: Aliens. What kind of ukulele would someone play on Mars? Does having sticky frog fingers cause fret buzz? ;)

pulelehua
10-16-2012, 10:26 AM
Hehe. Well said! :agree: I enjoy good ol' crazy conversations such as this one very much.
Next thread: Aliens. What kind of ukulele would someone play on Mars? Does having sticky frog fingers cause fret buzz? ;)

If you've got sticky frog fingers, I would suggest that fret buzz should be low on your list of priorities.

Lalz
10-16-2012, 10:45 AM
If you've got sticky frog fingers, I would suggest that fret buzz should be low on your list of priorities.

Very useful feature when living on Mars though

kvehe
10-16-2012, 11:37 AM
Serious thread hijack: Does anyone know if a ukulele has ever been in space?

Hallelujah! - added to keep us on-topic

vanflynn
10-16-2012, 12:06 PM
Kathryn, Buzz Aldrin did play the uke while in quarentine after the moon misson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXtSaOdXl3Q

halleluja Buzz

I stand corrected. It was Neil

Dwjkerr
10-16-2012, 12:07 PM
In space no - but Neil Armstrong had one when they were in isolation after they came back.

Dwjkerr
10-16-2012, 12:11 PM
It's a soap opera, of course. Like a sort of religious version of Dallas.

I'm just waiting for someone to post a verse where God played "somewhere over the Rainbow" on a Mahalo. :)

kvehe
10-16-2012, 12:12 PM
Thank you, folks. Back to our regularly scheduled discussion.

CountryMouse
11-25-2012, 07:28 AM
It bugs me that Kuana Torres Kahele has written new lyrics for "Hallelujah" and made it into a religious song. Here is a quote from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in its review of Kahele's Christmas album, "Hilo for the Holidays":

"One of the melodies wasnít a Christmas song in its original form. 'Hallelujah,' a modern classic penned by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and popularized by the late Jeff Buckley, is a stunningly lyrical but ultimately cynical view of the affairs of the human heart. Instead of translating Cohenís verses, Torres Kahele wrote his own Hawaiian lyrics to glorify the birth of Christ. He also Hawaiianized the title to 'Haleluia.'

ď'I decided to take my concept for the title and make this a more Hawaiian spiritual type of a song,' he said. 'Thatís something that people in Hawaii can really relate to, and the tune, of course is familiar to everyone. I was worried a bit about what some people would think, but I guess everybody likes it.'"

::sigh:: Not everybody.

CountryMouse

The Big Kahuna
11-25-2012, 08:21 AM
The following link best illustrates why we shouldn't be surprised:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/21329204.html

I read the article this morning, and I'm still facepalming 12 hours later

seneystretch
11-25-2012, 08:23 AM
IMHO, just because someone wrote a song doesn't mean that they perform it better than anyone else.

Cohen sung it as a demo. A demo is intentionally sung low-key, quiet, boring, without emphasis, without apparent talent, in the hope that a singer will see something in it and take it someplace. Oh for example where Karen Carpenter took the Crocker Bank jingle or even Solitaire. A songwriter hawking their work deliberately undersings their work. Unless you're Billy Joel or Paul McCartney, it's what's you do to make a living. How many chart topper hits did Jimmy Webb have that he sung himself?

>jackwhale Current american television is filled with 'contests' which stress vocal hystrionics and note for note copying of the original song<
You mean, like, melisma? Hoo boy are there the internet essays on that. I won't pay for it either. Phil Spector had an issue with this, too. He wanted "Will you still love me tomorrow?" sung straight and used force of personality to make it happen. Aretha Franklin is a prominent example of the emphatic style of jazz singing. Some like it, I prefer her earliest stuff before she adopted this style.

Don't most songs start off in the middle of the range? The National Anthem has a larger range and needs to be started low so you don't run out of steam at the top and have to warble your way through it; otherwise you turn into Roseanne Barr at that baseball game.

The Big Kahuna
11-25-2012, 08:27 AM
low-key, quiet, boring, without emphasis, without apparent talent

By a strange coincidence, those are the titles of Cohen's first 5 albums...

;)

seneystretch
11-25-2012, 08:44 AM
By a strange coincidence, those are the titles of Cohen's first 5 albums...;)

Well, I like Cohen's music a lot. No accounting for taste, to quote Norman Greenbaum. We all see our own spirits in our own skies.

