Hallelujah: sweetness vs sacrilege?

Tributes & covers; Leonard's songs on the soundtracks and TV
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Andrew (Darby)
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Hallelujah: sweetness vs sacrilege?

Postby Andrew (Darby) » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:12 pm

I thought you would be interested in hearing about and listening to an English singer/songwriter, Alistair Griffin, who has done two versions of Hallelujah! I heard about this through my friend, Graham, who in turn heard about it (and heard the humorous version) on our Aussie national youth radio station, Triple J, the other day. 8)

Anyway, Alistair's two versions of Hallelujah can be heard via the 'myspace' link below. The serious version is quite a sweet and arguably worthwhile cover of Hallelujah by Alistair (who hails from North Yorkshire). However, the sacrilegious (?) version clearly derives from the fact that Alistair is a big Middlesbrough Football Club fan, who thinks the (Aussie national) player, Mark Viduka, is worth worshipping, by way of lyrics in homage to him, to the tune of Hallelujah! :wink:

Anyway, I give you fair warning not to listen to the bastardized version (Mark Viduka Boro Song) if you think it might taint your appreciation of the serious one (we all love so much)! :P Perhaps, those of us who are football fans will hope that we have enough personal resilience to rescue us from any permanent damage! :wink: Another little warning: when you go into this link the non-serious version starts playing immediately, so get ready to hit the stop button if you don't want to hear it :!:

http://www.myspace.com:80/alistairgriffinonline

Cheers :)
Andrew (Darby)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
jud
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:26 pm

Postby jud » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:49 pm

I've been a fan of Leonard Cohen's poetry and music since the 70s, and Hallelujah is one of my favourite songs. I'm also a fan of Alistair Griffin, and I was delighted when he started including a cover of it it in his live gigs. The recording on Myspace isn't a patch on his live performance of it, If you are in any doubt about his true feelings for the song, watch this video from one of his concerts last year, which is not in the least "sweet", and which I think compares well with covers by many better known artists.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpXJz_8IQy0

Alistair has a wicked sense of humour, and often makes up his own parodies of well known songs - he is also a fanatical Middlesbrough supporter and he wrote this tongue-in-cheek tribute to Mark Viduka for a charity concert at Middlesbrough Football Club, which was attended by many of the players, and sang it after he had performed the "proper" version.

It was intended to be a "one-off", but The "Viduka song" made such an impression that the manager asked for a recording to play at the match the following day, where it was broadcast during the interval. It was an immediate hit with the football fans; many of them had never ever heard the original, but have listened to it since, and now agree that it is an amazing song!

I understand that negotiations are taking place for the release of the" Mark Viduka" version as a charity single, to benefit the cancer charity that the original event was in aid of.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:14 pm

It's just so good to be able to listen to these now... instead of wondering. I have no idea how much backtracking there is to do. I may just listen as I come across things, as I did here.

However, I love both versions. I've never before heard of Alistair Griffin, but Alistair's presentation of it is such that I had to go edit another post to add it in as one that I would buy, had I never heard Leonard do it. This is so reminiscent of that spontaneous-Norwegian-quartet's bittersweet singing of it... Alistair's voice has that same bittersweet quality that I love so much.
I understand that negotiations are taking place for the release of the" Mark Viduka" version as a charity single, to benefit the cancer charity that the original event was in aid of.
I hope this happens. He does beautiful work in his singing of it. I'm going now to listen, again, to his concert version. I've just returned and am going a third time... this may go on awhile. Thank you so much for posting these, Andrew and Jud. Welcome to the Forum, Jud :D !


~ Lizzy
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Andrew (Darby)
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 5:46 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Andrew (Darby) » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:39 pm

Hey jud, thanks heaps for posting the YouTube version - it is awesome! I've listened to it over and over again - it's also great to see him perform! :D

In fact I now think I need to retract the "sweet" reference, as it doesn't do justice to the passion and depth with which he performs this Cohen classic! 8)

Cheers :)
Andrew (Darby)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
jud
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:26 pm

Postby jud » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:49 pm

Alistair has been given permission to release the Mark Viduka song as a charity single, so for anyone who would like to combine their love of Cohen's Hallelujah with their love of football, it will be available from

http://www.indiestore.com/alistairgriffin

from Saturday 17 March, with all proceeds going to MacMillan Cancer Support

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