Friday, November 11, 2011

Jeff Buckley's “Hallelujah”

When my mom died, she was carrying Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" audio cassette in her purse. I played Cohen's “Hallelujah” until the tape warped. Only song that got me through her death. 
Many people think Tim Buckley's son, Jeff Buckley wrote “Hallelujah”—but it is Leonard Cohen's song. Buckley drowned during a spontaneous evening swim—fully clothed—in the Wolf River Harbor, a slackwater channel of the mighty Mississippi River, caught in the wake of a passing boat, 1997. Buckley went down, boots and all, singing the chorus of "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin.

Chart success also came posthumously to Jeff Buckley, with "Hallelujah" he attained his first #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs in March 2008. But wasn't around to enjoy the accolades.

Rufus Wainwrignt knew Jeff Buckley, and recorded his version after Jeff. I don't like Rufus' whiny tone (in Shrek). I prefer Leonard's gravelly first release (I'm Your Man), and there are several Jeff Buckley versions of “Hallelujah” on YouTube.

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