Sunday, December 12, 2010

Joy 76/82: Nothing on My Tongue but Hallelujah

Occasionally a song gets stuck in my head and won't let go.  It happened last night when I watched "Saint Ralph," a lovely, little feel-good, Canadian movie.  "Hallelujah," written by Leonard Cohen and sung by Gord Downie plays late in the movie and it's haunting and beautiful.  (You may also recognize it from the Haiti Relief Telethon or Shrek.)

Here is a very touching video that includes Cohen reciting the stanza sung in the movie during his acceptance speech when he was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.  Here are the lyrics to that stanza which is missing from most performances of the song:
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Following the Cohen video is a video of K.D. Lang's version which also does not include that stanza.


  1. One of my favourites Joyceann -- I remember K.D. Lang singing it at the opening ceremonies for the Olympics -- and it was breath-taking!

  2. I love lang's version of this. I listen to it a lot.

  3. I adore that song, it evokes so many emotions

  4. I got so haunted by this song that I previewed about 50 versions on iTunes and bought 3 ... added k.d. lang, Allison Crowe and Susan Boyle to the Haiti Relief version by Justin Timberlake. Love them all but Allison Crowe is my very favorite. None of them, however, have the stanza that got me started on this.