It’s not particularly often that I find myself randomly screaming at my computer monitor on a Sunday afternoon.. Granted, it happens more than I’d like to admit and more than most of you would probably believe.. But it doesn’t happen THAT often.. That having been said, yesterday was one of those rare days where I had a bit of a Tourette’s moment and let out a bit of steam.. The reason? Well, quite simple, really, I’d just been sitting there, thinking to myself “Man, if I hear one more cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, I’m gonna scream” – when someone, my half-sister to be exact, posts a video on Facebook of some ten year old Danish girl mangling one of the most beautiful songs ever written.. Yeah, I get it, it was a try-out for “My Daughter’s Got Talent”, “X-Factor” or another one of those strange shows, she’s ten, she can sing, it’s adorable..Well, no, it’s not! She’s ten, she doesn’t know the words, her accent shines through and she manages to rob the song of most of the feeling it’s ever had.. Bah, humbug! And no, I don’t mean to sound like a bitter old man here, but Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs ever, and favorite songs shouldn’t be messed with whether you’re ten years old, a jolly green ogre, a Canadian or your name just happens to be Espen Lind (in fact, if your name is Espen Lind, you shouldn’t be doing any singing to begin with, but that’s another post!)
What’s worse is that when clicking the Youtube link, you immediately get presented with a swarm of other more or less equally hopeless covers of said song. Now granted, probably not everybody shares my views that cover songs are a thing that should generally be avoided.. But really.. Two hundred covers is a bit over the top, wouldn’t you say? Especially when 99% of them either don’t do the original any justice at all, or merely serve as a sub-par version of the original.. And all this covering leads to some pretty horrible misconceptions such as the notion that Hallelujah is a song written by Jeff Buckley (I nearly got in a bar fight over that one once, but that, too, is another post) or that it was a song popularized by the movie Shrek because the movie features the John Cale cover (and has the Rufus Wainwright version on the soundtrack, go figure) .. And that’s just pure nonsense.. And wrong!
So, for the sake of musical correctness, some rest for a sadly abused classic, a fair bit of peace and less screaming.. I suggest that all artists of the world, and aspiring artists, too, stop covering Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the next foreseeable future.. Or, well, a few years at least.. Please? It’s a fruitless adventure anyways.. Look, here’s a video of Leonard Cohen at age 73 wiping the floor with all young young whippersnappers and your covers: