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I watched the The O.C. season finale today (while I was without internet access for seven hours) and at the end they played a song which had previously been in West Wing when Mark Harmon's character was shot. Like a Tori Amos song I've written about before this song, the cinematography, and the story combined perfectly (in West Wing - much much less so in The O.C.) to cause such a feeling in me that I replayed the scene several times.

The iTunes Music Store is of little help when searching for a term as vague as "Hellelujah," especially when you're not even sure that this is the title of the song. Google, however, is quite helpful. I searched for "West Wing Hallelujah" and the first result led me to my gold.

I've purchased the song now and I've got goosebumps again. Music is powerful. Combined with video and a storyline in the right person's hands, it's downright deadly. We don't celebrate the artistry of actual artists much anymore - we're very synthetic-pop-oriented these days. Britney Spears isn't an artist. Aaron Sorkin, and in a brief moment and to a lesser extent, whoever put together the scenes in The O.C., I salute you.

P.S. West Wing Season 2 DVDs ship on May 18. I've got my order in.

13 Responses to "Hallelujah"

  1. Question: What's the most powerful song you can think of? My Answer: Either of the songs I mention in a post I've made here: "Hallelujah" or "I Don't Like Mondays." Both of them from West Wing, yes. You are encouraged...

  2. The Jeff Buckley one doesn't seem to the the same one from the episode. The recording from the show seems a bit more powerful (just in his voice), whereas the one you (and I) bought from iTMS seems to be holding back just a little.

    Just an observation.

  3. That's not the first time that the OC has done that with great efficacy. Their use of Loose Caboose was also fabulous.

  4. You may want to check out Cohen Live, which features Leonhard Cohen's original version of "Hallelujah".

    Jeff Buckleys version is a great one, too.

  5. Don't know if this is the one or not, but Rufus Wainright did this song on the Shrek soundtrack. Jeff Buckley's version is the one in the movie (Shrek), but apparently Dreamworks owns whichever label Rufus is signed with, and they made more money on the album if his version was on it. It's very well done, almost note-for-note identical to the Jeff Buckley version, but I prefer Rufus singing it.

    I don't believe it is available on the iTunes store, however.


  6. Caleb,

    That may be it, thanks! I'll look for the Rufus Wainright version.

  7. Another Buckley cover (considerably more obscure) is him doing Leon Payne's "Lost Highway". You can't get it on iTunes, but if you can find it on the file sharing networks, it's absolutely worth it.

  8. I've been a Jeff Buckley fan for a long time (since before his death, at least). Two songs that I particularily enjoy are Last Goodbye (mostly due to an ending relationship at the time I first heard it) and his cover of The Way Young Lovers Do on Live at Sin-E.

    As far as "powerful" songs go, the first two that came to mind when seeing the QotD were Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle (coming to terms with the results of misplaced priorities and not spending enough time with your children) and Toad the Wet Sprocket's Hold Her Down (releasing rage against those who commit rape). Though I haven't listened to either song in a number of years, I guess it's a testament to their lasting effect since they were the first that came to mind.

  9. Hi, greetings from the guy who wrote the bit on Buckley's "Hallelujah" in the link from above.

    Here's what I've determined on the version in "Shrek". The soundtrack does use Rufus Wainwright's cover, but the movie uses the cover from John Cale of Velvet Underground fame, as does the movie "Basquiat" (and who knows what else).

    I've started a discussion thread on what the hell this song means in my forum and would love any input you might have.


  10. Idiots, the song "Hallelejuh" was written by Leonard Cohen, performed by John Cale in Shrek, and on the soundtrack it is covered by Rufus Wainright. Watch the credits... Bye

  11. Hi, Read your comments on 1/1/2005 regarding the above. Great comments !!

    I have the various recordings, mp3's by:

    Leonard Cohen

    John Cale

    Jeff Buckley

    Allison Crowe

    Rufus Wainwright and the Rufus one from Shrek

    and an excellant one by Roger Hildreth

    I guess those people who comment don't like to research.



  12. Carrie - any way I can get those MP3's from you?

  13. Last nights performance that was featured in the finale of the OC was Hallelujah by Imogen Heap, not Tori Amos.