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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hallelujah

I was first introduced to this song, and this artist by Neil Peart, the drummer of the rock band Rush via Peart's book titled Traveling Music (a book I highly recommend if you like Rush, or rock music in general).

The song is titled Hallelujah and was originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen. The song is magnificant, well written and lyrically beautiful. Various version have been recorded or performed in the past, but none sound as good as Jeff Buckley's version. Recently at one of our usual gatherings, a friend of mine named Sandy played the song. It had been a while since I had heard the song, and now I cannot get enough of it. When Buckley breaks into the vocal part it is nearly angelic, and having listened to various versions (e.g. Rufus Wainright, Leonard Cohen, John Cale, etc.) his voice quality and raw emotion in the song is unmatched. Below are the lyrics and here's a link to YouTube where Jeff Buckley is performing the song. Apparently Sony Music disabled the "embeded code."

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

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
she broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby 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 let me know
What's real and going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you,
The Holy Dove 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 somebody 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

Apparently, after a bit of research on the song, the lyrics have changed from artist to artist (which is fairly typical).

Jeff Buckley was an up and coming new artists and had released only two albums before he died. According to Wikipedia, this is how Buckley died: "On May 29, 1997, as the band's plane touched down on the runway to join him in his Memphis studio, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor, a tributary of the Mississippi River, while wearing steel-toed boots, all of his clothing, and singing along to a radio playing Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'.

A roadie of Buckley's band, Keith Foti, remained ashore. After moving the radio and a guitar out of reach of the wake from a passing tugboat, Foti looked up to see that Buckley was gone. Despite a determined rescue effort that night, Buckley remained missing, and the search was called off the following day due to heavy rain. It is likely Buckley was sucked under the water by a strong under-current and fell into unconsciousness due to the sudden force pulling him under. Three days later, his body was spotted by a tourist on a riverboat marina and was brought ashore."

Here's to you Jeff Buckley, thanks for recording such a good song and making it better.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Mandy said...

Hallelujah is a glorious song in almost all versions. My favorite is this naturally passionate one by Allison Crowe from her album "Tidings". It's live and not polished like the recordings of the mainstream labels, but, for me, that brings the emotions and spirit to life most fully.

3:31 PM, February 07, 2008  
Anonymous David said...

I love this song too. But I prefer Rufus Wainright's version. Something funny, though: I learned of this song while watching Shrek.

4:10 PM, February 07, 2008  
Blogger Josh said...

Great stuff, Todd! Just downloaded the Buckley version from I-Tunes.

10:04 PM, February 07, 2008  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Mandy,

Glad you stopped by. I have not heard the Allison Crowe version, so thanks for providing it.

David,

I like Wainright's version (of course not as much as Buckley's) - what I do not like about the Wainright version his his lyrical changes. BTW, John Cale did the version from Shrek.

Josh,

Glad you like it. I like the "breath release" Buckley provides at the very beginning of the I-tunes version.

11:02 PM, February 07, 2008  

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