Saturday, February 09, 2008

Cohen

I've been helping out with the weekly music at church and this week our pastor requested an all-Leonard Cohen Sunday. So we obliged and will be playing 4 Cohen tunes. Like many folks, I know Cohen mostly through "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah" -- especially the gorgeous rendition by Jeff Buckley (a version of which can be found here, although they wouldn't let me embed the video).

So, its been nice to get to know some of his lesser-known stuff. He's a lot like Dylan: can't sing worth a damn, but he sure can write some amazing songs. A lot of his songs mix and match Jewish, Buddhist and Christian themes, which makes him a natural for church services. In addition to "Hallelujah", we'll be performing "Anthem" (which is kind of a Buddhist call to arms, if you can imagine that), "The Story of Isaac" (which turns the biblical narrative into an anti-Vietnam War protest song) and this one: "the Sisters of Mercy."

2 comments:

hbomb said...

I don't know, for my money the version of Hallelujah that really gets me is the one done by Rufus Wainwright...perhaps the persecution he's felt as a gay man just adds another layer to it. Great song, though, no matter who sings it.

Tim said...

Rufus's version is great, but Jeff Buckley's tragic death gives his version a certain poignancy. But agreed - great song.