Last night on NBC’s The Voice, the show opened with the contestants backing up the coaches — Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera — singing Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” in a tribute to those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The coaches, contestants, host Carson Daily, and Social Media Correspondent Christina Milian held up signs with the names of the 26 children and adults killed at the school as well as a card for Nancy Lanza, the mother of the mentally ill shooter (although it appears they opted not to hold up a card for the young Adam Lanza who also killed himself).
I am usually not a fan of the way people pull out “Hallelujah” as a tribute to those who have died. For example, I have seen awards shows use the famous Jeff Buckley recording to accompany a video of artists who passed away. The beautiful song is often overused, and despite the title and biblical references in the lyrics, the meaning of the song is not really as religious as many think, touching on love, obsession, and sex. Leonard Cohen has stated that the song “explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist, and all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have equal value.”
That said, The Voice rendition and their selection of which verses to sing was appropriate and one of the few times the song has been used so effectively in tribute. So as much as I don’t want to admit it, it is a beautiful tribute on what has become one of my favorite music competition shows. Check it out.
As Saturday Night Live did this weekend after its children’s choir “Silent Night” tribute opening, after the opening, The Voice went back to the usual show.
What do you think of the tribute on The Voice? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)