Monday, December 22, 2008

Hallelujah, a breath of fresh air

Half the world seems to have done a cover of that old Leonard Cohen number, and the other half seems to have taken up arms in support of one version or another.

IMHO, Jeff Buckley’s really is pretty damn good. Alexandra Burke clearly has a great voice, but this, like many of Cohen’s songs, evokes a depth of knowledge earned through slow suffering – I’m not sure any 20-year-old could really do it justice. Actually, while I like the song itself, I’m not all that wild about Cohen’s own version.

Anyway. I thought I’d get in on the act. Lacking instruments, recording equipment and anything resembling a singing voice, my take is to rewrite the lyrics.

Now I’ve heard the charts a thousand times
(Or at least I’ve seen the singers mime)
I’ll spin a song of satire, cos I know this

It goes like this: use bad breath as
A metaphor for boring, crass
And phony stinking music – halitosis
Halitosis, halitosis, halitosis, halitosis

It’s all alike and makes a stink
But before long we just can’t think
It’s filling up our ears and minds (and noses)

The theory is, if the whole world pongs
We’ll never know they aren’t fresh songs
We’ll hum along to the hum of halitosis
Halitosis, halitosis, halitosis, halitosis

Such formulaic tuneless hits
Are mass-produced by business shits
Who care nothing for art but how it grosses

They manufacture all our sounds
To fill the air and float around
A monkey could do this – who needs composers?
Halitosis, halitosis, halitosis, halitosis

But now and then it works out well
A sweet aroma breaks the smell
And lifts our voices up in Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

And if the masses buy a cover
When we’d prefer they bought another
Well sod it – Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
Happy New Year, Happy New Year, Happy New Year, Happy New Year
Happy New Year... [etc.]
Happy Neeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww Year

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