Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday Sounds: Jeff Buckley and Eva Cassidy

I couldn't decide between two songs for this week's Sunday Sounds, so you get a two-fer!


These songs are written by two immensely talented songwriters. I've heard both Leonard Cohen and Sting perform their respective songs and they moved me deeply. But Jeff Buckley and Eva Cassidy, two gifted singers who died young, "owned" these songs. When they sing the words, something more than the original composition results, something bigger, richer, purer. 


I hope you enjoy this morning's Sunday Sounds. If you like anything here and want to support the artists with a copy of your own, please visit Heartsong Recommends... where you can purchase from Amazon.


First up...Jeff Buckley singing Lenoard Cohen's, "Hallelujah."  You may recognize the song from "Shrek" where Jon Bon Jovi did a very fine job with it. But it's Buckley's version that makes me cry every time. The album is "Grace."




Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Well baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
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
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Well maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who'd out drew ya
And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen in the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah <<(held for a long time)
Hallelujah

Sting's "Fields of Gold" is a beautiful song of love that transcends loss. Again, Sting sings his own words admirably, but Eva Cassidy takes this song to an entirely different emotional place. Someone may prove me wrong someday, but right now I don't see how anyone or anything could make this song any better than this. The album is "Songbird."




You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Among the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold

So she took her love for to gaze awhile
Among the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold

Will you stay with me will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
And you can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold

I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We will walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold

I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We will walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
As you lie in fields of gold

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Among the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold 


6 comments:

  1. These are beautiful songs, Autumn Heartsong. You have great taste in music.

    Buckley's "Hallelujah" seems to me a kind of bowing before the grand Mystery even in our despair, when we don't have the answers, when the Mystery remains inscrutable...an acknowledgement of our limited condition even though we aspire for more....a reverence towards the process...a declaration of faith amidst a darkness of soul that sometimes brings us to our knees.

    "Fields of Gold" likewise is a celebration of life's joy, rooted in love, that...as you say so well...transcends loss. It is another recognition of our fragility as humans, and yet an affirmation of existence in spite of it.

    I'm reminded of how one of my favorite movies ended. In Fiddler on the Roof, as Jewish folk comprising a small town were being forced to leave their homes, what they had known all their lives, and to separate...perhaps forever...into different parts of the world, the fiddler came onto the sorrowful path, and began to play. He was enticing them to joy even in hardship, calling upon them to dance. And dance they did. Sometimes it is sorrow, it is loss, which brings forth our highest & most beautiful expressions of happiness & love.

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  2. As usual, good, insightful comments, friend.

    I agree with your assessment of "Hallelujah." I'm moved, too, by the depth of love and the width of the chasm separating two people who, at one time, were intimately connected. And the imagery in the second verse..."...she tied you to her kitchen chair, and she broke your throne and she cut your hair and drew from your lips the hallelujah..." speaks so eloquently of the vulnerability of passion, of love, of surrendering our power to something that has the power to save our destroy us.

    And "Fields of Gold"...well, that's just one hell of a love song. :) And I don't think anyone could sing it better than Eva Cassidy.

    Glad you enjoyed them. I absolutely love sharing music...love it. Thanks for letting me indulge. :)

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  3. I still love Rufus wainrights rendition of hallaluja. It brings me to my Xcode and causes tears to well up every time. Something about it sings to my soul.

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  4. ok something in my previous comment went wonky so here goes and this time a bit more in depth.

    I still love the rufus wainright rendition of this song. Every single time it rings right through me to my very core. Each time I find myself crying, tears of pain, tears of joy, tears of wonder at what I sometimes fear I will never ever know.

    The song can be heard in so many ways, the religious, the love of a woman, the look of society.. but for me it rings of love, and its distance and almost lost absence in my world. Now I know I have the love of my family and that of my friends. And for that I will ALWAYS be grateful - the love I speak of is that GREAT LOVE.. the one where you find the other part of your self, the part you didn't even know was missing.

    I have spent a great deal of time in my life wondering what must that truly feel like, then despairing that I would never feel it, to being hopeful I might someday. And now most days I just assume its possible though not likely. It seems for whatever purpose of life I am meant to serve a more solitary function. And I have made my peace with that in most aspects. And still there is a part of my heart that aches, and this particular tune seems to draw it out. There are a few others but only a handful at best.

    To me this song is of a love that is not known, the longing to feel that passion, that surrender, that embrace. The perspective of what those feelings must truly be like but without a true point of reference. A cold and a broken hallelujah...the sound of love for the unknown, for the desired but not yet attained, the sound of a heart reaching into the night to find a light in the darkness...

    Well I've been here before
    I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
    I used to live alone before I knew ya
    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

    Still I wander, looking for that marble arch, someday my soul to give to the hands of one who will love and care for it for the rest of my days.

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  5. Deacon...now I have to look up Rufus Wainwright's version and listen to it.

    I am incredibly blessed to have known great love in my life...Mr. D. is a gift for which I will never be able to express enough gratitude...and he came into my life when I wasn't really looking for him. I hope you are just as surprised and blessed, my friend. Maybe someday when you're busy living the best, most satisfying life you can live, great love will find you and make you its own.

    Thanks for singing along, Deacon...I love your voice.

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  6. Perhaps this will save you some time hehe

    http://deaconbluesblog.com/2009/10/10/a-cold-and-broken-hallelujah/

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