Ken Middleton
11-25-2012, 08:44 AM
Cohen sung it as a demo. A demo is intentionally sung low-key, quiet, boring, without emphasis, without apparent talent, in the hope that a singer will see something in it and take it someplace...


Absolute twaddle!!

The Big Kahuna
11-25-2012, 08:56 AM
Well, I like Cohen's music a lot. No accounting for taste, to quote Norman Greenbaum. We all see our own spirits in our own skies.

I was joking. I do that.

seneystretch
11-25-2012, 09:16 AM
Absolute twaddle!!

No, this is how demos are done. I've listened to a lot of them. The songwriter doesn't want to eclipse the singer who can sell them and generate royalties. Besides, it's rare enough one can either write or sing, let alone both. Carole King had a spectacular album (Tapestry) but most of her work was sung by others (you'll still love me tomorrow, won't you?). Paul Williams had a great career hawking his demos to others.

>Absolute twaddle!!< I prefer the disdain of Karen from Outnumbered - Rubbish!!

seneystretch
11-25-2012, 09:34 AM
I was joking. I do that.

I had a little bit of fun with the Greenbaum quote. By his own account, he caught some static from his family because he turned an overtly Christian song into a pop hit (he's Jewish). Like Leonard Cohen.

One of my favorite vinyls is Barbra Streisand singing Christmas songs. She did such a wonderful job with them.

With what's Brewing today, I suppose some would Ship out before they take that one toke over the line needed to appreciate these albums. I guess times have changed, I'll let someone else argue this change is improvement.

pabrizzer
11-25-2012, 09:41 AM
Well, Ken, there is a lot of "absolute twaddle" in your initial post.
Even the people who compose songs don't expect everyone to play and perform the song as they did - it's just a really silly notion.
I first heard the song Hallelujah on the first Shrek movie - loved it straight away and went away and worked it out.
When I got around to hearing Cohen's original it really didn't appeal to me and if I had heard that version first the thing wouldn't have got my attention at all. It has too many verses and some of them have meanings that wouldn't have made it onto the kid's movie Shrek.
I discovered the song "Book of Love" by listening to Peter Gabriel's version which really turned me on to the song.
I thought it was his song. But it was written by Stephin Merritt from a group called Magnetic Fields and when I finally got around to hearing him do it - well I thought it left a lot to be desired. But I think it's truly beautiful little song and that EVERY cover is better than the original.
Just by the way - asking peoples' opinions on songs just so you can give your own is a bit like asking -
"What's your favourite colour?"
Getting their well considered answer and then shouting -
"WRONG!"

Ken Middleton
11-25-2012, 11:02 AM
No, this is how demos are done. I've listened to a lot of them. The songwriter doesn't want to eclipse the singer who can sell them and generate royalties. Besides, it's rare enough one can either write or sing, let alone both. Carole King had a spectacular album (Tapestry) but most of her work was sung by others (you'll still love me tomorrow, won't you?). Paul Williams had a great career hawking his demos to others.

>Absolute twaddle!!< I prefer the disdain of Karen from Outnumbered - Rubbish!!

No, Leonard Cohen definitely did not do it as a demo.

ScooterD35
12-03-2012, 05:47 AM
Well looky here!

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Book-traces-odd-journey-of-Cohen-s-song-4086696.php

Excerpt:

Author Alan Light reflected upon that while at Yom Kippur services in Manhattan two years ago, as he saw congregants in tears when the choir sang "Hallelujah." His curiosity led him to write "The Holy or the Broken," about the song's trajectory, about Cohen and about its most celebrated singer, the late Jeff Buckley. The book is out Tuesday.


Scooter

ScooterD35
12-03-2012, 05:54 AM
I might just have to read that (and perhaps re-think my position on the song itself).

Scooter

electrauke
12-03-2012, 07:35 AM
Because nobody can sing it as well as Cohen. It is such an amazing song that only a few people can song it.

Steedy
12-04-2012, 04:19 PM
Link to a good article about the song, including an excerpt from The Holy or the Broken:

http://music.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-book-excerpt-leonard-cohen-writes-hallelujah-holy-214025772-rolling-stone.html

Awesome stuff, even has quotes by Jake Shimabukuro!

