Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Okay, dammit: I'm putting out the call, I'm demanding to know...
...why on earth Tori Amos has never covered Hallelujah. For real. Everyone else under the sun has covered it, and I'd say 3/4 of them have done it badly. I don't think Tori would be one of those 3/4.

Inversely, she's covered every other song under the sun (including a few by Leonard Cohen), except for this one. I've run endless web searches on variants of "Has Tori Amos ever covered Hallelujah?" and "Why doesn't Tori Amos ever cover Hallelujah?", but to no avail.

Has anyone ever asked her this in an interview? Or asked her to do so as a request? Has she ever said anything about intentionally avoiding it? I refuse to believe that nobody requested it during her Piano Bar segments on previous tours. I'll bet hundreds did.

(For my part, I'm convinced she knows the world would end if she played it. Either that or she avoids it out of respect for Jeff Buckley, whose version I think is, frankly definitive.)

ETA: Fellow Toriphiles, would you pass this on? Seriously, if there's some long-lost bootleg out there or rumors of an amazing live performance that wasn't recorded, I want to know.

  • 1
That's a .. really good question. If you uncover anything, please report on your findings! :D

(Of course now I can hear the Tori cover in my head, but I'm pretty sure my brain just built that for me.)

I can hear it too! Are our brains that good at providing the connection?

Brains are fun. No wonder all the zombies want to eat them!

...okay, this brings me to Burning Question #2: why do zombies want brains? I mean, seriously - what can a zombie possibly do with a brain? Certainly not install it her/himself. Wouldn't you think flesh would be...well, just flesh, if it's strictly about eating?

Um .. high concentration of delicious Omega-3 EFAs in brain tissue? Hey, it's a theory ..

Brains are a delicious high-fat treat with no bone or gristle. And they're full of tasty memories!

Hey, I think both Spektor and Palmer did brilliant jobs of covering it.

But that is a VERY good question. Incidentally, I adore Amos' cover of "Smells like Teen Spirit."

Spektor is in the 1/4 I like ;) And as for Palmer, I haven't heard her cover, OMG. Gimme?

Okay, that was much better than the ones I found on YouTube.

I agree with you on Jeff Buckley's version. But I'm sure Tori Amos would do it justice as well.

I think Tori might be one of the cover-prone artists going who would be able to find a fresh take on it, especially given her propensity for infinite approaches to piano-arrangement (and also startling lyrics-improv ability)!

Huh, I presumed she had! Maybe she thinks it would be a little obvious?

To the best of my knowledge, she never has. However, I really think she should; my response to psychedk above explains why.

I agree - I'm not really a Tori fan, but I do very much like her approach to cover versions, and have a few hanging around in my media library.

Good question! It does seem like everyone's done a cover of that song. I was looking at hereinmyhead.com, at the 'diagnosed sounds' section, and there are lists (and mp3 files) of many of the covers/intros she's done during tours for each of her albums. I didn't see 'Hallelujah,' though.

Personally, I would love to hear her do a cover of 'The Blood of Eden," by Peter Gabriel. To my knowledge, she never has.

Ooh, a Peter Gabriel song I haven't heard! Is it good?

Oh, wow, thank you. I agree; Tori was born to play that, too!

That is a curiosity. I'll have to hunt down my Tori-stalker friend and see if she can dig one up; but would love to hear one. Agreed on all the premises about Hallelujah. . . Buckley is definitive, Spektor and Palmer are wonderful, and I have to admit a fondness for Wainwright's cover as well (even though I first heard it on the Shrek soundtrack. . . )

Please, please do! I know that there are people out there far more obsessed and in-the-know than I am when it comes to Tori's back canon. And as for Wainwright, hell yes. My favorites are Buckley, Spektor, Wainwright, Lang, and OMFG won't someone hook me up with Palmer's? I haven't heard it! Hey, even Cale's isn't bad...

If you don't like Palmer, but you do like Spektor, may I offer you Imogen Heap (acapella, only half the song, she's never done the full as far as I know), Brandi Carlile, and Claire Bowditch?

I'm not at all personally attached to Tori, but even so, my cover-loving obsession would have picked up hers if she'd done a version. Odd that she hasn't...

I've got all of those already :) But thank you!

Well geez, what's the use of having me around if I'm only offering music you've already got? xD

I have 19 versions of Hallelujah total. Want to compare notes?

Edited at 2009-09-06 09:05 am (UTC)

Oof, you're already winning. Sure, let's tot them up:

Bob Dylan
Brandi Carlile
Chris Botti
Clare Bowditch
Damien Rice (splice with Cannonball)
David Bazan
Dresden Dolls
Imogen Heap
Jeff Buckley (x2)
k.d. lang
Leonard Cohen
The Lost Sea
Regina Spektor
Rufus Wainwright

Man, I've been falling behind in my cover-collecting since I stopped using Firefox in favor of Google Chrome. Laziness strikes in several ways at once!

The ones I definitely don't have that are on your list:

Chris Botti

Damien Rice

David Bazan

ONE of your Buckleys (the one I have is off Grace)

The Lost Sea

I'm about to make an LJ post with my full list. Once I do, just tell me which ones you're particularly interested in!

Wow. I would really like to hear Tori singing "Hallelujah" now. ...I will have to listen to her cover of "Landslide" to console myself.

By the way, I'm re-doing my profile at the moment. And I love the way you've put up your "sponsors" in little boxes... do you mind if I co-opt the format for part of my profile?

I've been wanting to hear Tori play Hallelujah ever since I discovered the song. For about six years, in other words!

Oh, absolutely. And I'm very behind on adding some sponsors myself. It's often necessary to make one's own little 100x100 square logo, but publications' websites are just full of banners and such for plundering and snipping :)

I have no answer, and I think your research into this (19 versions!) is impressive. I simply needed to include my Jeff Buckley icon out of love for him.

I think at an official count over 40 people have recorded their covers or have been caught on tape by bootlegging. This is why I'm so astonished Tori is not among them!

Have you heard this version?


It's by a Danish singer song writer named Tina Dickow (or Dico as she's known internationally) and another Danish singer from an old not very interesting people's band. The song is from a Cohen tribute record where they translated his lyrics into Danish. But you probably know the lyrics anyway... *g*


I really, really love this. It's amazing to hear it in another language - and as a duet! Thank you :)

  • 1

Log in