8/6/19 – Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah”

I’m feeling just a little bit guilty this morning, being able to get up and come to work, and everything’s normal. You may be feeling the same way. Because for the people of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, things may never be normal again. Same goes for all the other communities around the country where these senseless mass shootings keep happening. How do you ever just get up and go about your business after a member of your family has been shot and killed or seriously injured because an angry, hate-filled individual had an assault rifle and decided to go out and see how many people he could murder. Sometimes it’s a specific place, like an African American church where a person with no capacity for understanding other people goes in and starts shooting. In other cases, for the victims, it may be a matter of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’re just in a random place with a bunch of other people and somebody comes in and starts shooting. There are so many people out there who are just full of prejudice and hate, and unfortunately, these days they feel as if they’ve been given permission to be totally open about those feelings no matter who they hurt, and in extreme cases, they decide to go out and commit horrendous acts like the two that happened within 24 hours of each other this past weekend. It’s terrorism. Let’s call it what it is.

Anyway, I’ve just been thinking a lot about all this lately, hearing about and seeing all these people who are totally heartbroken because their lives have been shattered. And waiting and wondering to see if our government is going to do something—anything—about it. Where does it end? And how many more innocent people have to die before we at least make an attempt to stop it?

I went to bed last night thinking that I’ve got to say something about all this. If not in words, then at least, in music. And when I woke up today, I had this beautiful song playing in my head. It’s called “Hallelujah,” a wonderful composition written by Leonard Cohen, the famous Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist. He recorded it and so have a lot of other artists, but the cover that is most beautiful to me, without question, is the version by Jeff Buckley, the very talented musician who recorded it back in the 90’s. It was part of the only studio album Buckley ever released, called “Grace.” What he did with the song was—and is—amazing. Buckley was the son of Tim Buckley, also a well-known and much-admired musician. Jeff drowned at the age of 30, back in 1997, and the world lost a good one. I’m glad he left this recording behind. I wish I could play it for all those people in other places who are hurting today. But I figure we could all use a little comfort, as well. Here’s Jeff Buckley with “Hallelujah.”