Last night, Megyn Kelly of Fox News played a clip from a viral YouTube video featuring a wedding in which the Irish tenor priest Fr. Ray Kelly sings a so-so version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." This excellent song had been covered by all kinds of artists for years, and used in the movie "Shrek," before contemporary churches got hold of it and started incorporating it in services--after ditching the original, interesting lyrics and replacing them with anodyne sentiments framing the essential chorus of "Hallelujah."
I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord,
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift:
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.
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.
Baby I've been here before,
I know this room, I've walked this floor;
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch;
Love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah.
There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below,
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
The holy dove was moving too,
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah.
Maybe there’s a God above,
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
It’s not a cry you can hear at night;
It’s not somebody who has seen the light;
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.
You say I took the name in vain.
I don't even know the name,
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word;
It doesn't matter which you heard;
The holy or the broken Hallelujah.
I did my best, it wasn't much.Does my mother-in-law want a nice, easy CD with a copy of one of the good covers of this song that are available commercially? No, she likes Father Kelly's voice on the wedding video. (So does everyone; the YouTube video has gotten 30 million hits in a few days.) Probably she also gets a kick out of the unexpected sight of a priest breaking into song from the altar, and the delighted couple smiling shyly. Sigh. There's no question that we'll do whatever it takes to provide her with this small pleasure; she's ill and in constant discomfort these days. But it turns out to be unexpectedly complicated to put a YouTube video into a format that one's TV can play, because absolutely no one does that any more.
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.
This site offers advice about two separate pieces of freeware, one to download the video and another to burn the DVD. The very first comment notes that the freeware doesn't work, but recommends two other programs that do. Succeeding comments complain that the second recommendations bristle with malware; others disagree; and others point out that they don't work on Macs.
It would almost be easier to buy her a computer and an Internet connection, but it's all she can do to operate the TV, so that's not in the cards. I'm hoping some of you will know better than I how to pull this off. Or that, in the meantime, my delightful husband figures it out. I can hear him cussing in the other room right now.