Fisherman
12-04-2012, 04:30 PM
My only gripe is that it's not really a song for kids to be singing ... tied me to a kitchen chair, moved in you etc etc ... pretty saucy lyrics

The Big Kahuna
12-04-2012, 08:02 PM
My only gripe is that it's not really a song for kids to be singing ... tied me to a kitchen chair, moved in you etc etc ... pretty saucy lyrics

If taken out of context or misinterpreted like you have, yes.

Dan Uke
12-04-2012, 09:12 PM
If taken out of context or misinterpreted like you have, yes.

So why don't you enlighten us and tell us what it means

ukuhippo
12-04-2012, 09:53 PM
Interesting discussion. Well, it's all King Davids fault, he should never have gotten involved with that Bathsheba woman. So is the Bible not a good book for children to read?

Ken Middleton
12-04-2012, 10:13 PM
Interesting discussion. Well, it's all King Davids fault, he should never have gotten involved with that Bathsheba woman. So is the Bible not a good book for children to read?

The Bible is a GREAT book for children to read. I think the point is that the song Hallelujah, as with a great many of Cohen's lyrics, is sexually explicit. And he often deals with issues that, even today in these "wonderfully" permissive times, are not always discussed openly with young children. Having said that, today, children are certainly subjected to a filth-ridden stream of sewage pumped out from the news, from magazines, the media and the like. We live in desperate times.

ukuhippo
12-04-2012, 10:59 PM
The Bible is a GREAT book for children to read. I think the point is that the song Hallelujah, as with a great many of Cohen's lyrics, is sexually explicit. And he often deals with issues that, even today in these "wonderfully" permissive times, are not always discussed openly with young children. Having said that, today, children are certainly subjected to a filth-ridden stream of sewage pumped out from the news, from magazines, the media and the like. We live in desperate times.

Parental guidance seems to be the key here. Iīm lucky enough to come from a non-english speaking country. My son loves and sings Hallelujah, but he has no idea what the words mean. He also loves the songs from the musical Hair, but again he has no idea what it means that black boys are delicious chocolate flavoured toys. We do keep him under surveillance when he has his very limited pc-time, and fortunately his favourite magazine is still Donald Duck, even when he past the 10-year-mark.

I would never let him read the Bible before he turns 16, there's too much 'bad' things going on in that book for my liking. I do have an old copy of a simplified childrens Bible, which I loved as a kid, even when I never was and probably never will be a religious person. There are great stories in there, but my son is not interested in the book. Me and my former wife (his mother) both want him to choose for himself what to believe, and when he's older will encourage him to at least show interest in multiple religions, which also means we will offer him multiple books, including the Bible and the Koran.
So far his view of religion after a lot of questions to us a few years ago is that there is some kind of God, with a lot of different names (God, Allah, Bhudda, Krishna, the list goes on). And according to him that same God made the Big Bang happen. Personally I love this theory.

Ken Middleton
12-05-2012, 12:03 AM
... God, with a lot of different names (God, Allah, Bhudda, Krishna, the list goes on). And according to him that same God made the Big Bang happen ...

I call it the bada bing theory. I don't believe it and, according to the Bible, God doesn't believe it. Interestingly, I'm pretty sure Allah doesn't go along with it either.

ukuhippo
12-05-2012, 12:08 AM
I call it the bada bing theory. I don't believe it and, according to the Bible, God doesn't believe it. Interestingly, I'm pretty sure Allah doesn't go along with it either.

You and I should agree to disagree and talk about Ohana's, strings and great songs that are or aren't suitable for children. ;)

Ken Middleton
12-05-2012, 12:16 AM
You and I should agree to disagree and talk about Ohana's, strings and great songs that are or aren't suitable for children. ;)

No problem.

snarf
12-05-2012, 01:37 AM
I call it the bada bing theory. I don't believe it and, according to the Bible, God doesn't believe it. Interestingly, I'm pretty sure Allah doesn't go along with it either.

About that last bit, I'm not so sure, especially for Abrahamic religions.. Qur'an 2:62, 3:113-3:115, 3:64.. But then again 22:17..

Isn't it fascinating how different evolutions/interpetations of what some Middle-Eastern shepherds
who lived thousands of years ago, who only beleived in one God and were thus labeled atheists,
managed to spread so widely?

Anyway, I think there's nothing wrong with Hallelujah... not even for children... my daughter came home
singing parts of "bad romance" and "ai se eu te pego"... I'm not worried...