When the producers of the first Shrek movie decided to use Rufus Wainwright’s cover of “Hallelujah”, I don’t think even they realized how perfect the song would fit in the movie. The melancholy, haunting lyrics swelled at just the right moment in the plot and left not a dry eye in the audience. That’s why I and the rest of the world fell in love with this song.
Originally written by Lennard Cohen in 1984, “Hallelujah” has had a life longer than just it’s appearance in Shrek. Covered by hundreds of artists over the years, the song had topped the charts in quite a few countries around the world. All this to say that when I saw the Agape Ringers post a cover of “Hallelujah”, I knew they had big shoes to fill.
Joel Raney’s arrangement of “Hallelujah” for bells captures the original piece beautifully. Using bells, chimes, and synthesizer, the piece swells and moves just like the original. The melody flows between the high bells, bass bells, chimes seamlessly while the synthesizer lays down a solid foundation of strings. My favorite parts is at 3:00 in the video, when the mid chimes lull you into a sense of ending, only to have the little bells pick up the energy. I first listened to this video when it posted last week and I haven’t been able to get the song out of my head since.
Isn’t that beautiful? I’m already planning on performing this arrangement with my groups.
In case you have been living under a rock since 1984, here is the cover of “Halleluiah” performed by Rufus Wainwright that was used in the first Shrek movie.