Skip to comments.Priest's 'Hallelujah' Gets High Praise (Fr. Kelly's rendition of Leonard Cohen's song at wedding)
Posted on 04/13/2014 7:47:09 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The video of Father Ray Kelly's version of Leonard Cohens Hallelujah was taped at a recent wedding in Ireland and has become an internet sensation.
The priest from Oldcastle, Ireland, is a trained singer but he told reporters that the couple had no idea what was going to happen.
Father Kelly changed the lyrics to make the song more suitable for a wedding. A look at video from the ceremony indicates that the audience loved it.
According to BBC News, Father Kelly is currently working on his third album.
"I keep saying this will be my last because this year I'm 25 years a priest - I do it to make a few bob for local charities," he said.
Thank goodness he did at least that. I love this song but it is so wrong for a wedding and completely unChristian as well.
Well, my eighth grade English teacher took a pop song about hopelessness and changed "no open door" to "an open door" so we could sing it for graduation. It violated the artist's intentions but so what? She showed that she was aware of contemporary music, and that's what mattered.
Actually it was the music teacher. Apologies to the English teacher.
I loved the priest’s version and thought it absolutely delightful. But the comments to the are surprising - lots of complaints about the impropriety of this. HUH?
I’m not Catholic so absolutely don’t understand.
Listened to some of it. Did he add: Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah ?
The original song is about the terrible power of sex (terrible in the old sense of the word), its power to lead us to destruction, the harm done when love is misused to wound, and the singer’s persona is that of a man whose only prayer and transcendance is found in sex, and the emptiness and loss that ultimately follows from that.
Liturgy should not be hijacked to showcase individuals. It’s not a talent show.
When I first heard this I had to look up the words and was surprised. So odd, with the name Hallelujah and the haunting music, the words are not anything pretty.
I suppose Leonard Cohen has been through a thing or two.
Leonard Cohen’s wonderful song “Hallelujah” is about King David’s Experience as a Songwriter, an Artist, a Fugitive, a Believer, a Doubter, and an Adulterer.
Leonard Cohen has been writing songs for over 50 years and writes from the perspective of a Jewish Mystic. He draws from years of experience seeking, doubting, studying, struggling, and believing.
I love the song, and have played it a number of times, but NEVER in Church.
Some of my colleagues in the Music ministry have changed the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven” and “Sweet Child of Mine” in order to play those songs in Church. I am dead set against that, as I feel that it is a violation of the intent of the songwriter. Not only that, it is ILLEGAL and sets a very bad example.
As a songwriter myself, I would be really upset if somebody sang my song in a public venue and changed the words without permission. Did Fr. contact Leonard Cohen and ask permission to change the words and sing the song at a Christian Wedding?
I agree that the sentiment is lovely, and the Priest has a nice voice, and the couple seemed delighted, but there is so much baggage involved that perhaps Fr. should have written a new song for the bride and Groom.
I felt the same way when Elton John stole the melody from one of his OWN songs to pay tribute to Princess Di. Poor Marilyn! “Candle in the Wind” became “Goodbye England’s Rose”! Certainly Sir. Elton could have come up with a new tune for the princess instead of recycling an old one.
These musings are all just my humble opinion and not meant to bash anybody. But since I am in the position of being director of Music in a church, I am confronted with this issue a lot.