I received a fantastic email last night from Andrew Lockington. He stumbled upon my "A Homemade Hallelujah" entry in which I spread my love for Gord Downie's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that appeared in the movie "Saint Ralph". Here's his email.
I was the composer on Saint Ralph and am amazed that the orchestral version of Hallelujah I arranged for Gord has such a following. Thanks for finding a way to get it to all these people.
I then asked Andrew the million dollar question, the question many of us have been wondering about. I asked him why this exceptional song was never released as part of a soundtrack or as a single. Here's what he told me.
There was a soundtrack deal all lined up for the film which included the source music and the two versions of Hallelujah (the orchestral and the acoustic) and a combined version which starts out acoustically and the big orchestra joins in part way through. Someone dropped the ball and didn't get the material to the record label on time. They concluded they couldn't have the CD pressed in time for the film's release, and thus it wasn't worth putting it out. It was a real shame because there'd been a few companies willing and interested in putting out the soundtrack.
It was sure interesting to find your website. The song has been either praised or bashed by a lot of people all over the world. Everyone seems to have an opinion on it. The vocal take used in the film was truly magical. We were all so moved while Gord was singing this take (including Gord). I think it really shows through.
I've been seeking that kind of awesome detail for years and I'm sure others have as well. In fact, I know others have, because my "A Homemade Hallelujah" entry currently has 141 comments.
Thanks Al! To make life easier for all of us, I've created a category for these Gord Downie's Hallelujah entries at http://www.torontomike.com/gord_downies_hallelujah/.