In all honesty, I’m not sure I had an idea of what today’s friPod iPick would’ve been. That is, until last Friday night when practically the whole world watched the telethon Hope For Haiti Now. Okay, okay… so maybe the whole world didn’t tune in. I know quite a few people who managed to find something else to watch, or weren’t even home to watch it or care. But kudos to those who did watch, and extra kudos to those who donated to the sum of somewhere around $60 million or more. Indeed, the Haitians are in desperate need, and besides our prayers, the next best thing we regular citizens can give is money. Trust me, this past week I’ve been tearing up the interwebs looking for other charities or donation centers that would accept other things like clothes, food and water. I found a few local places, but for the most part, cash-money is by far the easiest and most effective way to help.
Which brings me back to the telethon. To those who watched it, you saw a who’s who of celebrities either performing, hosting, or taking phone calls. For the record, I tried calling in about 30 times. Busy signal each time. I gave in and texted $10. Had I gotten through, I would’ve donated $20 or more. But it’s okay, because by Monday I had given another $10 by way of a monetary donation collection I set up at my church, and by buying the Hope For Haiti Now album on iTunes. Rather than select the few songs I liked, I decided to get the entire album. It’s only $8 for 20 songs. I like a bargain.
I heard a few songs I really enjoyed that night, from Wyclef showing his Haitian pride, to my favorite soul singer John Legend; to Jennifer Hudson belting out my favorite Beatles song “Let It Be” (this is now my favorite version of this song). I missed the first half hour, and a few songs in-between while I was trying to get through to a celebrity or order a pizza. But probably the highlight of the night, and what’s currently topping the iTunes’ chart is a song I’ve only heard once (or twice) in my lifetime called “Hallelujah.”
The first time I heard a piece of this song is from a Fall Out Boy song “Hum Hallelujah.” The real first time I heard this song was from the movie Watchmen. In fact, I thought it was rather humorous for this song to be playing during the scene it was playing in (Nite Owl and Silk Spectre got a little hot under their costumes after an intense rescue mission). In the theater, you heard chuckles from the entire audience because it just seemed like an odd song to play during a sex scene. The director said it was intentional and meant to play on irony, and I didn’t realize why at the time. Even then, the song itself had interested me, but I never followed up to get more info about it. Not until I heard Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris sing it.
I don’t want to give the whole history of this song, but it’s been around for almost 30 years and has been covered by a number of people. Each generation has its favorite rendition. I agree that Jeff Buckley does an excellent job as well, and may even be the standard go-to version. Leonard Cohen wrote and sang the original. But I think 2010 might belong to JT and his friend. Truly a beautiful melody that has iSaac and I stuck on the replay button. It’s hard to classify this as a gospel song, which I don’t think it was intended to be… but it does allude to a few Bible stories. On a personal level, the lyrics aren’t entirely important to me as much as the music itself. But like most songs, there’s a story and meaning behind it. And sometimes, just the context of when and where a song is sung can influence the mood and emotion behind the melody. In this case, it’s passion for helping those in Haiti.