All posts filed under: artists

Hallelujah

rufus wainwright at satalla Originally uploaded by this is emily. Easter Sunday’s NYT explores the Unsettling History of That Joyous Hallelujah, revealing that Handel’s Messiah tune actually celebrates the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple as divine retribution against the Jews rather than the birth or resurrection of Jesus. I’m just relieved it’s not about my joyous “Hallelujah“, the one by the Canadian Jewish Buddhist ex-monk Leonard Cohen (originally from “Various Positions“) exploring destruction and divinity in love, sex and intimate relationships. Like Handel’s, Cohen’s Hallelujah has been performed by many artists. John Cale’s, Jeff Buckley’s, Sheryl Crow’s and k.d. lang’s versions sing to me. Imogen Heap’s a capella and Bono’s dance mix… not so much. But one version cuts through my heart every time, and that would be Rufus Wainwright’s. I’m not sure if it’s the voice, the delivery or the change of “dove” to “dark” in the clincher verse, but reprises arise in me all the time. Speaking of verses, there are about 15 known ones and they appear in various configurations …