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bear by san

March 2017



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phil ochs troubador

i've seen your flag on the marble arch

The only thing earwormier than ESLC* singing "Hallelujah" is singing it yourself.

God, that's a fun song

And I dunno why everybody sings it so damned affectless. You can get up under that shit and push.**

*Evil Sexy Leonard Cohen. Curse you, Evil Sexy Leonard Cohen!

**and evynrude, you were right, I can hit that note. And I suspect my neighbors hate you now.


One of my favorite renditions of the "Hallelujah" chorus comes from the Dallas-based men's choir The Vocal Majority. A hundred and fifty guys who know how to get under that shit and push -- and they do it with flawless diction and volume control.

Their version of "O Holy Night"? The line "Fall on your knees"? Yeah, you want to fall on your knees, when they belt that out. In concert, it's like getting smacked in the face with a wall of beautifully resonant sound.

*makes a note*
That's the most obvious example of why L.Cohen should have grown up to be Bach, but damn there is sure a lot of anthemic pop music. almost then we had some spiritual aspirations or something..
It's a fabulous song.
I knew you could do it! Yeah, you!

Sorry about the neighbors, but if it makes you feel any better, mine will probably start filing complants, too.
Hee. Oh noes!
Leonard rocks. Even when his voice dropped eight octaves (and he did this strange 78/45 RPM shift).

And shaved his head to a Mount Baldy Buddhist.

(You have to be a very special kind of Quebequois cool to pull this off -- like old PM Trudeau wearing a carnation, giving the prairies the finger and muttering about philosopher kings).

Deeply true.


PS: What was that weird cowboy movie with Warren Beatty and the big fur coat. That whole world scudded along in a Leonard Cohen breeze.
somewhere in the Mount Baldy line should appear the word "become" (or something similar).
I'm sorry.

I absolutely hate Leonard Cohen. I felt I should say that here.

I just don't get it. Is it because I am a guy?

No, it's because you have no musical taste, obviously. *g*
Oh yes, SO much fun to sing. It just... feels good on your vocal chords?

Rufus Wainwright's version is pretty good, too, though not with the pushing. More with his idiosyncratic laziness, which in Hallelujah is like swallowing raw silk to listen to.
I actually kind of loathe his version. Gutless. *g*


What I don't get about that song is why everyone I've heard do it live (a) pronounces 'before I knew you' to rhyme with 'doves coo', but pronounces 'hallelujah' to rhyme with 'puma'.

THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO RHYME DARNIT! Or so my inner ocd tendencies insist. :->
Whoever you are listening to, they are wrong.

It's "knew ya." etc.
I'm going to have to admit this now. I'm not a Leonard fan. His voice doesn't really do it for me.

*whispers* I love the Jeff Buckley version

*says more confidently* but I love this song full stop.
The Buckley version has nice guitar, but I wish he would *sing* instead of crooning it.
I also love that song with an inordinate passion. It is an amazing song. It persuaded me to learn how to sing it in key (I love to sing, but I rarely do around people as I can't hit key unless I know it to my bones, and as a former music major I can't stand listening to myself). It is *much* more fun if you sing it full-on gospel-lady style rather than emi-waif style.
I am discovering that I can actually sing.

In Aminor. Only.



And yeah, that is not a song intended for breathy thoughtful phrasing.

It's intended for guts.

And sobbing.
Guy I know in the local music scene does a killer version of "Hallelujah" with the Smiths' "I Know It's Over" inserted as a sort of bridge. It works surprisingly well.
I ...can't help it. I still like Bono's cover of it best, with Cohen's original a close second.
I really like the Bono cover. *g*