Friday, February 19, 2010

Every time you turn around, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah song is blasting in your ears. Rufus Wainwright covers it, half the American Idol contestants belted it, and k. d. lang sang the hell out of it at the Olympics opening ceremony. It was pretty spectacular: her crystal-clear tone, her languid phrasing, her perfect diction.

Oh. Oh, we thought.


Well, in Cohen's defense, it's not like there's a bucket of rhymes for eighty-syllable words. With every line ending in "ya," though, it didn't exactly strike us as Joyce Kilmer returns. In fact, see if you can tell which of the following lines were written by Cohen and which we made up while we were brushing our teeth.

(1) I tried my best but I just can't outdo ya.
(2) But you don't really care for music, do ya?
(3) I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool ya.
(4) I told her, You can go -- I won't gumshoe ya.
(5) Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya.
(6) When he fights you know he'll really kung fu ya.
(7) But if I did, well really, what's it to ya?
(8) Stay away from Macy's, they'll just muumuu ya.

ANSWERS:1, 4, 6, and 8 are fake.


Anonymous said...

just curious sweetie. did you check all 50 verses? apparently that's how many he wrote. singers can either take their choice or sing them all and risk their vocal chords and sanity.

Anonymous said...

And k d lang sang every last one of them . . .

Yet Another Steve said...

At least k d, like Jeff Buckley, has the grace to sing the lyrics as "do ya" and so on, and preserve the rhymes. The vastly-overhyped Rufus Wainwright, by contrast, pointedly sings "do you" and "knew you" and never concedes anything to the song. 'Cause he's, y'know, above that kind of thing.