02 December, 2014

A polarising song choice

When I listen to the radio it's always to National Radio, one of the govt-funded stations here in New Zealand. I started listening when I first moved here partly because I was so used to having the CBC going in the house growing up and partly to figure out how this new country worked. I sometimes think National Radio taught me to be a New Zealander! In the last couple of years they've had a segment in the afternoons called The Best Song Ever Written where people nominate a favourite song and have a chat about it and themselves. I've often meant to write in and nominate one song or another and last week I finally did. Four days later I was being interviewed about it, talk about a fast turn around!

I nominated KD Lang's version of Hallelujah which turned out to be a polarising choice with quite a few people expressing their opinion that it was the worst version ever, including one guy who felt moved to say he'd turned off the radio as a result, but several other people were supportive so I didn't feel too picked on! 

It was an interesting experience but I have to admit I was pretty nervous and thought I probably sounded it too! Amazingly I didn't, so I'm happy to share the audio link with you. And yes you can tell me how wrong wrong wrong I am in the comments and how Leonard Cohen has the only decent version, or how KD sucks - just be gentle ;) 


  1. I've never heard that version and I loved it! I also enjoyed your interview, you sound like an interesting person and no, you didn't sound nervous at all :)

  2. I heart National Radio. I love being home during the day in the school hols and being able to listen all day!

    My fave version is the one by Jeff Buckley, but this isn't bad.

    I enjoyed your interview too.

  3. Thanks! I really like the Jeff Buckley version too, although I was initially quite prejudiced against it as a result of its massive overplaying when he died.

  4. Well thank you! I, of course, find myself intensely interesting but I know that doesn't mean anyone else does :)

  5. Amy Seven-StitchesDecember 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Oh, I have listened to that version time and time again along with the other hymns of the 49th parallel. So funny to hear the real voice behind the words on the screen as you talk.

    I had to giggle and scoff at the kiwi sports commentators for the 2010 Olympics as Leonard Cohen sang it - something to the effect of "Jeff Buckley would be so proud to hear his song sung by Leonard Cohen".

  6. Leonard Cohen is my hero, so everything else is just covers... but as it is the best song ever *written* it's hats off to everyone involved huh? :)

    I would not pick Hallelujah as the best Cohen song though!

  7. Yes see I thought I had covered all bases with that idea, written vs sung, in mind but apparently not. My dad has also informed me that Cohen is still the best. Anyways, now I know it's best not to express an opinion on Leonard Cohen in public :D So what's the best Cohen song?

  8. Love Leonard Cohen, but like Karen I love Jeff Buckley's version which I've only heard in the last few years. This one is a lovely version too!

  9. Heyo, I've been following your blog for years nows and always thought it was cool that you are a crafty archaeologist (I recently graduated as a bioarchaeologist and I also craft). Now, it is even cooler because you worked on diet change (my thesis was also on diet change!). Just thought it was neat and wanted to say so;)



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