The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

One more week ’til Lent

Ash Wednesday is only a week away, and the purple will come out and the “Alleluias” will be silenced. So for now, enjoy this latest rendition — and a gorgeous one, at that — of a perennial favorite of The Bench.

It’s Leonard Cohen’s mysteriously beautiful and enigmatic “Hallelujah,” performed by Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris during the recent telethon for Haiti.

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posted February 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I’ve never understood why so many older Catholics like this song. It’s a sad, bitter song about a man whose unheatlthy love affair (David and Samson had no business with the women they were with from the start) has gone bad.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted February 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Older? OLDER? I resemble that remark. I’m only 50, for crying out loud.
FWIW, if memory serves, I believe Rocco Palmo likes this song, too. He’s a doddering, blithering, creaky 27.
Dcn. G.

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posted February 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Very nice, but I think Jeff Buckely’s version is by far the best.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted February 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I think so, too. Timberlake’s interp is just a little too slow. But it’s a testament to this song’s enduring staying power that so many people have given it different, often widely varying interpretations (even picking and choosing which lyrics they want to use).
Case in point: this rafter-raising rendition by Alexandra Burke, which electrified the British pop charts last year.

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posted February 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Of course there’s all of those doddering old Shrek fans, too. 😉

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Paul Snatchko

posted February 11, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I love this song. I’m 33.

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Franklin Jennings

posted February 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm

32 here, almost 33, and I’ve always loved it.
And it isn’t about a man who’s love affair has gone bad. It is about the reality of the mystery of Love itself. It is a sad song, but I don’t see this bitterness.
In fact, the song carries within it the recognition that Love, misapprehended, leads to heartache, misery and despair, contrary to all the promise Love held initially.
Regret, not bitterness.

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