Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sacred v Profane

This could come in for a lot of criticism from Jonathan, the master wit and caricaturist, who before I deleted his stupid post called me "big nose". I say this because Leonard Cohen and I could have been separated at birth, so maybe he'll crack a joke about "big noses" togeteher, that will just floor us all.

Music has always been a mixture of the sacred and the profane, and Leonard Cohen's use of symbols and imagery in his poetic lyrics illustrate that perfectly. I'd have to say though, much as I love to hear the blessed Leonard sing his own work, the late, and much missed, Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah is, for me, the definitive version.

These days the split between the sacred and the profane in the music world is quite clear, pretty much all the singer/songwriter work is sacred and to be cherished, and the crap that spews forth from boy bands and the X-Factor, and the like, is profane. It is crass and it is hallow, and it is product. It is the musical equivalent of a sub-prime mortgage bundle. If you must have a copy of Hallelujah, make it Cohen's own, or Buckley's interpretation - or you will be contributing the the fall of mankind.

Jeff Buckley "playing and singing" Hallelujah.

Leonard Cohen singing Hallelujah

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both owned by Sony. But that version is THE VERSION.
It's all money in Leonard's pocket, which is good, plus Buckley gets added attention.
The only downside is giant pants man is making out of it whichever way it goes.