Monday, February 02, 2009

That's my lyric-appreciating girl

So, Julia and I spent a lot of time together last weekend, and she was here again last night. Shrek I, II, III and the Shrek Christmas special figured prominently in this time spent together, and last night I showed her videos of a number of different artists singing Hallelujah, which is our favorite song from the movies.

(The song is by Leonard Cohen, but unimpeachable Internet sources say there are 198 different covers by almost as many artists. It's just that good.)

I've posted the movie version of it here before, but that one is hard to find on YouTube right now, and the copies I have come up with "Can not be viewed from [my] location." And the one I did manage to view doesn't support embedding, so I can't post it here.

So here's a nice cover by John Cale instead:

It's one of those songs where different artists tend to use different versions of the lyrics, and unsurprisingly, the movie version is particularly sanitized, using the lyrics I've marked in bold and omitting the others:

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe I've been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you'd let me know
What's real and going on below
But now you never show it to me do you?
Remember when I moved in you?
The holy dark was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

No real surprises there.

Actually, though, my point wasn't really about which lyrics were kept in or left out, but about Julia's reaction when she started paying attention to them.

In addition to giggling at (and asking about) the hair cutting and the throne breaking, she picked up on one line that is in all the versions I've heard:

It's not somebody who's seen the light

"That's right," says she. "Because Shrek couldn't see Fiona in the night time. She was an ogre and she was hiding. And in the daytime she wasn't an ogre."

Hallelujah, y'all.


The Cunning Runt February 02, 2009 8:07 PM  

That's an absolutely gorgeous song.

I really think nobody does it quite like Leonard, though Rufus Wainright's version gives me shivers.

And that Julia, whoa! Smart little button!

Brave Sir Robin February 03, 2009 5:58 AM  

The version on the movie soundtrack, I seem to recall includes those lyrics, and is sung by Rufus Wainwright.

I lost that CD in the divorce, so I can't be sure about the lyrics, but I'm pretty sure.

It's a great version, anyway.


pidomon February 03, 2009 8:19 PM  

so we were both in a LC mood? LOL

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